It struck me recently that God speaks to me at His strongest when I am in fear, flight and fight. When every sense of my reptilian brain is shrieking at me, it is those moments when His hand presses on me and firmly orders, “Observe.”
Not to do anything. Simply to observe. To watch, listen and see what unfolds. Trouble is, when I’m in ‘limbic lunacy’ that’s the last thing I want to do. Instead I long to operate at warp speed to push through what confronts me, or download (mainline) every article, book, and research paper I possibly can to seduce my rational frontal-lobe into taking over. I don’t have any objections to discovering a few remaining band-aids on my soul. It’s just that, done my way, I’d rip ’em off and move on. God’s way is more gentle. Requires my patience.
The SAP observed recently that my personality throws me into everything I do at a million miles an hour. He earns his SA stripes well, that pastor. As the Big T often reminds me, faith is not slam it down espresso.
No surprise then, that after my limbic lunacy around the SAP’s public proclaimation of an upcoming river baptism, I became sick. Temperature. Aches that pinned me to the bed. Eyeballs that refused to focus. Symptoms that made it very hard to operate at warp speed and read rational research.
So (possibly with a fair amount of eye-rolling at God) I observed. Watched, listened, stayed present. Prayed. Floated on the idea of river submersion. Faced up to the reality that, without it, I would always be able to say I was ‘Christian-ish.’ And the ‘-ish’ suffix would give me a huge amount of latitude. Wriggle-room.
Wriggle-room is seductive. Just enough to shimmy around those tight spots that pinch at me.
Which made me a coward. And, boy, that conclusion riled me. Well, f*&k that, God and Jesus. You want me to own this, do you? Well, let me just show you how I can step up and own this.
Ah. That’s the problem with a Lord who knows what’s in my heart before I unravel it. The steps He takes to guide me to an outcome are, well, smart-alecky. A clever prod at pride to switch off fight and flight.
Which means, in less than a week, I will be at the river. Getting Lipton’d.