Hi Friends–This is your weekly reminder that we are fasting and praying (during what would be Monday lunch) for God to 1) change us as women and men wherever we need to be changed, that we might be more marriageable, and 2) to bring about good, life-giving marriages. As we pray, you might reflect on the following.
Do you have a picture for what your Saturday night should look like? Who, real or imagined, you want to be with or what you think you should be doing? A cookout with friends? A date where you are dressed up? A family snuggle fest with movies, popcorn and some kids around your feet? Our brains are anticipation machines. We all carry around pictures, stories comprised of 1000s of images, that shape the choices we make and the feelings we feel along the way (expectation, excitement, disappointment, peace, whatever….). What I want to suggest is that we need increasingly to have that picture shaped by what is Real–the reality revealed in the pages of Scripture and brought home to our hearts and imaginations by God’s Spirit. For what it’s worth, below is the “vision” which God has worked into my mind’s eye so far–it’s a vision that has a place for intimacy, mission, men, community, family, beauty, work, love, pain, etc. I’m not saying it’s the whole picture, but it’s what I’ve seen so far. And I share it thinking it might stir you to ask–God, show me what we are really after!
Single or married–we are all pilgrims on a journey. The ultimate destination is, though I’m not sure what it will look like, the new heavens and the new earth (John Bunyan in “Pilgrims Progress” calls it “The Celestial City”) with our loving and powerful God reigning smack in the middle of everything. We journey in this life to Jesus, our Redeemer, and then with him and others we journey towards this, the believer’s final destination, or first beginning. It’s actually, as CS Lewis famously said, Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on Earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
But en route, we aren’t detached Buddhists, negating this world with its pleasure or pain. We are women and men called to fully engage–responding to God’s original call to worship and know him, to build families and communities, and to work to cultivate the most human good that we can (literally & spiritually). This is what we were made for. It got all messed up by sin, but because Jesus has come, we get to experience and help others experience something of how it should be–we get to be involved in helping (if always imperfectly in this life) to realize the redemption Jesus has inaugurated.
So as we go, the assured reality of heaven infuses our journey with hope, even as God’s Spirit infuses our journey with love and strength. We hold our unmet longings and unsought suffering in the open palms of our hands, an offering, even as we thank him for His incredible provisions. And we pray like crazy for more and more people (and one particular journey mate if at all possible!) to join in the journeying throng.
Perhaps, then, consider: What big picture do you see the Scriptures painting? What’s the vision God has revealed to you so far? What is it you are after? And how might that vision affect how you see your life–including your next Saturday night? If you don’t know–ask God to show it to you. Set aside some time to pursue the Scriptures and listen. Our Big Brother, Jesus, has gone on before us….and he’s preparing a place for us. And today, He delights to help us discover what it is to follow after him.
Blessings this Week in the Journey,