Friday, December 13, 2013

Pure Coincidence

First, let me say this: I am not a believer of coincidence. Unless it's considered Divine Coincidence, of course. But then again, is there such a thing as Divine Coincidence? Or, as Sarah Young puts it, is every detail under His control? And moreover, does everything fit into a pattern for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His design and purpose? (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling)

So when I read the part about Jesus being my one and only or one of many in the book not a fan by Kyle Idleman (I talked more about this book here), I took it with a grain of salt. I know that Jesus isn't my one and only; I have lots of things that are admittedly more important than He is. And it's not that I can easily say that, it's that I know I show that through my actions on a daily basis. I'll drop everything for my kids, even if it means skipping quiet time. I'll rush through my daily passage reading so that I can accomplish all the cleaning I want to for the day. And when you look at where I spend my time and money, it's most certainly not on Him. And even when I do spend my time doing things like leading a bible study, He most certainly knows what I'm really thinking.

How do I know that? Just look at this:

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”  Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” (Luke 7:39-40)

So because He knows my heart, and He knows what I'm really thinking even when I play the part well, I know that He knows that I'm not truly giving Him my heart. Just part of it, almost like a safety net. Just in case it all goes awry, I know He'll be there to catch me.

I hope.

Here's the thing, and I know this to be true because I've seen people die, and no matter how much they have amassed over their lifetime, they do not take a single, solitary material thing with them. It's all still here, even when their spirit has left this earth. (I should know. When my mom died, we found that she had been saving the tiny bottles from the Clinique Bonus. All of them. Like a hundred tiny--empty--little bottles in a bag. What? What were you planning to do with this?? I'd like to ask, but for obvious reasons I cannot. If we could take anything with us when we die, I really wish she would have taken those. And her holey sweatpants, too.) 

I love to decorate. I love to think of ideas for my house. I love to look through catalogues and websites, scanning every detail of rooms, committing to memory paint colors and fabrics, copying bookshelf layouts and dining room tablescapes. I wouldn't say that I'm all that great at it, but it's one of my passions, nonetheless. My house frustrates me to no end when it's messy. It disappoints me when I look around and it doesn't match the picture I had in mind. I think it about it all the time. I spend my time cleaning, straightening, rearranging, organizing. I spend my money on unique pieces of furniture, vases, horse heads (!) and the like. I am 100% committed to making this place exactly what I dream it should be, and I'm willing to make sacrifices to get there. Like not taking a summer vacation so that I can buy a new couch.

If I ever did have a god in my life, it just may be my house. I'm committed to God because I feel obligated. I'm committed to my house because I love it.

Oh dear.

I'm afraid I've put my faith into what I can see as opposed to having faith. Faith. The confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. Assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)

So when not a fan included references to things like being disappointed over a messy house and being obsessed with decorating, I took note. And when the message at the women's event last night at church included Pricilla Schier talking about how we might act differently if He were here, standing next to us, my ears perked up a little. And when the women's ministry coordinator gave me a devotional book by Beth Moore, which I happened to be flipping through and landed on a devotion talking about releasing your grip on the things on this earth, I looked up at Him. And when I put it all together: all the different messages, the Scripture readings on false gods, the book I'm reading, the new devotional--even my Jesus Calling devotion from December 10 talked about making Him the focal point of my security--I knew it wasn't pure coincidence. Call it divine intervention, if you will, but I know a strong message when I hear one.

It's all about putting Him first, not my house.

I'd love to talk shop with Him one day. I think He's got a pretty good handle on dramatic and unique decor, what with all the talk of gold streets, rainbows, and seas of glass. And I think that would be okay with Him, really. He made me. He knows me. He knows what is going to trip me up, what's going to distract me from following hard after Him, what's going to divert my attention, what's going to ask for my complete and utter devotion. I think loving home decor is okay. But when it starts becoming my all, my one and only, my inamorato, well, then, I guess I have a few things to straighten out.

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