Saturday, December 23, 2006

Shut Up and Listen

I feel like I've been such an ass to the Lord.

If you've read my other posts regarding my paradigm of Church and discipleship, you can gather that I'm less about the routines of faith and more about the relationship of faith. Well, honestly, I've been ignoring that relationship.

Despite the fact that I haven't given Him the time of day (as if He would need such a thing from me), He's been absolutely faithful to me - especially during the past month and a half when I really did need Him. He's the one that shot the beam of light penetrating through the dark clouds - revealing that the Calvary is on it's way, His help and assistance. He has heard and responded to my cries and prayers. He has come with comfort and joy and friends.

I'll be going to a church service again this Sunday, first time since right after my birthday. No, I really don't feel guilty about not going. And that's not the reason why I'm going. Nor am I going because it's the day before Christmas. I'm going because in my relationship with Him, I'm acknowledging that I haven't been keeping that relationship mutual . . . .

Gosh it takes me forever, practically, to realize that much of the frustrations that I have with people here on Earth can have a parallel with my relationship with Christ. Pretty much every time, I'm the one doing to Him the things that others frustrate me with. I ignore Him and I take Him for granted. And I really do know how He must feel because I hate it when I feel that from people that I love.

Over the past month and a half, I've been in a funk (which I'm out of) and my insecurities had me feeling undervalued at work, at home and with some friends. So if I can apply that to my relationship with God I realize that I've been undervaluing Him. That means I haven't been worshipping Him. Back in the youth group days, I used to teach that worship is "worth-ship" - communicating and living out the reality of God's value and worth to us. And I've been short changing Him.

I really do love Him. And I talk about Him. I pray to Him. I've encouraged others in His name. But i haven't been listening to Him. I haven't been receiving my encouragement directly from His throne. I've been looking in His direction, but I've been looking at things near His throne and around His throne, but not at Him - not in His eyes. And since I haven't been looking and listening to Him and was instead looking at others, He persistently sent His encouragement through them. It's crazy to think about that....even when I am too distracted to look at Him, He is so relentless in communicating His love to me that He will reveal it through the very things I'm looking at - even if it's not Him.

GCN has been an incredible encouragement to me lately. I've made my needs and requests known and they are so awesome to pray for me. And i've even prayed to Him for others. I really appreciate this cyber community. If you are looking for gay Christians in the world, and you've stumbled upon Two World Collision via Google (i know there have been many), I encourage you to go to GayChristian.Net and register as a member. There is such incredible support there!

But even still, for me, I realize that I can and should look to my Christ personally. It's not that I "should" because I have to. I "should" because I desire to nurture that oh so valuable relationship that I have with Him. In my earthly relationships, I strongly value a sense of mutuality. And yet, that's the very thing that I don't give to my own heavenly relationship with my personal Savior.

I'm gonna check out for a bit here, i need a moment ----------------

I'm sorry Lord for being distracted by the good and bad things of this world and neglecting to look in awe of You. When I went atop Signal Hill and overlooked the city of Long Beach a few weeks ago, this place that You have sent me and called me and planted me, I remember hearing Your voice and missing it. It was so gentle and, for the moment, I sensed peace in the storm of my own thoughts and insecurities. And yet, when i'm with You, I am completely secure because You've proven every single time that You accept me as I am. All my insecurities come from a place of me worrying that people won't accept me. But You have never rejected me and You never will. How can You love me so much? I don't understand. I reject myself alot of times. I project that onto how I perceive others and I assume that they reject me too. Yet, you persistently accept me. How and why? On at least three occasions, I should have died yet You spared my life. Why? I could have been with You and rested in Your arms and I could have been able to worship You undistracted. I miss You so much! As i imagine You miss me talking with You, instead of me talking at You or talking into the wind in Your direction. You know the things that have burdened me. I feel like my past mistakes and regrets anchor me. Will they ever go away? This time of year is always so hard for me. Lord, cover my regrets. I'm so sorry for what I have done before. How can You still use me? How can You still trust me? With anything having to do with Your Kingdom? Lord, Your peace overwhelms me. And I worship You. I really do value you. You are worth more to me than anything on this Earth that You created. You are worth more to me than anything that You have given to me - my friends, my relationships, my family, my job, my accomplishments, my dreams, my community, my things. I feel like You've rebuilt the things that I destroyed. I don't deserve what I have now because of what I took for granted before and screwed up. And yet, these things I have now, are gifts from You. Thank You. What can I do but to appreciate them and bless them the way that You have blessed me. Continue to use me for Your glory and praise and purposes!

----------------------------------checking back in.


He really has been so good to me. And as Paul said, the things I know I ought to do, I don't do, and the things I ought not do, those things I keep doing. I know I ought to worship Him more. I know I ought to listen to Him more. I know I ought to listen to Him more.

I think i'll take a page out of Peterson's approach to prayer and just shut up and listen.


Bryan said...

Wonderful post Eric! Speaks to some of what i'm feeling these days as well.

Merry Christmas!


Steve and Warren ~ said...

Merry Christmas

Steve and Warren

KJ said...

In the end, it is all about His wanting to be in relationship with us, and that is a very, very good thing.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric... I think we are all somewhat entitled to a slump of some sort. Even if we're not entitled to it... it happens anyway. Funny thing, right after my birthday too... i went through some sort of male version of happens. We all need to remember to surrender it to Him.

God Bless You, Eric!!!

grace said...

I appreciate your transparency in this post...actually, it's in most of your writing and I always appreciate it. :)

love and grace,

p.s. i apologize for not being more supportive of you by commenting...I do always read...and I appreciate your comment at my place...we gotta stick together!