Apr 9, 2006

broken in all the right places

I enjoyed the workshop yesterday. Mark Yaconelli really has a great gift for helping you understand the ancient and contemporary way of rethinking your approach to spending time with God. We even conned him into joining us for lunch and got to pick his brain. One of my favorite parts of the chat was telling him a story about a lunch I shared with his dad... I'll share that sometime in the future.

But all deep stuff aside, sometimes it's just fun to go on a road trip with a buddy. To eat good chow... talk about nonsense things and serious things... and play video games at an old arcade from the teenage years. Good days... we even made it back in time for me to conclude our series on Job (using the TV show Lost as a metaphor).

Between yesterday's workshop and the message I shared today at GCC, I am increasingly amazed at what it takes for us to find God when he is constantly whispering compassionate truths all around us. It takes work... and yet God loves us too much to leave us alone. We long for rescue - rescue from our past, present, and future. And just as Palm Sunday reveals, rescue - and God, for that matter - often shows up in a package that we would never expect.

Maybe that's where brokenness comes in. When we allow God to examine our heart and touch it... like the dad (whose son is overseas in the military right now) who watched me interact with my sons today and tearfully told me, "Enjoy these days." Or the couple who shared with me how they didn't like me at first (because I wasn't like the last guy) but have grown to appreciate the Scripture I've offered in my messages and how it has spoken to them. Or that one guy who really annoys me... whom Jesus has called me to love with a full heart.

Brokenness comes from the realization that we are not God. That's the thing that separates you and I from him... he doesn't think he's you.

It happens in grief when we recognize we cannot stop death from happening to our loved ones.

It happens in loss when we recognize we cannot stop a lay-off or financial cut from happening.

It happens in worship when we recognize we cannot stop a holy God from loving us.

Personally, I like the last one.

Which brings me back to the workshop and the road trip. Sometimes God is found in play... in laughter... in joy. Mark mentioned how many times we believe we have to get ultra-serious and monastic in order to find God. Might not he also be found, though, in an innocent and fun time with family and friends?

Today when I saw my boys running with all their energy towards me as they crossed the full length of the room while shouting "DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!" I found myself broken with gratefulness.

To let them collide into my torso and ooze into my arms...

to embrace my wife - my one true love...

those are my favorite kinds of brokenness.


Friar Tuck said...

good thinking here

Cindy Woods said...

Great message yesterday at church Tony I am glad you posted it so those who haven't been to GCC got the chance to hear it.
It was great...

Crissi said...

Great post! Thank you!