Today, the-combination-of-a-few-quite-small-but-yet-very-exciting-things made it a-little-bit-unexpected-but-greatly-appreciated GOOD DAY:
1) Giving my house-mate a lift to her early-nurse shift got me out of bed and into my devotional time super-duper early… despite the temptation of a Saturday-lie in. Not that lie-ins are bad on occasion, but they are when you need to cram quite a bit into your day!
2) I brought Kim Walker-Smith’s new album (very, VERY good!)
3) Said new album + some good ol’ Misa Kamiyama on a very random playlist motivated me to undertake 6 hours of solid study on my latest Masters assignment! The post-Marcus-leaving-and-Becca’s-birthday-weekends academic procrastination is over! (PRAISE GOD for 3000 words down, only 2000 to go!!)
4) I levelled up to the lofty heights of Level 19 on WaniKani! 🙂 (…this will only make sense if you are a particularly narrow selection of the Japanese-language-learning-population…) However, for everyone else, all you need to know is that I can now say I know 36% of my Kanji! Remember, I’m a geek so this brings me GREAT joy!
5) I went for an actual run in the actual outdoors for the first time in a good couple of months. And I survived. And the dog didn’t run away. And I might go again if this mild weather keeps up!
Seriously though, I feel a bit brain-tired from a day spent trying to apply philosophical and theological theories of justice to the current UK welfare system (my next Masters piece has a working title of ‘Jesus, justice and welfare reform: what happens when the poor get poorer?’… I might blog a bit more about this a bit more over the next couple of weeks as my assignment starts coming together).
But, two simple thoughts remain rooted in my weary mind just now, because Holy Spirit has placed them there with vibrant colour.
The first is a question that hit me as I was meandering through some thoughts on Old Testament issues of justice and the application God’s Law made to Israelite society…
…If the world is a mess, what beautiful thing am I going to do about it?
This reoccurring challenge that the Word of God has genuine, relevant and immediate application to how I live, how I view the world, the thoughts I think and the places I walk. Not because I have a super-power to change anything, but because I can take the Word that He has rooted and planted in my heart, and apply it to this messy world, and say, ‘Jesus, I am Yours. Take all of me and use me as You wish.’ And Holy Spirit will bring beauty from the ashes.
My world-view becomes grafted into His worldview.
And the things that touch His heart begin to break mine.
Because God fights for the oppressed.
I guess it goes back to a post I put up last month about being prophets of beauty… those who spend their lives gazing on a Beautiful God, who are empowered by the Beautiful Holy Spirit, to live as the Beautiful Jesus would have us live.
For His sake.
The second thing that stays with me today are some lyrics from a song Kim Walker-Smith sings on her latest album. It’s written by Chris McClarney and it’s called ‘Waste it All’.
Covered in shame, hiding my face
I owed a debt I could not pay
Searching in vain to fill my heart’s ache
I threw my worth away
When I thought all was lost
You saw me and You came to my defence
This priceless gift You gave
Was not meant for me to hold
I want to waste it all on You
I want to pour my heart’s perfume
I don’t care if I’m called a fool
I’m wasting it all on You
And these lyrics brought me back again to gazing on a Beautiful God (and this is so, SO, relevant if you are feeling in that place where you’re just a little disheartened, lonely, or wondering what the value is!)
Because I can only truly love others as He would love, when He is first and only in the centre of my heart.
And when human-eyes may look at my life, and my choices, and my priorities, they may say that it is wasted.
They may say that I am foolish.
Because they may see success as financial, or academic, or based on popularity, or worldly-status or what can be seen, or weighed, or measured in earthly standards.
But I will waste my life in the eyes of the world, in order to please the One who has ruined and wrecked me for anything less than Him.
He really doesn’t measure me like man may see.
I’ve caught up with a couple of wonderful friends in heart-warming-phone-calls over these last two days and the common theme of conversation has been mulling this thought over: ‘I would rather be nothing in the eyes of the world, to instead look into His beautiful, burning eyes of piercing love on that day and know that my life counted to Him. Really counted.’
As the Moravian missionaries used to say: ‘That the Lamb that was slain may receive the reward of His suffering…’
So I will step out with Him to bring His beauty to the collective worlds of individuals who only know mess.
For His sake, I will waste my life.