Sermon prelude

So… I’ve of course be preparing for my Friday night teaching. Last night I went down the path written below… but I’m pretty sure that’s not the path I’m supposed to go. So, I’m now backtracking and seeking another route.
But rather then just push the delete button, I decided to salvage it and throw it up on my blog!

For what its worth…

You were made for this

What’s been burning in my heart the past few weeks and probably months are things along these veins:

  • Where is life truly found?
  • What have I been truly made for?
  • What do I do with my desires?
  • How can I answer my call?

Mixed in with these questions, which probably linger inside all of us in some manner or another, have been things which fuel them: movies I’ve watched, trips I’ve gone on, places I’ve visited, conversations I’ve had, scripture I’ve read. Eldredge basically calls this stuff The Journey of Desire.

I’m part way through the book, but have been derailed from it for the last few months. The big idea seems to be that we have internal longings and aches… and these are mostly from the Lord. Of course, some of them are fueled by our flesh and our soul. These obviously can mess with our mind and emotions. But at the core of us, at the core of the new heart God gave us when we entered into covenant relationship with him and he redeemed us from the curse and set us free to live for him–when we were crucified with Christ and it was no longer we who lived but Christ who lives in us–we were reconnected with who God created us to be and we began the acclimation process to real life.

We are essentially like survivors of traumatic brain injury–people who have to re-learn how to do everything because their memory is warped. The information is in there, but they need help accessing it. They sometimes have moments of déjà vu when something rings familiar and true, but they can’t quite put their finger on it. They have moments when they recognize a face or a name or a place or a song. Family members bring pictures to them to trigger memories; physical therapists guide their feet as they learn to walk again; speech pathologists train their tongues to speak again.

This relearning process often unfolds blindingly fast compared to learning it all for the first time. My nephew experienced an accident in his home which caused his brain to be without oxygen for several minutes. His brain was damaged as a result and, once his life was stabilized, he was guided through a rehabilitation process. He was taught to walk and talk again. And though several years later he’s still receiving special learning support at school, he’s nearly fully recovered. He was released from the hospital about seven or eight weeks after his accident.
Chase was able to relearn to walk and talk in a matter of weeks because it was all stuff he essentially knew how to do–he just needed to be guided into that knowledge.

So, all that to say: There’s a person we are–a person God created, a person God knew before we were even conceived in our mothers’ womb–that we’re learning how to become. We’re recovering from traumatic brain injury, learning who we really are. We’re being reconnected with our real selves.

Now, this may sound like I’m contradicting Paul’s statement that we’re new creations. I’m certainly not trying to do that, because, from our carnal perspective, this essentially is all new to us. We were awoken into a state of disassociation from our true selves. But from God’s perspective–the perspective we need to strive to have–we’re getting reacquainted with who we’ve been all along. Mr. Old Creation is meeting Mr. New Creation for the first time, and to his surprise, Mr. New Creation is actually older than him!

So what’s my point: My point is that you were made this… and by “this” I mean everything. Everything that life throws your way, everything that seems to have gone right or wrong, fair or unjust, positive or negative, happy or sad. You were made for it. And you were made to be victorious in it!
It may not seem like it now… it may be confusing and frustrating and bloody hard. Go ask a victim of traumatic brain injury how joyful it was to learn to walk or talk again. They’ll likely tell you it stinks, especially when they realize that they once knew how to. Learning how to walk as a child was probably a joy if we could remember it. But relearning… not so much.

Yet no matter how hard it the process is, you were made to complete it. You were made to be conformed to the image of Christ.

By Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a marketer, blogger and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

4 replies on “Sermon prelude”

I’m so glad you didn’t delete that message. I REALLY needed that tonight. I think we all need to be reminded that we were made to be victorious through the hard times, especially when life just isn’t what was expected back in the day. Those moments of encouragement can really help hold a person up. Thanks again!

Joel, Those are some good thoughts. You are in my prayers especially with preparing for your teaching on Friday.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

This reminds me of a particularly interesting disorder in my psych book. The connect might be vague, but I know you’re a researcher like me, so look it up when get a chance. It’s called dissociative fugue. I don’t know, it’s kind of similar in that you live two lives.

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