Many of you know I'm in the process of writing a book, but for those of you who do not, I periodically send out "raw data" for digestion and comments. Here is a little something that HE pulled me out of bed one night to develop.
So I'm laying in bed in the twilight of slumber when Mr. God decides I need to write - again. You know me, rarely am I one to tell Him "talk to the hand!" I did say "rarely." I had just turned off Mad TV and SNL when BOOM! Like a bad John Madden skit this line of thought hits me, and I'm afraid if I go off to sleep I won't remember a word of it in the morning, so here I sit sleep-typing a message to you all.
As I lay there trying to ignore the Ancient of Days, my shoulder keeps nagging me with this constant rotator cuff throb - no doubt the result of my 4o something years as a major league baseball prospect. Thoughts were rolling through my head like dough in a giant vat of Dunkin Donut grease, and sure enough Mr. Big Guy breaks out the powdered sugar and before you know it we were eating scrambled eggs!
Whilst I tossed and yearned for slumber, I was thinking about my wife and kids, and water-color paints, and diapers, and football, and popcorn, and the courtyard project, and Microsoft excel, and a host of other non-related items. I was also thinking about how we (me, Ally, Whitney, Katie, and Caleb) often just take each other for granted, and each other's love for granted because by golly - that's what unconditional love is about right?! Aren't we supposed to love each other in spite of who or what we are? Then the Holy Spirit began surgery without a whisper of anesthesia.
What about the other side of the love coin - the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" side? What would my family be like if I took the initiative to be my very best? What would it look like if I determined to lose 20 lbs? What kind of impact would it have on them if I took the initiative to be more patient and less grilling? How would it look if I were more proactive in my support and love, and less about accountability and accusation? Will my passion for encouragement ever match my need to negate? Why can't I be a hero? I know I'm not a zero, but mediocrity still smacks of - well - mediocrity. Then came the haunting voice, "We deserve the best of you." Their cry to me through the Holy Spirit. That simple. That poignant. That perfect.
They deserve the best of me. He deserves the best of me. When He gets the best of me, He'll have the best of me. When He has the best of me, then so will they. He deserves it because His offering demands a response. It demands MY response. It demands my BEST response.
What He offered is inconceivable.
What He went through is incomprehensible.
What He gave is unfathomable.
What we give back is too often our scraps.
He deserves our joy and our passion.
He deserves our discipline to follow through with our decision to follow.
He deserves our desire to dare to be better, and our diligence to run after Him - wheezing if we must.
He deserves to delight in us.
He deserves our days and our nights. He wants our fears and our fights.
He deserves our praise, but more so wants our ways to be His.
He seeks after us like the treasure we are to become - like the treasure He is.
Our Bread, our sustenance, our sustainer - the remainder of all we are when we are through.
He's the Spirit of Life, and the Redeemer of death.
He is the First and the Last - our CONception and our REception.
He deserves our very best but fills the gap of what He gets.
He's so much bigger than when we get it wrong, and always delights when we get it right.
Regardless, He is never ashamed to call us His own, and neither should we be.
The Husband of Heaven, the Father of all that is, the Shepherd of all that we will be refuses to let go of you and me.
So do I.