I had a fail on holiday. For perhaps the longest period since I became a Christian, I neglected sitting down with my Bible, or having a dedicated period of prayer. I got annoyed with one, then two, then perhaps even three members of my family. The only reason I didn’t get annoyed with any more is that we left the pets at home!
And we were on holiday in a campervan (RV for American readers) which meant that I would feel odd reading my Bible or praying in semi-public if I hadn’t repented and made nice. And so….oops, I didn’t read my Bible! I didn’t set aside a time for prayer. I re-read Wuthering Heights instead!
* * *
And so I was less internally happy, less able to see the world charged with the grandeur of God, singing and bathed in his glory. Normally, on a nature holiday, I sense and worship God deeply while surrounded by beauty.
Yes, I was out of sorts, not really enjoying myself, not totally happy. I had got out of alignment with God, my friend, the ocean in whom I normally try to live.
* * *
And now, I am finding it hard to abide again in the centre of God, as a molecule in the vine. I am blogging on a Biblical passage, and realize I am approaching it with my left-brain, rather than my right; with my mind rather than my heart, spirit and soul.
That’s not a problem for God: he made both sides of the brain, and our minds, as well as our bodies, souls, and spirits. But he might like us to approach his Holy of Holies with our whole selves. (And approaching the Bible that way touches people’s spirits and hearts, as well as their minds.)
* * *
And I say, “Oh Lord, can you bless me?” And then I chide myself, “You’ve not dwelt in the heart of worship for a couple of weeks, Anita. You could have repented and surrendered and returned to live in Christ so much sooner!” And I think “I don’t really deserve God’s help and blessing….”
And then I realize, “When was it ever about my deserving?”
* * *
And I think again about the most incredible thing I know. That when I realize I have blown it, and return, you are full of compassion, you run to me, throw your arms around me, and kiss me.
You barely listen to my litany of failure. Instead you clothe me in your best robes. You put a ring on my finger, and sandals on my feet. You set out a feast and celebrate, serving the best steak. There is music and dancing.
All because I have returned?
This is incredible, Lord. I don’t deserve it.
And you say, “When was it ever about your deserving?”
And I repent again. Totally.
I will live in the heart of worship, live in you, a molecule of sap in your vine, a happy red blood cell in the beautiful Body of Christ.
And if I fall, I will not delay in fleeing to the sanctuary, to the joyous heart of worship, to the embrace of the Father.