Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Take away my foolish desires

 A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Psalm 119:37 CEV
Take away my foolish desires,
   and let me find life
   by walking with you.

Oswald Chambers writes. "The test of the life of a saint is not success, but faithfulness in human life as it actually is. We will set up success in Christian work as the aim; the aim is to manifest the glory of God in human life, to live the life hid with Christ in human conditions. Our human relationships are the actual conditions in which the ideal life of God is to be exhibited. "

Rich Mullins writes "I'd rather fight you for something I don't really want than take what you give that I need. And I beat my head against so many walls ....I'm falling on my knees.

In church on Sunday along with serving communion we had a basked filled with promises from the word of God. We believed that God could put in the had of each person the verse that they needed.
The verse I picked was Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives, and he that seeks find; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.

I find myself sometimes hesitant to ask because I'm not sure what God wants.  I'd like my life to feel like it fits me. I'm sure that makes no sense at all to anyone reading. Its an odd feeling like I am slogging along in clothes and shoes that are way too big for me. Maybe a bit like David felt trying to wear Saul's armor. He finally had to say I don't need this armor. I've got my sling and my stone and I believe that God will slay this Giant. Maybe I am trying to wear old clothes that are part of an older version of my life and I am realizing more and more that they don't fit and they continually trip me up and frustrate me. I think of Oswald Chambers words "The test of the life of a saint is not success, but faithfulness in human life as it is." Well my life as it is often tests me, I'm not sure I pass with flying colors in the faithfulness end of the spectrum. There's a lot of the time that I would just assume re-write the story. In my coaching there are activities to help you determine what is important to you. You think ahead 5 years and ask"What does my life look like? What's my office like, what am I doing in my life.It is really hard for me to think ahead like that - I seem to have a hard time dreaming. I think because I have had dreams that have de-railed. Dreams all to often are not just me - they include other people. Life happens and other people have their own will and dreams and things quite often don't turn out like we think they should have and we are left to deal with the outcome our our choices and those of others. Which is what trips me up on the dreaming side of things. I can deal with goals because they seem to me to be more built on things that I am able to control. Little steps taken today and over the next days and months and years build a path to reach the goal or a tangible dream.  I think about the back yard mosaic project of Sam Rodia.  He writes "I want my life to be full of light, color and flavor. I want to read, write and build for myself a world where anything and everything is possible." Here is a link to a film about this one man backyard project that takes him 30 years to complete.  I got to go visit the towers a couple of years ago. It was interesting because my dad had lived in California for years and had never seen the towers. As we drove through the very low income area it was hard to think we could possibly be in the right place or what it might be that we would find. We were all blown away by the size and the beauty of the towers and that one man would take and dedicate himself to building the towers.

The towers and Sam Rodia simple life speak to me in a profound way. That though it often seems like we are not getting anywere little by little, line upon line, step by step we can build a dream. With very little resources, mostly things he found cast off by others was used to create an artistic marvel.
Make my life a work of art Lord. May I write, sing, create, and speak into the lives of others, I echo Sam Rodia I'd like my life to be full of light, texture and color.

I wrote a song a while ago called Fractured. Here's a video I did of that song and it has photos from my trip to the Sam Rodia's amazing towers. There is a line in that song "Be my healer, mend my heart, take what's shattered and make a work of art" From that point in my life I have been little by little building a collection of mosaic art projects, recording little bits of music that inspires me, and writing stuff and ministering to hurting people. I look around and I see a big work in progress that sometimes looks to me like a bunch of pointless rubble. I don't make a lot of money from any of it. If that is the measure of success than I have not done so well. While there are days that I feel frustrated and out of sorts with my life (thankfully not too often) the vast majority of my days I am content and at peace with my own life as art project that I'm building.
I thought it was interesting that Sam Rodia after 30 years of building at the age of 75 he decided it was done. He deeded the property to a neighbor and walked away one day to go be near family.

So the verse I chose today says, "Take away my foolish desires, and let me find life by walking with you." I know I can come up with some crazy desires and things that I think I need to hold on to. On the same token I pray that God would help me to hold on to some of the things of glimmers of a vision that by faith he has put in my heart. Help me to be able to figure out which is the foolish stuff and which is the glimmers of vision.  Where the line is between the two is sometimes very hard to determine. I think like the wheat and the weeds in the parable Jesus told of the kingdom. Sometimes God leaves both to grow up together and sorts them out at the harvest.  I know that I approach the future and I keep it in mind in a loose way, that is not grasping or striving and I look around at what I have to work with today and I work on the things that are before me to do. Little by little it adds up. Little by little time spent in the word, or prayer or service to others adds up. Little by little this writing or thousands of bits of broken glass become things like the "Beloved" project.

So I ponder Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.... I am reminded of a story in 2 Chronicles 1: 7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
 11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

I think about what I would most want and it is to know the Lord more deeply, more intimatly, to like Solomon to request wisdom to lead the people God has given me to lead and influence. I'd like to feel like my life is taylor fit to who and what God has created me to do and be for His glory.  I can't decide if I need to some how grow into them or if I need to ask God for something that fits me.

I am thankful that the Lord holds me capable of hearing His voice, and to be able to be led by His Spirit and that stuff that is confusing or overwhelming to me today will make more sense tomorrow and along the way there is Jesus who has promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light and I am glad he walks beside me and carries the most of the weight.

Dear Lord,
Help us each to fit better into the life and the plans and purposes you have for us. Help us to know what to take off and what to put on. Be near us Jesus, fill us a fresh with your Holy Spirit and draw us to the throne room of the Father. Thank you for understanding and working on our behalf even when everything around us trys to say "where is God?" Lord I know you will never leave me or forsake me. 

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