Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who dis be?

I got worked over today. Not by a hustler or a con man. By God. He does that every now and then. I've learned to just let Him do what He wants to do because He's going to do it anyway. "Resistance is FU-tile..." I was simply enjoying some time in my man cave. The weather was decaying rapidly (a daily occurrence lately) and the radar was on the mini-flat screen on my desk doing it's "loop" thing. "Meteorological Armageddon" was only moments away.

Then He spoke. No, it wasn't audible. I'm not Moses, ya know. My bushes weren't burning. It was just one of those "still quiet voice" things. But it was clear. And He said ... "Who would you be if all of the titles you hold were suddenly gone?" At my deepest core God looks at me and ask "Who dis be?"


What if I was no longer the husband of Debbie? The father of Kelli, Scott, and Chris? The father-in-law of Joe, Amanda, and Laura? The grandfather of Elle, Paisley, and Judah? The brother of Jim? The pastor of Towerview Baptist Church? The friend of 2 or 3 people? If all of those titles and others were stripped away ... who would I be?

That question makes my brain hurt. The first thing I feel when I think of losing those relationships is fear. I think that is appropriate. I love the people in my life and I love thinking that in some small way I might matter to them. FDR told us that all we have to fear is fear itself. I respectfully submit that he missed that one. I think that he was trying to pump the country up. But that's a crazy idea. There is a lot to fear. Forget Bin Laden. Pay no attention to the drug cartels. The threat is much nearer to home. The thought of losing those relationships causes me to feel fear. And it occurs to me, that fear cannot be held. You can't touch it as you can touch your own face or a prized possession. You can only feel it. Tangibility is not part of its package. So fear doesn't really count. It's there but it isn't. I know that is confusing but trust me on this. The same can be said of sadness, depression, and all other emotions including the positive ones. And the question I was being asked is "Who would I BE if ..." Be. Be.

It occurs to me that if all of my physical relationships were to be swept away I would only have one title left. "Child of God." Or perhaps, "Friend of God." I like them both. And they are both accurate. They came to me by way of a gift. That makes them all the more precious.

Then "The Still Small Voice" pointed out one other truth. Someday ... if only for a brief moment ... all of those relationships will be gone. I doubt that my wife and I "expire" at the same moment. Unless, of course, we pull a "Thelma and Louise." That's not likely since she would, no doubt, make me be Thelma and I hate that name. But even if we did leave this earthly soil at the same moment, every man (or woman) crosses the line from time to timelessness all alone. You are naked. Stripped of all titles and possessions. And at that moment all you have is ... God.

And so this is what I learned today. At my very core my relationship with God is the most vital of all possessions. It is the only thing that will never cease, never fade, never fail. My other titles? Very worthwhile. Also very temporary.

But Jesus? Jesus lasts. And coming face to Face with Him will be enough. Does that take the fear away? I guess I'm one of those, "Oh ye of little faith" guys, because no it does not. Not totally. It tempers it. But it does not erase it. You can call me a weenie but deep inside you know I'm right. My titles will fail. But God is working on my biography. And my biography will last forever.