I trimmed the bushes Tuesday afternoon—my first trimming of the season. It's like giving a haircut. If you mess up, you can always just go shorter. (I'm actually decent at giving haircuts. I cut Nate's hair recently, even tamed his beard.) Including the time I spent cleaning up the clippings and dumping them in a pile in the backyard, trimming the bushes took me an hour. I was sweaty. Today I am feeling it. My forearms scream every time I bend my wrists. The trimmer is only about 6.5 pounds, but my arms hurt!
You know what else hurts? My brain. Work is a daily exercise in hermeneutics. I'm reading books like New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament. My current task is to take 53 Bible stories (156 in total) and explain to kids how they point to Christ. It's fascinating and awesome, but it's hard work!
So what do you do when you have to eat an elephant in a very limited number of days? You invite friends over for dinner! Yesterday afternoon and this afternoon I am hosting a Think Tank and invited nine coworkers/outside friends to join me in writing Christ Connections. In my 2.75 years at LW, this is the first time I've been in charge of a meeting. It has been so helpful! There are some very smart people working here (plus my outside friends).
Matt Chandler was here a couple of weeks ago, and he spoke at chapel. He talked about the danger of working in a place that produces resources for churches and individuals because it is so easy to get caught up and excited about the idea of Jesus, but not Jesus Himself. It is easy to work on and promote and sell the idea of Jesus, but not love Jesus Himself.
Nate went to chapel with me, and on the way home I wept. Matt Chandler was exactly right. I spend every day at work in God's Word—reading it, interpreting it, presenting it in a variety of forms. I can't remember the day that it first felt like work and I was not excited or moved by the Bible. What am I doing? I wailed to Nate. I was realizing that I had done it … I had been caught up in the idea of Jesus and creating resources to give the idea of Jesus to others. How do I love Jesus more? Because when you're saturated and content in the idea of Jesus, you feel like you don't need Jesus. And that's a dangerous place to be. We can never be satisfied with just the idea of Jesus. You wouldn't do that with food, would you?
I think it starts with being aware of your reality, your sin, your heart. It starts with prayer and telling God, "Look, I don't love Jesus like I should. Help me." God gave us the Holy Spirit to change our hearts. We can ask Him to do that. We need to understand that even on our worst day, God loves us. He is pleased with us. He takes delight in us. Thank You, Lord, for speaking through Matt Chandler and waking us up.
Our weekends are starting to fill up! Local wedding this Saturday, my dad and Karen visiting over Easter, hopefully starting/finishing my online class the next weekend. Nate has been working a lot of closings lately (3:30–midnight) … basically all this week and last, and he is just starting a Friday night/Saturday morning class. So I basically never see him except when he's sleeping when I get up in the mornings and at church. All you married people with a spouse on the same schedule as you … I hope you know how lucky you are! I know it is only for a season, but I will be glad when it's over. :)