It All Depends on How You Look at It

My mother gave me a copy of Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart. I spent three hours in chapter one and the “prelude” this morning. Which is another way of saying that I had deep prayer and reflection on what it means to be “spiritual,” and on what my own spiritual life looks like.

Photographic illustration is called for:

As is, perhaps, explanation.  Two zinnias — one in what we might call “full flower” and the other on the way.  Is either right or wrong?   Some days I have a sense of what it means to be “in full flower,” living as God intends for me.  Most days I’m somewhere on the way (or feeling and behaving distinctly unflower-like).

If you know me, especially if you know me well, you might think I look a lot like this rotten apple.  But the other side of that apple, though out of focus, looks absolutely fine.  Same apple — two views.

I’m very aware this morning that I am glorious and not yet so.  That I am rotten and beautiful.  Both.  And/or.  And that that’s probably not a surprise to God.  Tim Keller says (every chance he gets, I think!) that we are more wicked than we can possibly imagine and that we are more loved than we can possibly imagine.  And that is the heart of the gospel.  We need a savior.  We have one who died for us because we are so loved.

As is.  But ready for renovation.

And as I sat this morning asking God why my renovation is so slow, why I almost always feel like a very public poster- child for brokenness, I wrote this in my prayer journal:

“My spiritual desperation means that my time with you drives my mornings.  BUT is it you I am after and encounter or something more akin to desk-straightening?  Do I come out with radical dependence or a to-do list?  How often do I forget that I need (and want) to talk to you minute-by-minute to get through dense fog vs. having a retreat and making a plan that I then implement without you?

So thanks, God, that I can’t come to you and get a ticket punched.  Thank you that I live with enough fog, enough of my own rottenness, enough of the uncertainty inherent in life on earth that I need to both look for and walk along with you all day.”

Zinnia. Growing zinnia.  YOUR zinnia.  Amen.

~ by Cary on July 13, 2008.

One Response to “It All Depends on How You Look at It”

  1. A wonderful response to renovation You are uncommonly ripe to yo’ momma.

    Can’t wait to see you soon!!!

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