Thursday, December 29, 2005

What Passion Would Look Like in Me, Were You to See it...

Master: "Do you know the Holy Scriptures?"
Disciple: "Not really. Though my eyes have scanned their pages many times and many of it's stories are in my head."
Master: "Yes! I have asked the same question of you many times and received a much different response! How have you come to realize the difference between believing and becoming?"
Disciple: "I come to it when simple knowledge in my head, however true and however much, leaves me still longing for life."
Master: "You diligently have studied the Scriptures because you have thought that by them you will have eternal life. These Scriptures are there to point you to intimacy with me. Refuse no longer to in reality come to me for the life you seek."
                                    -- The dialogue in my head, after reading both a story from Paramahasa Yogananda and John 5:39-40
In my wisest moments, I would give up anything for intimacy with Christ.
I would sacrifice every spiritual practice that I hold important and necessary for life and salvation, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would be willing to be alone, even without my family and friends, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would give up my capacity to walk, talk, smell, see, hear, touch and any physical health, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would sacrifice my ability to help out any of my fellow man, materially or emotionally, mentally or spiritually, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would be without every conceivable material comfort and security on earth, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would willingly delete everything I know about the Bible, never to be remembered again, if I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would never lay my eyes again on the beauty of canyons, mountains, waterfalls, oceans, caves, and everything else in nature, if I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would gladly give up the profoundest thoughts, ones that could lead me to high esteem in the eyes of great spiritual men, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would let go of my right to rest, exercise, and eat and drink freely, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would sacrifice athletic ability, sharpness of mind, capacity to lead and influence others, and any high and noble dream, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would gladly be forgotten by all mankind, and even make no lasting mark on my own children, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would be wrong on every detail of every issue with every human being with whom I came into contact/conflict with, and it be shown in a publicly humiliating way, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
I would suffer overwhelming defeat in the face of any sort of test, battle, competition, or endeavor, if only I could have real intimacy with Christ.
But I don't have many moments within which I am this wise. I know this because I pursue these other things with great fervor and zeal, and usually attain them, and yet crave something else.
And as I wrote the above statements in an exercise of discerning what my ego's greatest attachments are, and faced the prospect of sharing it with all of you, I started wondering if it is even right to long for Jesus' personal presence in such a way. Then as if in answer, I thought of the below words of Jesus, affirming me I think...daring me to trust him...
"Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:33
And then as if to affirm me one more time (as God has patiently done with me all of my life because of my denseness and unwillingness), he cast my eyes on the following words from Charles Spurgeon's Daily Devotional (this happened JUST NOW...)...
"What think ye of Christ?" --Matthew 22:42

The great test of your soul's health is, What think you of Christ? Is He to you "fairer than the children of men"--"the chief among ten thousand"--the "altogether lovely"? Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy. I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without His presence, if you have cared little for His honour, if you have been neglectful of His laws, then I know that your soul is sick--God grant that it may not be sick unto death! But if the first thought of your spirit has been, How can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, "O that I knew where I might find Him!" I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem. I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of His royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of His wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee--I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in His beauty? Has He a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldst thou set Him higher if thou couldst? Wouldst thou be willing to die if thou couldst but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims His praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayst think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with Him ere long.

"Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is He"



David U said...

Awesome post, brother! Keep em coming. I wish you posted every day!


Brock Paulk said...


Dude, if you would log into blogger, go to settings---->Site Feed and select "YES" at the question, "Publish Site Feed" it would really make my day...then I could keep up with your updates with an rss reader...