Monthly Archives: October 2009

through Your eyes . .

This is one of the most beautiful articles I have ever read::

I want to see myself the way HE sees me . . .

Fix your eyes . . .


Today I played in the intramural soccer championship game.  We won.  It was awesome. Soccer is something I love.  Running? I have no motivation, but throw a ball in the game and I’ll run until I can run no more.  I am way too competitive for my own good, and I love it. When I step on the field, I’m in the game.  When I can put everything else out of my mind but the purpose of why I’m on that field, it’s a beautiful time.  When an entire team does this, the unity exhibited and the ethos created could determine the win.

Athletics have been a part of my life ever since I was in elementary school.  When I first started playing, I had no idea what I was doing.  None.  I’m still ashamed of the videotape which can make me relive my first basketball game at the push of the button.  There I am, running and sliding (a good few feet I might add) in my pink Nike’s, and sporting my fire engine red sweat pants which, of course, complemented my purple and white Jersey perfectly.  Even though I had been venturing out to my cracked driveway to shoot hoops ever since I was three, the whole organized sports thing did not exactly come naturally.  I remember waving my arms behind the offense trying to be a good defender during practice, and shooting at the wrong basket more than once in a game.  One time during a tee ball game, one of the kids on my team scored a home-run, all of my fellow Panthers sitting indian style on the sidelines erupted in cheering and I, overwhelmed, cried.  Awesome.  

The point is athleticism is something I needed to grow into.  But once I practiced, gained confidence, and grew in passion for the game, sports began to seem like a natural extension of who I am.  Being a part of a quality play makes the game for me. I go all out.  I have a hard time making myself hold back.  It’s all a part of the game.  (Unfortunately a black eye or two has made me rethink my enthusiasm from time to time.)

Today when I played, I started out strong.  I was all in.  My love for game itself made life seem that much better.  But quickly, I grew exhausted.  I could barely breathe normally, let alone sprint down the field.   Soon, I had to take myself out of the game for a time (something I would never want to do) and watch my team run with the same passion I have for the game, but with the endurance that I lacked as I collapsed and tried to breathe.

The same is true in ministry and I have been allowing myself to loose grasp on that lately.  In ministry, we need to go all out…we can’t hold back.  God is doing awesome things in hearts and lives, and somehow–by His grace–He invites us to be a part of this, His perfect plan.  However, in order to do this and be sustained, we need to train, condition, catch the ethos, gain confidence, build passion, and throw off every distraction.  

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3. 

It’s easy to be busy.  It’s easy even to be busy with ministry.  Unfortunately it is also easy to become so busy with ministry that we forget to take the time to simply be with God.  And why? because it seems we are just too busy serving. But we can’t exude Christ fully unless we fill our lives with Him.  We must “throw off everything that hinders;” and we must “fix our eyes on Jesus.”  If we do not, we will become weary, loose direction, and cease to endure. Then we will find ourselves sliding back and forth on the court in our Nike’s or, worse, taking ourselves out of the game to watch others serve Christ with abandon, in the way we know we are called.

We must fix our eyes on Jesus.  He is our goal.  The rest is just the means He has given us to point people to Him.

So yes, we must run the race, go, do, and become.  But we must also take time to “be still and know” (Psalm 4:10).  We must fix our eyes on Jesus.  

He is our sustainer.  

“My soul clings to you;
      your right hand upholds me.”                                                                                                           Psalm 63:8

“Beauty Makes Truth Splendid” – Plato

“There is an epidemic of spiritual amnesia going around, and none of us is immune.  No matter how many fascinating details we learn about God’s creation, no matter how many pictures we see of His galaxies and no matter how many sunsets we watch, we still forget.  Most of us know that we are supposed to love and fear God; that we are supposed to read our Bibles and pray so that we can get to know Him better; that we are supposed to worship Him with our lives.  But actually living it out is challenging.   It confuses us when loving God is hard.  Shouldn’t it be easy to love a God so wonderful? When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of genuinely loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who God really is.  Our amnesia is faring up again.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love.

So often I forget the depth of God’s goodness, mercy, love, justice, forgiveness, provision, grace, and holiness. I forget to see God in truth, and subsequently, I forget to see myself in truth.  But the heart of the matter?  God is faithful and He is good.  His mercy is deep.  His love astounds me.  

Recently I discovered this quote, Plato said, “Beauty makes truth splendid.”  I love this. It is so true within my own heart and life. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” Romans 1:20.

I have always seen truth most clearly when I am in the middle of God’s creation, sitting in front of a lake, watching it ripple into shore; walking through the woods, stepping across roots which penetrate the trail and lead to tall trees standing side by side and reaching into the heavens; or hiking a mountain, looking over the vast scene from the top.  These are the moments when I am overtaken by the beauty of God and I rediscover the profound simplicity of my relationship with Him, knowing He is God and I am not.  It is in these moments that my soul is invited to be still in His presence as He speaks peace to my heart.  It is in these moments when what seems confusing, burdensome, or overwhelming in my life is ushered away by this beauty, truth, and peace.  It is in these moments that I find renewed reason to surrender to the God who created all of this, yet somehow desires intimate relationship with me.  

Lately I have been reminded of this as I commute to my internship several times each week.  As I merge onto the highway, the clutter bordering the streets clears to reveal an open sky.  Here an expanse of clouds greets me.  Each day it is different, a fresh canvas, a new reminder.  It reminds me of the times growing up when my Mom would exclaim at the sight of pinks and blues and purples streaked across the sky “Look at the sky!  Jesus painted that sky for you!” It reminds me of the times my Dad would call me out to the front yard, with the changing seasons, to lay on the grass and stare up at the maple tree and see how the leaves or branches stretched across the backdrop of the sky.  But more than this it reminds me of the character of God as Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Redeemer, and the one who makes all things new.  It is as if He proclaims, “look at the sky! I painted that sky for you!” and whispers peace to me.  It reminds me, as I surrender, He will use the same pallet as He orchestrates my own life–who I become and where He will lead.  It is in these moments that “Beauty makes truth splendid.”  God is Wonderful; and God is faithful.