Mom's surgery went well; or that's what I got from her first words to me on Tuesday morning (10/5): "Bobby, I think I'm gonna make it."
I was relieved.
My toothache went away.
As for my heart...
Incidentals come and go.
It's like the boy who asked his grandpa, "Do you think it will stop raining?"
Grandpa: "Always has."
What's important comes and remains.
Two of my three favorite dentists understand that/me.
One said, "You may be grinding your teeth because of all the stress with your mom and everything."
Her husband said, "Bob, I think you've got a mental problem."
My toothache went away after talking to my mom on Tuesday.
As for my heart...
I've been doing funerals for a long time; but I've never buried a parent or sibling or anything close to that except for Paul Swedlund.
In other words, I have clues - about 400 - but no experience of what that feels like.
Shrinks say it's the difference between sympathy and empathy.
All I know now is if I felt this "mental" about the possibility...
I'm not as pastorally patient with the incidentals as I used to be but have more time than ever for who's/what's really important; trying not to be obnoxious about the incidentals but not wasting any more time on them at the expense of the important.
I'm looking deeper.
I used to say, "If you have a problem with your watch, don't look at the hands! Look deeper!"
Now I say, "It's what's on the inside not the outside of a watch that makes it run well."
That's more substantive than subtle.
C.S. Lewis said something like this: "The Bible is the most sold and least read book of all time."
That's why I rarely recommend books to people.
It's like seminaries that concentrate on Luther, Calvin, Barth, and even Moltmann while most of the eggheads remain Biblically illiterate.
We spend too much time reading books related to the Bible than reading the Bible itself.
That's a clue.
Anyway, I've just read Francis Chan's Crazy Love for the third time after reading it for the first time in July.
If I were a priest or some other kinda dictator, I'd take out a wad of $ from some church fund and buy a copy for every officer, member, and person who's thinking about leadership or membership.
I'd charge it but I don't do that anymore.
Moretheless, I'd like our church boards to cut down on the incidentals and take several minutes at every meeting to study it.
Anyway, Chan has identified the changing in me that's delivering me from the incidentals to the important: "You never know when God is going to take your life. At that moment, there's nothing you can do about it. Are you ready?...I have a sense of urgency...I'm doing funerals...I can't help but being urgent in my message...[So]...I'm going back to Scripture and seeing what the church was in its simplest form and trying to re-create that in my own church. I'm not coming up with anything new. I'm calling people to go back to the way it was. I'm not bashing the church. I'm loving it."
A day is coming when everybody will return from the cemetery but my mom, dad, sister, wife, or, uh, me.
Because of the last few days, I feel more and think less about it; and that causes me to really think about how I feel about the time that's left.
I've made some decisions.
I'm gonna pray longer and think harder on who's/what's important/incidental.
I'm gonna do my heavenest to follow Jesus' example of erring on the side of unconditional agape love over anal pharisaical law; even if it means telling the extreme theologies that they're making people twice as fit for hell as they are themselves.
I'm gonna take up the cross; allowing people who can't handle personal culpability to blame me for...
I'm gonna confess and repent at His prompting.
I'm gonna let go of all of the incidentals in my life (inanimate) and embrace who's/what's important (animate).
I'm gonna stop expecting and start...
I'm gonna go back to Him before I go forward.
I'm feeling urgent.
It just hit me after the toothache went away.
My heart aches when I confuse the incidentals (me, myself, and I) with the important (Him and His).
If this keeps up, and I hope it/He does, I think I'm gonna make it.
Don't be confused.
It's all about heaven in the end.
In the meantime, we're supposed to pray and labor that it may be on earth as it is in heaven.
Blessings and Love!
Post a Comment