Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lessons from the cul-de-sac

Cul-de-sac: a circular turnaround at a deadend street.

The house where I now live is on a cul-de-sac
I have always heard that living on a cul-de-sac is preferred to living on a thru street.
Less traffic, quiet, etc.

That has proven to be true at certain times of the day
At other times we have multiple turnarounds. I am not completely sure why. 
We are deep in the neighborhood and there are signs that warn drivers
 that there is no way out if they continue down the street. 
And yet, every day, I see multiple cars drive into this little cul-de-sac, 
startled to realize they can not go any further. 
So they speed away looking for another way to get where they want to go.

It has become a type of metaphor 
for where I am physically and spiritually right now. 

Oh, how easy it would be for my introvert self 
to stay in the safety and quiet of this cul-de-sac. 
Keeping guard to make sure no one comes in 
that was not invited or does not belong here.
Finding purpose and permission to hide away, 
weary from the battle, 
full of scars that I am tired of explaining. 
Labeling my actions as rest, 
when I know in my heart it is something else.

I keep looking for validations, 
excuses to stay tucked here in my cul-de-sac.

And I can find them, believe me!
They are best found under certain conditions:
When I stay away from church
When I stay silent and don't reach out to friends
When I stop reading God's word and replace with other authors
When I allow my ears to be tickled by mindless media
When I use things of this world to escape

But there is a huge problem with this
because I am a child of the Most High
after a while it becomes uncomfortable
It does not bring me the peace and settled heart that I truly long for.

God's way is counter-intuitive
For me to gain the peace and settled heart
I must leave the cul-de-sac
There is a time and place for rest to be sure
but there is never time for hiding and escape

I know this in my heart
but sometimes my head has other ideas
when I choose to allow those thoughts to linger
they can cause doubt and confusion
which is not of God

My life is not a dead end
it is more like a cul-de-sac
I have room to turn around and get back out there

God lead me to this cul-de-sac
It has the ability to be a green pasture and still waters
where I can be refreshed
But God did not leave me here to get fat and sassy
His expectations, 
His call, 
is to lead me back out
where I engage in my church community
where I embrace and invest in friendships
where I hunger and thirst for Holy Scripture
where His voice is louder than any other
where I see the things of this world as they truly are

2 Peter 1:3-11(MSG)
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God 
has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, 
personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. 
The best invitation we ever received! 
We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—
your tickets to participation in the life of God 
after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, 
complementing your basic faith with 
good character, 
spiritual understanding, 
alert discipline, 
passionate patience, 
reverent wonder, 
warm friendliness, 
and generous love, 
each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 
With these qualities active and growing in your lives, 
no grass will grow under your feet, 
no day will pass without its reward 
as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. 
Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, 
oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, 
his choice of you. 
Don’t put it off; do it now. 
Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, 
the streets paved 
and the way wide open 
into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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