Our church had a service today at noon - a solemn assembly to grieve the death of Jesus on the cross. Childcare wasn't offered for it and I definitely don't have a baby you can take into a church service. So I took Jackson to Gymboree like I normally do on Fridays. It seemed ridiculous to be going there while everyone else was at church observing Good Friday. But God is so faithful. He had prepared a solemn time for us together while I drove out there and back - about an hour total.
During my first two years of college I would drive home for the weekends in my '87 Mustang with an old Sons and Daughters tape playing. He and I spent lots of time talking about the condition of my heart and mind. I was coming to after several years spent under the influence of the flesh instead of the Spirit. Those kinds of things usually aren't changed or healed overnight. We did some serious business during those car rides. I'm no stranger to His works on wheels.
So today I popped in the Hymns CD from the people at Passion. Jesus and I talked again about the condition of my heart and mind. It wasn't real pretty. I had a very strong sense of His worthiness and a very deep sense of regret for a spiritually wasted year. I wanted to put on sackcloth and rub my head in ashes. My love for Jesus has not abounded more and more in knowledge and depth of insight (Phil. 1:9). Instead there have been excuses, self-inflicted boredom, self-pity, and compromise. I can probably squeeze a big ugly complacency in there, too.
Becoming a mother requires a woman to die. The one who did what she wanted, when she wanted, wore what she wanted, and hung out where she wanted and with whom she wanted, has to go. It's not about what she wants anymore. It can be a slow, horrible death if it's fought and resented, or she can give up the ghost quickly and accept her new life with a smile. I was probably somewhere in the middle. (I'm making this sound bad. It's not bad, but it is hard. And very much worth it.) As I surrendered more and more of myself for my son, I think I took back pieces of myself from Jesus. Why did I do that? I'm not sure yet. I suppose it has to do with wanting control. And rights. And not wanting to "lose myself."
Here's what God used to shine a light on my heart this morning. It came out of Reliving the Passion, by Walter Wangerin Jr.
Take my life. And consecrate it to thee. Take all that I have and all that I am; replace the self in me with thine own holy self - that when the wicked world would kill me it finds me already drowned in thee, untouchable. Death in the world is death indeed. But death in Thee is life forever! Amen! (p. 73)
I am ready to die, Lord. I repent of not dying to myself each day. I repent of letting my spiritual pace slow to a crawl. I'm ready to run again.