Put people in your life that make you more like Jesus
I sit at The Breakfast Nook in one of the most charming story book towns in the South. The home of one of my all time favorite movies Steel Magnolias. As much as I loved this movie, even named my son Jackson after the one and only Jackson Landry Jr, it is hard to believe that I have never ventured over to visit being less than a 3 hour drive away. And what I have missed!! You have to know that I love Steel Magnolias as does most any southern woman, and as I drive down these streets budding with B & Bs, boutiques, antique shops and cafes, the words come back with memories of being piled up on the sofa with my high school friends giving our best rendition of Shelby ....."Momma, my colors are blush and bashful." And her mother, Sally Field, replying, "Her colors are pink and pink." In one accord we proclaimed, "No momma, my colors are blush and bashful!" We knew the words by heart and the women became a part of ours. Who doesn't love Steel Magnolias?
Natchitoches is known for lighting up over the holidays, and needing a little getaway, Todd and I thought we would venture to see the lights along the water and do a little Christmas shopping. It is unusually cold for this southern girl, but there is nothing quite like some hot cocoa, some Christmas music and lights walking the streets of a hidden treasure like this one.
Despite all of the holiday fare, as usual, when Todd and I get alone our conversations are usually preaching one to the other from the book in hand of what it is stirring within each of us. He is reading the Grand Weaver and I'm just starting Restless by Jennie Allen. He loves to read radical thought provoking writers like Ravi Zacharias who often wreck your theology and lead you searching for truth, and today was one of those days. One I just had to share:)
So Ravi led us to Genesis with the relationship between Adam and Eve and the command to keep from the forbidden tree that held knowledge of good and evil. Most of us can replay these events without even opening the Word. We know they walked with God. We know they were naked and unashamed, and we know they were given fruit of every tree but warned to keep from the one.......
You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in that day that you eat of it you will surely die. Genesis 2: 17
We have read over it so often that we may have missed this vital truth .... this tree held the knowledge of good and evil. You see Adam and Eve lived in relationship with God and with one another. A relationship not tainted by knowledge of good and evil or judgement or shame. A relationship that was sacred and pure and intimate. The serpent woos them in claiming that this is the only thing they are missing from being God is the knowledge of good and evil. I don't know if you are seeing what we see here, but there weren't rules to be in relationship with God or to exist or one to the other except do not eat from this one tree, because this one tree gives knowledge never intended for man. And then they did? And in that moment they became ashamed of their nakedness. I dare to say not just physically ashamed by spiritually ashamed. Shame came in and quenched the relationship that was meant to be pure.
And the problem is that we then in our own minds think we can determine all that is good and evil and we compile rules and regulations and guidelines. We define what is right and wrong and then people run from the church because they can't live up to it. Or as the body, we think we have figured it out and look at others struggling through eyes of judgement. We find ourselves unknowingly in a place that was never intended for man to put himself. We create levels of sin, and we think because our sin isn't as bad as another we are safer or better or right, but the truth is the one sin that had Lucifer removed from heaven was PRIDE. Have you ever pondered that thought? He wasn't a drunk or an adulterous or an addict or a murderer. He was one of great pride, and that pride removed him from the presence of God. Could the lesson be that we waste too much of our lives trying to criticize others or trying to live up to our own moral code, and in the process we have missed the intimacy that began in the garden and was meant to return with the tearing of the veil as the words were spoken.....It is finished? Could it be that our tendency to cast such judgement could be the death of us.....eat and you will die? I can tell you that from my experience over the past six months, I have grown tremendously seeing through eyes of Grace through my own personal circumstances, and I can say confidently.....Yes, it feels like something in me has come to life!
A little deep for the coffee shop on a retreat, right? And perhaps another lesson is this...... there is such profound joy in sharing your life with someone who loves Jesus as much as you do. As much as I have enjoyed the scenery and the music and the cocoa, it doesn't compare to moving one step closer to seeing more like Jesus at the coffee shop on the corner sitting next to this man that makes me want to be more like Him! My advice is to be intentional in putting people in your life that give you thirst for MORE!
In His Wings, Ro