No Turning Back, a.k.a. Pillar of Salt

Salt, in the Scriptures, is usually shown in a positive light. It brings flavor and sustaining power to life. But there is a case where salt is not so good.

In Genesis 19, Lot and his family are told to get out of dodge. The city in which they live has gone sour. Five chapters early, Abram saved both Lot and the entire city from destruction from neighboring kings. This salvation however does not serve as a wakeup call for the city, but rather an endorsement of their declining behavior. Gratitude gives way to wanton greed, lust, and violence. They turn against Lot, against God, and against each other. Now, God is ready to clean house.

Before He sends in the bulldozers, however, he tells Lot to get out, promising Lot safe passage so long as he and his family do not look back. Lot’s wife does and she turns into a pillar of salt. Some scholars hold this to be an origin story for the salt columns that surround that neck of the woods (the Dead Sea). But I think it serves as a great reminder. Lot chose Sodom because it seemed like a better deal than Abram’s field. The Jews wanted to go back to Egypt because at least there they were guaranteed three square meals and front row seats to the most decadent culture in town.

But God is not distracted by fancy appearances. He looks at the heart. He knows what is good for us and what is not, and if He says go, we need to go. And not look back.

It’s so easy. You can spend a lifetime looking back. Saying, if only… or what if… but God wants us to keep moving forward. He knows the journey is hard. That is why He allows Lot several pitstops along the way. But still we need to go forward.

For better or worse, all we have is this moment. And what we do with it determines what the next moment looks like, and the moment after that. Will you keep taking the next step forward, even when it’s hard? Will you trust God with the journey?

Vanity Mirror

Ecclesiastes is an interesting book. Some consider it a bit of a downer and it kind of is, but the context of what is being said is truly transformative.

The book is credited to Solomon, the man with everything. One of the those people you kinda dread going Christmas shopping for.

But that everything is not enough. In fact, it becomes more of a burden than a blessing, distracting him from the God who gave it to him and ultimately bringing about his ruin.

Now, with everything gone, he thinks back upon his life and cries, “vanity!”

It’s an important reminder: without God, we’ve got nothing, because one day everything else (including our own bodies), will be worm food. So, when we look into that vanity mirror, may all of see Christ, for He alone is our future and our hope.

We Were Young Once

We were young once

and we can be again

You have to find that thing that helps you come alive

Maybe it’s in the look of a small child

or a new believer

maybe it’s cooking or hiking

or running or knitting or playing sports

or watching a funny movie

maybe it’s going out into the wilderness

or in the heart of a city

What is that thing that makes you come alive?

You need to find it.

Life will not stop.

There are bills to pay and errands to run

and things to do,

but for the love of God and each other find it.

The world is waiting for you to open your eyes

and breathe

and flood back into it like a tidal wave

and give the human race a healthy drink of Spiritual

water

We were young once

We can be again

It’s not a matter of chronos time

it’s right now for the taking

Reflections on the Embody Project

A few months back, I had the opportunity to participate in the Embody Project. What an amazing opportunity. Here are my reflections on the event:

Present and Grateful

Me and my body have been all over the place. I’ve been the fat kid, the skinny kid, and now I’m me.

I love being me. It’s a weird and wonderful thing.

To sit in-between the Bebe Theater and the adjacent Methodist church was the perfect way to prepare for the shoot.

I loved the chance to sit down with Erica and Trey and talk before we began, because this really is a conversation, a conversation that I have had with my body for years, that I had with them in that moment, and that I am having with you now. The conversation never ends.

Then it was time to disrobe. It felt so natural, even with the cameras. I love to act (hence the theater setting), so being on stage in front of the cameras felt completely comfortable to me.

Then came my favorite part, the moment we began to play. Sitting in the chair, standing up and singing Sondheim, improvising a monologue in the style of immersion theater, getting down on the floor to match Erica’s angle: this is the stuff of dreams. And, finally, when all the talking and moving were done, it felt so right to sit across from one another and take the moment in.

There is beauty in the stillness. There is beauty in the motion. There is beauty in the moment, in the skin we are in, in the blood pumping through our veins, through the God-given Spirit in our souls. It’s all a gift.

To hug and reflect as I stood, reclothed, back between the church and the theater was the perfect way to end.

And now it’s your turn, to let your own journey begin. Take it and let it lead you to wonderful places.

Your body is blessed. Amen.

For more information, check out this site: http://embodyproject.com/about/

God bless!

Old, Rugged Cross

My church is a country song

Today there are people sleeping in the pews,

while detoxing from Meth,

souls on probation from prison,

people hiding out from a fight breaking outside.

It’s all so beautiful

This is a place where people can find healing

They don’t call it the old, rugged cross for nothing

We come to Him raw and Jesus, the master carpenter,

sands us down.

 

 

Stumbling Block

We are always moving

Society has things to do

In the process, things fall through the cracks

people fall through as well

And the natural reaction is “awww shucks, maybe tomorrow”

So, to elicit change

You must inherently be in the way

To be present in body and soul

Then, even if you are not seen, you will be encountered

You will be known, if only as an nuisance.

Anything you want to get done

you cannot sit idly in the shadows and wish for,

even pray for,

you must become an active participant

and stay consistently present

in order to make your presence known

 

Like God

Adam’s sin is Joseph’s sin is our sin

The Deceiver wasn’t lying when it said

the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

would make us like God.

We were created in Their Divine image, male and female alike

Thanks to nearby Tree of Life, we had eternity

to be transformed more and more into Their likeness

But we grew impatient

We knew our Divine calling, but we wanted it know

and so we took it before our Kairos time

and it destroyed us.

But God’s story is one of redemption:

sending Their Son,

then the Holy Spirit

to wipe the past clean

and start the journey anew

so that we could become more and more like Them.