I’m guessing that you know that this is not true. Yeah… I’m still a big mess. I nearly always disappoint my own self with my inability to live out the gospel as it deserves. Sure, I’m contemplating Jesus on the cross and His empty tomb, but… Where is this new creation He says I am? ("Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17) It seems like knowledge of these earth-shattering facts ought to do something IN ME…???
My friend Grace wrote her dissertation on Spanish mystic poet St. John of the Cross and he referred to something call the “palabra sustantiale.” And I'm probably spelling it wrong, but if I remember correctly, it means a word that effects creation or change. Like when God said, “Let there be light,” (Genesis 1:3) and there was.
|St. John of the Cross |
knew what the palabra
So, apparently Jesus Himself is the Word that creates, or effects change. Like He said, “You must be born again.” And if you were to ask me, “Julie, have you been born again?” I’d say, “Why, yes!” And sure I believe in Jesus and I go to church nearly every Sunday… And I don’t smoke pot or sleep with just any old person anymore, but … But here I am, the same old insecure, grouchy, selfish as all get-out, out-of-control me.
|My new computer still |
looks like this...
And accessing the NEW functionality of your NEW computer may take some time and effort. You don’t automatically become a better or nicer person, though… I can attest to that!
To continue with the computer analogy, let’s say you’ve got this new hard drive – and it’s the finest, fastest, most up-to-date there is. (In my world, that’s a Mac, but… I swear I’m not a Mac-ist!) And it’s loaded with all the newest, most productive and creative software as well…
|but has THIS kind of power.|
If that sounds like a lot of work, well, honestly it’s not always easy. But you do happen to be sitting right next to the IT guy. And a lot of the time, he just jumps in your chair and does the work for you. But you have to let him.
You will find that some programs are easier for you to learn, because of your natural proclivities. I found right out of the box that I could run the Evangelism software right on start-up… but only because I was already super excited, a bit too talkative, and likely to wax philosophical at any given moment. (I'm thinking that lot of people are sure that if they trust God He is going to make them go to Africa, or take a vow of celibacy… or something equally counter to their nature… And I’m not going to say that God never asks us to do anything hard… but in general, God wants to work WITH your strengths.)
|Say the Word and |
you'll be free!
But the fact remains, even though you may be chugging along with this outmoded software and probably inefficient work habits, you have been supplied with a brand new computer with brand new cutting-edge software. You can toss the old programs, and the old files. Run them through a virtual shredder. Goodbye virus.
Anyway… that’s my theory about why I’m still a mess even though the Word has been spoken and change HAS been effected… Because I’m still running old programs and files on my brand new computer.
And I know it’s not that simple… our lives are much more complicated and joyful and painful than this describes… but once I started down that metaphorical path, I just couldn’t turn back. I keep thinking of my friend Shaun – who I hope will read this – who loves Macs… maybe more than I do.
|Some awesome IT guys I have known...|
It’s a fun analogy, and… and I have a lot more to say about the serious side of it all… but until then… keep thinking about the IT Guy in the sky who’s working on your reboot...!