Tuesday, June 21, 2011

two roads

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I --
I took the one less traveled by
and that has made all the difference."

I often find myself in this tension. This tension of making the effort and choosing the harder road, or allowing myself to follow the easy path. Recently I have found myself distant. I have chosen to allow time, sleep, food, friends, family, tv, almost anything to get in the way..and in some way I was okay with it. I find myself weighing the options. Is the good feeling that good? Is that bad feeling worth it? I am here, sitting in this tension of choosing to be intentional in my relationship with my creator.

Sitting in the tension has forced me to think about my two options. Playing one versus the other, chosing to be intentional versus faking it. I see vividly what Matthew was talking about in chapter 7: 13-14, 
"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
Sometimes I feel like I am just walking with my head down, only looking a few feet in front of me to see where I turn next only to finally look up and see where I am, on a path leading no where. I quickly run back to the intersection and choose the narrow road. Then again later I feel myself walking through brush  avoiding the path I was on and trying to find my way to the wide path again. It is a struggle. 

I once again come back to intersection. I take a moment to look at the two roads. I see one that is wide, beautiful, green, covered in flowers and sunshine. I looks easy, a nice stroll. No uphill or downhill, just a straight walk. I continue looking down and see the very thing I do not want, eternity away from my creator. No thank you. I rid myself of the desire for that for the moment. I bring my gaze to the other road. I sigh. There is a narrow, dark, rocky road ahead. I see a continual uphill road, a battle. I look further down and see my savior waiting there for me. Resting on a rock in the shade of a big oak tree. His arms our wide with the most genuine, joyful, loving smile on his face. I see him whisper something, I feel it in my heart, my soul. 
"Come to me"

This is my struggle. The continual walking through the brush  toward the easy road only to turn around and sprint to the ugly path.I do this knowing the outcome will be better than the other. While most times the wide road looks nicer, there is nothing to it. There is no joy, no true happiness. While the other may be scattered with hardships and struggle I chose this....because I chose Jesus.

Monday, June 13, 2011

a deep breath.

this sunday in church Ron spoke on sin. my heart has been stuck there for a while. this message was one of deep conviction and raw emotion for me. he explained that in order to rid yourself of sin, you must turn away from it completely...in every sense of the word. he then gave our congregation an opportunity to give those sins God laid on our hearts up.

we each got a small piece of white paper and had the chance to write down a sin that we struggle with on that paper. we then were asked to walk up to the stage and place them in various buckets and those buckets were taken outside to a live video. we watched as each of those pieces of paper were thrown into a fire pit indicating that sin being given to God, surrendered.

to watch so many people in my church body, my home walk up there and place struggles into that bucket almost moved me to tears. i know for me, that illusion was something that will stick with me forever. the struggle i placed in that bucket is something that i have been running from with a deadly fear and i feel like writing it down on that paper was my way of turning around, facing it and saying...."bring it"

i have been dwelling and processing here of what this looks like and where I go from here. Ron encouraged us to tell someone what this struggle was. i am not there yet. i am praying that God softens my heart to be at that place soon.

something that i have been thinking about and just tonight read in Romans 8, is the battle between our righteousness and our flesh, our new versus old self. i often times allow my old self to jump right back in and take over and allow myself to go places i dont want to be. speaking with a friend a few days ago she said, its like getting up and choosing to put on a different set of clothes in the morning. you have to get up everyday and chose the "new self" set of jeans and a tee vs. the "old self" set. this idea resonated so greatly within me.

i have a silly little thing i do when i am feeling overwhelmed in any way either good or bad, i take a deep breath. when i breathe in i say to myself "breathe in the Holy Spirit" and when i breathe out i say " breathe out sin and everything bad within me". although it may seem odd to you, it makes the world of a difference to me. its a quick reminder that i have a powerful savior on my team/side and being reminded that he dwells within me like that is such a sense of comfort.

i have found myself doing that a lot more within the paste few days. when i am tempted to chose sin, i take a deep breath to remind myself. not that this is the end all be all, because sometimes i still chose sin...but it has helped me quite a few times.

so this week, tomorrow, this hour, the next minute...i will be taking  breaths to be reminded that the spirit of an strong, mighty, living God dwells within me.