Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Struggle and Surrender

A couple of weeks ago I preached about God's desire to make us holy, and that it only comes through a journey begun and continued through surrender. It took me back to a poem I wrote years back when my struggle was at it's height. Then FINALLY. Finally surrender led to purpose, peace, and adventure:

When I was small I used to dream of days that lay ahead,
When plans and choices for my life would be exactly as I said.
But now that I have traveled to that place where I decide
I find this is the very place where heart and will collide.

My will is bent to follow you--my mind seeks out your way.
But You and I both know, my Lord, my heart is prone to stray.
I WANT to choose alone to live the life for which you died.
Please strengthen me, be my Resolve, when heart and will collide.

Jesus, beyond the strongest doubt You've truly won my heart.
You sheltered me, protected me...been with me from the start.
You're such a counselor and friend, an everpresent guide.
You still reach out with faith in me, when heart and will collide.

The collision of my heart and will--
A painful place of breaking.
Shape my broken pieces, Lord,
For the person YOU'RE creating.

My Savior, no other one holds claim or rights upon my heart
Like these I gladly give you now--my whole self, not just a part.
I set my will to follow You--You will always be my guide,
My heart and will together now in the love-knot you have tied.
--bgmy 1996

Father, here I am. Still surrendered and surrendering, and satisfied.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tiger's in the Tank

You knew it, didn't you? Anyone who has witnessed two or three stories of betrayal, discovery and the accompanying blend of heartbreak and rage smelled something fishy about the Tiger Woods "accident" long before he owned his "transgressions." His attempted cover-up only gave fodder for the late night tv joke machines and the internet jokes that go viral in a nano-second. The jokesters seem to forget that, at bare minimum, four hearts have been crushed, four lives forever altered, two of them unsuspecting little children, with not a clue that a tsunami was beginning to batter the coastline of their safe home.

Yeah, I knew there was bad news coming sooner or later. Been there with too many people to not recognize the signs. Here's what I know for sure:

The wages of sin are death--every single time. No one ever sins without something dying. The death toll in Tiger's case is yet to be determined. Right now, the fatalities include trust, joy, dreams, innocence, reputation...

Money and prestige are a poor trade for character. Wonder how much less finances and fame Mrs. Tiger would be willing for her husband to have if she could get faithfulness and integrity she could take to the bank in return?

We are all the same under the skin. Pain rips away the differences between us. In the deepest pain, rich and poor, black and white, old and young, famous and unknown---we're all the same.

We all need redemption. A columnist suggested Tiger, a professed Buddhist,evidently needs to meditate more. She doesn't get it. Meditation can't pay the debt, change the heart, heal the wounds, make a new start. Tiger has nothing to offer that has any power in the ways that matter. He needs Someone to do for him and his family what he can never do on his own. He needs a Savior, Someone who can work in his heart and his wife's heart and over time do things that today seem completely out of reach.

Tiger and his family need my prayers. If he was my son or my brother, I wouldn't laugh or send jokes around about him. I wouldn't consider him a lost cause, I wouldn't point out all the things "I knew" were wrong about him long ago. I would be beating on the doors of heaven, pleading with God to move on his heart, to do a miracle, and to restore that family. To give those little children a father who will lead them to the Father.

Maybe I should do that for Tiger?