Looking for the Loophole

Walking the dog with phone in hand I look out of habit for the Facebook app. Then I see I have google plus on my phone, maybe I’ll look there and see what’s up with whoever is posting. Then I think no that’s too much like Facebook and would be cheating…then I see twitter and think, maybe i’ll learn to use twitter and see what’s up there. I’m looking for a loop hole. Another way out of really denying myself to draw closer to God.

A loop hole, a way out of following what I promised or what is required. What I’ve promised to give up for lent is not a law. I don’t expect that I will gain a greater acceptance from God for giving up anything, but I do expect to gain deeper communion with God. And I’m seeing the constructs that keep me from that. I am seeing how much I fill up these voids in my life with empty practices, the peering into others lives in Facebook distract me from my own life and family right in front of me.

The Pharisees looked for loop holes, they asked Jesus who their neighbor was hoping for an easy answer but Jesus told them whoever is in need, whether they belong to their little club or not, is their neighbor. The rich young ruler was looking for a loop hole, look at me he said i’ve followed all the commandments, yes but, Jesus replied, one thing you lack. His loop hole was his obedience but he still held onto his wealth and that kept him from true communion. What loop holes do I look for everyday? What easy answers? What am looking to hold onto when God is calling me to give it up?

I am a Martha pleading with Jesus for help in my daily tasks yet neglecting the one thing. I want to be a Mary and know that whatever is needed will be provided as long as I sit at Jesus’ feet. He can redeem the time. I want to be generous and give of my wealth, he will give back pressed down and overflowing.

Last night I received ashes and was reminded that I will return to dust that this life is fleeting and that I have choices to make. Jesus paid an unthinkable price so that I could live forever, yet I’m given a brief time on earth to live for Him.

And I think this is it this is the only life I have and I grope and claw for the best I can get right here and now. It’s not though, the best is yet to come and i’m traveling towards a greater understanding these next forty days leading up to the cross.

I’m ready to take a hard look at my heart and see what made it necessary for the sacrifice that saves. I want to turn away continually from the sin that separates. My Haughty eyes, my lying tongue, selfishness all of it I want to turn away from and turn to the everlasting arms of a Father who sent His son to suffer on a cross for me.

I want to learn what it’s like to have a faith worth dying for.

These coptic Christians who never denied the faith even though it meant losing their lives and leaving their families. Ann Voscamp writes eloquently about their faith and how we can pick up our cross, remember the martyrs and how they remind us that we do have a faith worth dying for, and we can pray for our enemies, real enemies.

So while I suffer a coffee headache and work through not checking on my facebook friends I’ll pray not just for my relief but for the whole world. I’ll suffer through killing my apathy, slaying my pride andI’ll cry out to God to fill me up so I”ll pour over and spill out His love to those around me. My neighbors are everywhere so I’ll serve the needy and I’ll give of my wealth and seek justice.

Won’t you? There are no loop holes in this faith.

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