Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

July 11, 2017

This morning I woke up with the modern hymn, I Surrender playing in my head. I thought that maybe this meant something.

            You can take a listen if you’d like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFORjUcHkKU

Lord you find me here as you draw me near,

            Desperate for you…

Drench my soul as mercy and grace unfold,

            I hunger and thirst…

I surrender….

Like a rushing wind, Jesus breathe within,

            Lord have your way in me…

(I Surrender, Hillsong, 2012)

            This hymn has a healing structure about it for me.  I am compelled to let go of encumbrances and burdens when I listen to it.

            There is a flow that I feel, like a river tugging at me to stick my toe in the water and just let go.  I can feel the flow of the Holy Spirit offering me an irresistible invitation to become empty.

            Imagine!  Imagine for even a millisecond feeling as an empty vessel.  Sometimes the sensation of lightness almost makes me leak around my eyes.

Can you feel the load come off too?  Can you feel the weightlessness?

            Do you remember those days when life was simple and we were so innocent?  Maybe some days a lobotomy is what I really need!

Christ is waiting for us to give him an opening.  And, like a rushing wind Christ will breathe within.  If even briefly we can glimpse this emptiness, without words, life simply fits….

            I have a closet full of clothes. I own a bunch of shoes.

            But, here’s the deal…there’s lots of stuff that I never wear.  Come to think of it, I seem to only wear a handful of items.

            This morning I realized that I could throw away almost everything in my closet and you’d probably not notice any difference in how I look.

            Odd.  But maybe not.

             I see stuff in stores all the time that I think I might like to wear. I pull the trigger occasionally, buy an item or two, even some shoes; but I seem to never wear this stuff.

            What I keep doing is pulling out what really fits well.  Those things I wear all the time.

            A pal of mine bought me an official Boston Red Socks jersey and it really looks great. I never wear it. It just does not feel right on me.

            I have a pair of Chippewa motorcycle boots that look like they came right out of the latest edition of HOG Magazine.  But, they feel tight on the sides of my feet.  They stay in the closet.

           On the flip side, I have a blue quick-dry T-shirt that a friend bought for me down in Key Largo at Alabama Jack’s on Card Sound Road.  It fits like a glove; and, I wear it all the time.

            I also have a pair of lounging shorts with elastic in the waist.  (Thank goodness for elastic in the waist.)  I really think I could survive with only these shorts, my blue quick-dry T-shirt and my pair of Keen sandals.

            In a perfect world these items would be all that I would wear.  They fit!

            Wouldn’t it be awesome if all of life could fit like these few garments?   And, to get to this level of comfort…all I have to do is surrender a ton of other stuff.

            (Simmer on this for a bit.)  To get to what fits all I have to do is get rid of some other things.

            But…I don’t.  I do not surrender.  Instead, I cling!

            Who knows, maybe one day I will lose some weight!  Maybe one day my other clothes will fit (Hahahaha!).

            Maybe that pair of Chippewa boots will miraculously slide onto my feet one day.   Maybe one day I could wear them and not get blisters.  It could happen.

            But, who are we kidding?  There are many things in life that will never fit, no matter how hard we try to make them.

            I look good in those Chippewa boots but they will never fit!!  They will forever give me blisters.

            (If anyone would like a pair of almost new, Chippewa motorcycle boots size 11, let me know.  Free to good home.)

            Some jobs may wear blisters on us. Some relationships may fit us so poorly that they zap us of energy.

            Some things are just not for us…even though it seems half the world is clamoring for those very things.

            Our music director at church, Maria Houghton tickles me sometimes. Sometimes we brainstorm about worship music and she says, “I’m just not feeling it!”

            I am always delighted to hear this because who wants to do a piece of church music that we’re not feeling?  Are there things in your life today that you are just not feeling?

            Maybe Christ is calling us to express life that is in greater alignment with him.  Maybe to get to this level of wholeness, just maybe all we have to do is get rid of some things.

           The best place to begin emptying is in facing Christ.  Even if only momentarily we understand that he is everything, this is our new beginning.

                “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV).”

            Maybe today is a good day to clean out a closet. God being sovereign and divine and all can take even our castoffs and use them to bless someone else.

            Casting off can create new life.  I’m just sayin’!

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