Saturday, March 20, 2004

vanilla cowboy

I am stuck in a weird position right now. I have no major feelings to write about. No major desire for a female. No major trauma in my life. No major theological wrestling besides the usual. Though I anticipate the future, I am in no hurry to get there. I have too much school work to do in the present before I can even really think about working with Horizon. I have never really felt prepared to be a "pastor." I am not sure why I should expect that feeling to change in the next few months.

I just got back from seeing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In a word: brilliant!! Go see this movie. Don't wait for it to get to the dollar theatre or Blockbusters. It is a "must see." I am continually amazed at Charlie Kaufman with each and every movie he makes. Adaptation was brilliant but took some mental exercise to stay with. Eternal Sunshine is pure genius with no need for cognitive acrobatics. The deepest parts of me, the parts I rarely mention, relate to this movie and these characters in very profound ways. My attempt to articulate even this much has already done the movie injustice.

I need coffee. The very thing I gave up for Lent. I guess need is a strong word. Want. Ok, that's better.

Next time you take a look at the Pentateuch, notice the movement from west to east (exile) and the movement from east to west (back to the garden; promised land). Moving west is always a good idea in the Pentateuch. But watch out when you move east. Moving east means two things. You are in exile and that you are simultaneously becoming "more".

Adam was kicked out to the east. Jacob went east fearing his life. Lot chose the east lands of Sodom and Gomorrah, need I say more. And yet in the east is where Jacob got his wives and became a huge family. Abram came from the east when he was called to move west and inherit a land and a promise. The exodus from Egypt took a people eastward and made them into a nation. West is blessing, east is hardship. Yet its always in the east where we find Yahweh making a person into a family; a family into a people and a people into a nation. Once developed in the east, Israel is always called back to the west, back to Eden, back to the promised land. Inevitably, the blessing of the west leads to rebellion away from Yahweh. Rebellion leads to another exile to the east, and the cycle continues.

Can you relate? Is your life a picture of this same east/west struggle? Mine is. Where are you? If you are in the east let me assure you that there is hope. Life is probably tough right now but know that you are becoming more. God is developing you in exile, in the desert. Soon you will return home to the west. If you are in the west, bessings. But be careful friend. The comfort of the garden can lead to a swift kick in the buttocks. Staying true to Yahweh can prove more difficult in the west than in the east sometimes. Temptations are tough in Eden. It may be time for an idol inventory check. If only there was a Norton anti-virus program for our spiritual lives.


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