Monday, March 9, 2009

Alive unto God

My husband downloaded this podcast of the Venezuelan youth orchestra from Ted Talks, and we've been watching it over and over on our television because the girls are positively mesmerized by it.  Sami doesn't move, and Annie can't stop dancing through the seventeen minute performance.  We turn it on just to watch the girls, so absorbed in it. 

Once again I am reminded that often children are the most in tune to matters of truth and beauty, and the most moved by it.

Watching this I understand the definition of the word joy.  
This must be the way the Christian life was meant to be lived.

To participate in the creation of beauty, Redemption.
Love in concert.

I can put myself in that room, on that stage, and feel the energy that must have been pulsing through these kids . . . (and to think that we only offer teenagers sex and alcohol for pleasure)!

And as I watch it, the verse ringing in my ears:
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  -Romans 6:11
This was a key verse in my spiritual formation.  We talked about it a lot.  There was always a lot of dying to do . . . die to yourself.  Die to sin.  Die to your own will, your own way, your own agenda.  I prayed daily . . . help me God to die to myself . . . .

When making decisions this had the potential to result in a lot of confusion.

If I want it, then it's just my flesh, and it must be wrong; or, if I don't want to do it, that must be my sin nature so I probably should do it . . . but then if I think I should does that mean I shouldn't?. . . or if I shouldn't then I should? . . . I would then be advised to "seek counsel" at which time someone more spiritual would remind me of the verse, "the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it." (Jer.17:9)
 
So . . . my flesh is corrupt and I must crucify it, and my heart is deceitful, don't follow my heart. 

Great.   

Where does that leave me?

Unfortunately, for this Youth Group Girl with a Guilty Conscience, it often left me doubting and questioning my every move until I no longer knew what I wanted or what God wanted from me.  (Fortunately, I could never really believe that following Christ meant a life of misery. . . or worse, a life doing nothing out of fear of doing the wrong thing.  I'll thank my parents for this.  They never presented sour-pus Christianity).

I wish that I had spent more time thinking about being alive than being dead.

There are a few things I am beginning to understand related to this, and this video speaks it best.  I wish that I'd had this image in my mind when making decisions . . . 

Die to sin:  
don't play your own tune
don't try to use somebody else's instrument
pay attention

Be alive to God:  
play your heart out, just follow the music  
Play loudly, not at the wrong times  
Play wildly, but with discipline
You're not a one-man show, but you make everyone better  
What you are a part of is so important it hurts, but so joyful you cannot look away
What you have to give is so small, but so infinitely important
Every moment counts

Nurture your desires!  Know your own heart!  Desire things deeply!  Madly!  You know God . . . you should be among the most ALIVE people on earth . . . Die to sin.  Now LIVE unto God!




2 comments:

charrette said...

This is cool. My parents didn't give us a sourpus picture of the gospel either. They were both so very alive. I thought everyone grew up in such an environment -- happy, creative, playful, alive, the church and the arts inseparably intertwined. I didn't realize how lucky I was until I grew up and moved away.

I hope I'm giving that kind of life, that picture of the universe, to my kids. Passionate. Committed. Joyful. Alive.

Ruth said...

I'm catching up on your blog - oh WHY doesn't it show up on my feed when you post?? - and these are some wonderful posts. Thank you especially for this one. So great.