Personal Musing: When good friends move away

People in our life come and go, everything has a time and a season. Sometimes there are times of parting as people go on to their next phase in life. In the past I have had good college friends move on in their life and we still connect or touch base every once and awhile but those relationships are changed, never what they were.  Today, the person who I consider my best friend is moving far away. It is a good thing for him, time to move on, move ahead, and move forward.  Now granted since we have both gotten married we have spent less and less time doing stuff together as we focus on life together, but we were always a phone call away and there was always time to get together as needed. Now he is moving to Oregon, a place a long, long way away. No more getting together to watch a football game or just hang out and talk, that time and season has come to a close. Yet, no matter what the distance he will always be like a brother to me which is interesting because my biological brother lives on the East coast, and he will live now out on the West coast.  

 

The fact is relationships time, people serve their intent and purpose for a season. Some seasons are long, some short.  Some relationships endure but change, others just end. There are many people who have come into my life and left that have no contact with, some cannot even recall their names to look up on Facebook or elsewhere if they were even there. However, that does not diminish at all the value of that relationship.  Some people we let in to the deep stuff others just kept to surface, but the people we come across we touch and they touch us in some manner. 

 

The thing is to be thankful and grateful for the people who come and go and what they give you and you give them.  For each relationship is precious. For those that have been true friends in my life thank you for what you have given me and I have given to you.  So today, a parting as my best friend leaves for Oregon. The question then becomes what is next as move ahead and what the next season brings. The important thing is to stay open and engaged and be willing to move beyond self and connect. For there are blessings for self and others in doing and where God’s love is demonstrated, others are drawn to Him.

Holy Week Musings: Good Friday and the Crux of the Cross.

The day of April 22nd, 2010 is Good Friday.  It is the day we focus on Jesus death on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins.  The very action taken on that day is really the fulcrum point of all of history. The cross and Jesus death as the eternal lamb is central.   Now in order to understand how essential and critical Jesus death was to the whole of history let us go back to the beginning of humanity and the first sin of man.

Back in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God.   In that disobedience, lies of being able to be able to determine right from wrong and elevate self to be “like God” was at the core.  It was a move out of being dependent on God, to being able to determine for self what is right and wrong.  This decision brought separation from God and resulted in consequences for the whole of creation. Those consequences entail the varied forms of suffering and the twisting of all creation.  The consequences that are suffering were designated by God, for apart from God, nothing is right, nothing is as intended.  It is a natural out-flow. When things are not in correspondence with how God intended to work, through dependence on Him, the result is pain.

Now recognizing that the pain and suffering comes as consequence to the initial deportation from depending on God, let us look a bit more closely at what Jesus death means.   Jesus came because of love. God had the plan ready to go when humanity chose to go on way.  The plan was for the innocent to take on the wrath for the guilty, but not just any innocent, a member of the Godhead himself,  Jesus the Son.  He left the full dynamic relationship with the Father and Holy Spirit, took on humanity, and took on all of suffering.  He lived perfectly, was wholly innocent, and suffered that we might live.  It was God’s plan, for there had to be away to redeem that which went another way.  Love dictated such an act.  The wrath of love dictated that the price be paid. So God paid it Himself. 

It is very important to grasp the depth of what it means that the Son of God came in the flesh.  Jesus, in whom “All the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in bodily form”(Colossians 2:9), came to earth, entered in to suffering all in order that we may be free.  All God actions prior to the cross pointed ahead to the event and after everything points back to the cross. It is the center point.   He endured the suffering of humanity. He took on the worst death humanity could conjure. He was betrayed, mocked, belittled, and scourged.  This all because He did not measure up to what humanity expected, that He make the immediate life more comfortable and undo the tyranny.  He came to undo a tyranny, but that tyranny was the consequences of humanities sin. Just as through one man, sin entered the world, so too by one action, a solution was provided and tyrants defeated.  Just not in accordance with human perspective. 
Jesus came, suffered, and died so that the justice demanded by human pursuit of self-determination and moving away from surrender to God was fully satisfied making the action on the cross the crux of God’s plan and His story for humanity.  

It starts with sin and God establishing the consequences as the whole of creation is twisted. God takes on humanity, takes on suffering, and dies.  Dies, rejected of men.  For the first time the relationship of the Godhead is broken as the Father turns away from the Son for he cannot look upon the sin, for it is too much.  Jesus takes it all on, willingly, following the fathers plan, always in perfect submission to His will.  It is noteworthy, that at the moment of the death there were many events testifying to the importance and crucial moment.  Storms, darkness, earth quaking, and the veil tearing in two.  There has never been a greater act of love.  For some the act is foolishness, how can a Father require a Son to die for those who reject the father and are in conflict?  What is not grasped is the Son was fully on board, always in surrender to Father’s will, for there was no other way to make things right.  No other way to undo the twist and the suffering that entered due to self-determination.  God took the initiative. One that demands response from all and one of which to all response will one day be given, some just with weeping and gnashing of teeth because they continued along the way of self-determination instead of surrender to the one who suffered all so that all can be freed.

Life reflections: On memories

 This weekend was a reflective one. The reflecting occured initially while on a boat with my Dad on Lake Minnetonka.  During the time places of memory were passed by. One was the property that once held my Grandparent’s home. They really were blessed to live of the lake, because they couldn’t do so today. Today all the houses are big. Some are moderate sized, like the house where my early childhood was spent.  There are good and bad memories of both. 

     Also went by the city of Excelsior, Minnesota  where there used to be an amusement part in the early 1970’s.  I used to pass out tracks, invite people to a smelt fry, and other ways of outreach.  There was an outreach house there, rented by the Church and overseen by a man by the name of George Gospel, I remember we called him brother George.  I don’t recall many details, but the memories I have are good.

    In thinking about memories, it is interesting to think how a child who had no fear in approaching others, who approached others without second thought progressed to the man I am today.  Perhaps coming to Jesus like a little child is more then just simple faith, but also a fearlessness, and unfettered approach. 

     Thing is as we go on life there are wounds created. I thought of some past wounds as well. Wounds from my family, wounds from other children as I grew up.  We all have wounds.  The wounds I thought about I thought had been healed, but perhaps still are parts open.  Dealing with past wounds is never easy. It is hard to let go and forgive.  However, I have seen the ravage holding on to wounds and anger and bitterness do to a person.  Holding on to wounds can lead to bitterness and rage, to sitting by passively, to not stepping out and doing all.  Sometimes fresh wounds open up parts of old wounds that hadn’t fully healed.  Whatever is open, if we hold on to it damage is done psychologically and spiritually. It also impacts our relationships and ability to relate.

    Here is a good thing though, as long as we surrender to God, and move and act as He does, he will be faithful to heal those wounds. It is often neither fast or pretty, but God heals.  God even moves in our lives to move us toward healing, even when we are far away. The dark points of my life, God was always there calling me back.  An old paster used to say, “God sends his sheepdogs after you when you stray off the path.”  I find this to be true.  Here is the amazing thing about God.  God being beyond time knows all aspects of our lives.  He knows all of the past, present, and future. He is not bound by the limits of time.  And he meets with us in the moment and while meeting with us in this moment, he meets with us at all moments. 

     Now I don’t have clear scripture to back this up, I do know that God is I AM, at all tenses. Somewhere I read that YWHW in Hebrew contains a conglomeration of all tenses of I AM in Hebrew.  I also know God created time.  There are some that believe that God is not really omniscient, omnipresent, or any of the other omnis. I find that it is very possible for God to be some because He transcends our understanding.  So in my memories, good and bad, the verse that stands to mind right now is: Romans 8:28 (NIV): And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    So take some time, reflect on your memories good or bad. Ask God to show you what he wants you to know or steps he wants you to take regarding your memories.  Reflect on any lessons learned from the past, examine how it impacts you today and even how it impacts your thoughts about the future.  Above all, submit all of time to Him.  The past, the present, the future. Good memories, bad memories, and even lost memories are best laid at His throne. A step to true peace is found in this, surrendering all of our time on this earth to Him.