The dust lies thick and heavy in the air. Each breath questions its ability to sustain. The light is a murky red deceiving not only direction but perception. Tenderly you step forward, eyes squinting and arms roaming, grasping for solidarity. The panic of blindness propels you forward but where do you go, which direction are you facing, which direction should you step?
Like being lost in a heavy dust storm, the pull of this world will bury you. The constant barrage of titles, labels, characteristics, and status threatens to cloud your vision and choke your very breath. There is a false sense of identity in the labels we seek. We want to be beautiful, skinny, fit, strong, healthy, smart, wealthy, funny, loving, organized, talented, recognized, acknowledged, valued, skilled, creative, a leader, vital, …. We want these things to be said about us, we seek to be known for them, we want to believe it about ourselves.
In this world of branding, marketing, and sensationalism we are bombarded with the message that what you are called or labeled is essential to your survival. Or so we think. When you are caught in the cycle of being “in” the latest and greatest you fill find yourself trapped by the suffocating weight of dust. There is not freedom in those names we seek. The cloud of dust has blinded us, we are lost, groping for truth.
C.S. Lewis’s so powerfully says:
“When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.”
What if. What if all of this, ALL OF THIS, disappeared – could you praise Him there, in the empty and the barren? If the world was stripped from you, if your flesh was left shredded, could you praise Him? Would you call Him holy? Would you crash to your knees in unabashed abandon to Him – if you had nothing but the skin of your wrecked soul? If your body was ugly and failing, your family less than desirable, your home not even a cardboard box, – if your reputation was destroyed and your legacy all but smoke – would you worship? Would you declare Him holy?
It will all fade away. It will all collapse. My accolades of pretentious faith will crumble in His presence. My striving for excellence in character, physique, status, will mean nothing.
But as I worship the Lord for His beauty, His glory, His fame, I am filled. As I choose to pour out my soul before His throne and lift His name high above all other accolades and titles the dust clears and light breaks through. Vision becomes crisp with true beauty. As the dissipating dust filters out, a shower of glory fills the horizon and I abandon the struggle; a sure and all-consuming love settles in piecing all of my broken parts back together. In this abandon I find a confident place to stand, not on my own, but in the radiance of His being.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and
on earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus is Lord, the glory of God the Father.
Linking up today with the amazing Meredith Bernard!