It starts out, “Are you tired?”
My immediate and indignant response: “DO BLUEJAYS HAVE A BIG MOUTH? Sir? (Sorry, Lord–you caught me by surprise, there, and I, ah. . .”
“Hey, wait! Hold the phone! GOD DOES SARCASM! YES!!! I always wanted to know if—“
“Dan…” (God again.)
“WHAT? I mean, ‘Sir?’
“Would it be all right if I finished?”
“Oh, you betcha, Lord! Um, not–not that You bet, but–D’OH! Okay, God. Being quiet, now.”
“Thank you. (Long breath. God rolls His eyes, too.) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to love freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
. . . . .
“Dan. . . Dan? DAN!“
“PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR, SIR! ForGodsolovedtheworldthathegave—-
“YESSIR!” I mean, um, yes, God. Speaketh, Lord–eth, for Your Dan hears. Eth. Didn’t mean to fall asleep, Lord. It’s just that—well, right. You already know. God stuff. I get it.”
What about you? Tired? Worn out?
Tired? I’ve caught myself wondering why we call it ‘beauty sleep’ when some mornings I wake up looking like a disgusted troll, having the disposition of a cape buffalo with an abscessed chomper and the breath of a mountain goat. ‘Tired’ isn’t even a temporary condition for me any more these days; at this point, it’s just an inherent part of my basic personality.
“So we can mark you down for a ‘yes’?”
Um, I’m just guessing here, but I’m thinking using sarcasm back at God might be contraindicated.
That would be a yes, yes. I am very tired–of a lot of things.
“Well, Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”
Wait–that’s what Jesus said back–well, a long time ago.
“I meant it then, and I mean it now.”
Hunh? Oh–yeah, right. Hey, God? You said something about. . . yeah. ‘Unforced rhythms of grace’. See, there’s so much of my life right now–especially my spiritual life–that often feels forced or mandatory. You know? “You gotta do this and be that and say this and act like that…” Somehow, I’m really weary of feeling obligated to be or do or say or think the exact same way as everybody around me; nothing I’ve read or seen of Your grace is compulsory. Unless I’ve missed something, You draw and invite: You don’t push and drive. I’d kind of like to get back to those unforced rhythms of grace You’re talking about. I don’t want my life even seeming like it’s a forced deal, an ungracious, rigid and joyless set of regulations that not only leaves me uninspired inside–but pushes good people away from You. That’s not what Your gospel message is about, and it sure isn’t what I’m wanting to be about, either.
God: “Deal. No two days are exactly the same. Therefore, Grace’s rhythms can’t be, either. All I need you to do is keep the channel within your heart, mind and spirit clean and uncluttered so My grace can flow into and through you–at whatever volume, whenever I choose. It really is relaxing when you leave the ‘what’ and ‘how much’ up to Me to pour in and through you.”
“So go ahead. Just go on through the rest of your day, doing what you normally do. I’ll take care of the unforced rhythmic grace part.”
Okay, God… right after this lack-of-power nap.
© D. Dean Boone, June 2014