Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Tsunami & the Sponge (CIC4)

We are continuing on with taking a deeper look at what I shared on Sunday, and we are currently looking at some of the barriers we often face when trying to live this life that God has for us, a life that really matter. I mentioned yesterday that our thinking can be faulty when we rely solely on other people’s revelation to fuel our faith. Today, I want to look at how we often narrow God down from His true majesty to something that makes more sense and is more comfortable for us.

I liken it to seeing a picture of the ocean. Imagining the vastness of the ocean and all its beauty, wanting so badly to experience the glory and the splendor of all that is the ocean in all of its fullness, the life that is in it, the power that it generates everything. You lay awake at night thinking of what it must be like to experience getting your feet wet in the ocean, feeling the mist of it as it crashes over and over against the rocks, seeing the dolphins jumping out, all of the things and wonderment you have heard about this wonderful ocean.

Finally you get the opportunity, someone tells you that they are going to the ocean; they ask you if you would like to join them. You have complete freedom to join them, it is a free trip, and you realize you won’t experience everything in the short trip, but you will finally get to experience the ocean.

You respond, “Yes, I want to experience the ocean! Hold on, I will be right back.” And you rush off into the kitchen, reach under the sink, and pull something out; you rush back into the room to the person going to the ocean who is planning on jumping in the car and going. They ask you with a puzzled look on their face, “What did you get? That certainly is a weird place to put your bathing suit.” “O no, I want to experience the ocean, here.” You hand them a small square object, they look up with their brow furrowed in confusion. You say, “Thank you.” And turn around and walk away.

You have given them a common dish sponge.

How often do we try to cram all that God is into something so small and paltry? How often do we rely on others to bring it to us? How often do we love to hear about, sing about, and read about God but we never really search to experience Him. Why? Maybe because it is something that is not easy for me to understand, so we stay “in the house” afraid to experience the “ocean” of all that He is.

We often rely on our rationale to understand God, when we do this we have narrowed Him down to a human revelation.

That is sick. We set up unnecessary rules and boundaries through our rationality and through that cut off the vastness of who He is and what He wants to reveal to us. If someone brought us a dripping wet sponge and told us that they brought this to us so we could experience the ocean, I imagine we would have a bit of a sour look on our face and give them a half hearted and sarcastic, “thanks.” Why? Because we haven’t really experienced much of anything. Is the water in the sponge ocean water? Sure, but it speaks so little to the fullness of all that the ocean is, and yet I wonder if this is where we are happy to live our faith.

I will wrap up today with this, imagine that you become willing to go out and see if a conversation about the ocean will pop up with some friends and family. You are walking around with that sponge your friend got you from the ocean. You go and try to tell everyone just how amazing the ocean is and they start asking you questions because they decide they may want to know more about this ocean as well. You go and try to explain to them the things that you do not know, I mean you may have seen pictures, or heard stories, but you yourself have never experienced it.

How many questions can you really answer? You have never experienced it, your understanding is narrow, and you have a salty sponge and answers with no depth. I pray that our faith is more than a dish sponge, I pray that if God wants to rush into our lives like a tsunami the we don’t hold up a dish sponge and say, “Only this much please.”

There is so much more to say, but to sum it up, throw out the sponge and go to the ocean. Let’s not narrow God down into something that is more understandable for us let’s be oceanographer’s.

“I want to dive in, I want to take the plunge I want to swim in the presence of the Son, I want to swim until I am undone.”

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