If you have spent any time with me at all, you know that I am very at home in apathy. It is not something I am proud of; indeed, I spend most of my life trying to get my self to fight it. But every battle needs two sides, and as much as I try and fight, things keep happening that draw me back into my “do nothing” hole.
This time, it’s loneliness.
I have been out of work for a bit, and have had far too much time on my hands. During all this free time, i have realized that I don’t have that many close friends. I cracked a joke the other day that my meetings with Mormon missionaries are my only social outlets for the week. Funny, but kind of true.
So, as I said, this season of loneliness has left me in the grips of apathy once more. But, today I have stumbled upon a long forgotten truth: God orchestrates my life, and He wants heal this broken heart. So, a controversial book, fresh snow, and songs by Andrew Peterson have been my sign posts today, pointing me back to the Love of God.
I have been reading “A Generous Orthodoxy” by Brian McLaren, and I’m sure I will have many things to say in up coming days. For now, I want to share something that struck me from chapter 1, where McLaren recounts his observations on different aspects of Jesus and His message from seven different traditions of Christianity. It was the thoughts about the Eastern Orthodox celebration of the trinity that caught my heart.
“In particular I became intrigued with the way the Eastern Orthodox family… celebrated the Trinity- not as an abstract exercise in theological hairsplitting, but as an introduction to a powerful and dynamic view of God.
I learned that the early church leaders described the Trinity using the term perichoresis (peri– circle, choresis– dance): the Trinity was an eternal dance of Father, Son, and Spirit sharing mutual love, honor, happiness, joy, and respect. Against this backdrop, God’s act of creation means that God is inviting more and mor4e beings into the eternal dance of joy. Sin means that people are stepping out of the dance, corrupting its beauty and chemistry, crashing and tackling and stomping on feet instead of moving with grace, rhythm, and reverence. Then, in Jesus, God enters creation to restore the rhythm and beauty again.”
-A Generous Orthodoxy, pg. 53, 54
I began to pray compline last night, and I found my self asking to be restored to the dance once again. When I awoke this morning, I prayed the morning office and this desire to be caught and consumed in the chemistry and grace of the wildness of God’s love over took my lonely heart.
As if that wasn’t enough to revive me, I spent today re-discovering the music of Andrew Peterson. His is hope-filled music. First the song “Rise and Shine” caught me up in the essence of Advent: the coming of the King of the dance. I couldn’t stop listening, my soul swelled and my heart began to burst with Hope. Then then songs “Let there be Light” and “Family Man” began to rekindle my sense and vision of true community. Just when these emotions had expanded till I knew they could grow no more, the joint effort of “Just as I Am” and “High Noon” crescendo over me. Music, gospel, and Truth intertwined and swept me into the awed humility that comes when one recognizes the reckless, raging fury that they call the Love of God and that this love is directed in full force upon me.
All day long, I have been thinking of the verse “…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” The first real snowfall of the year always brings that verse to mind. But today, I herd not a theological pronouncement of atonement and forgiveness, but I loving Father, complete in Holiness, speaking promise for any and all who would dare believe.
I am convinced that God knows my apathy better than I do. He knows how hesitant I am to even attempt to believe and move in the divine chemistry. He knows how near sighted and lonely I am… and the extent of his Love is far beyond the reach of my unbelief. Days like today, I am quick to embrace this truth. Other days (82.3% of my life), I am slow to learn and quick to fight, even if that fight leads me back into apathy. Still, He keeps teaching me this lesson: His love is greater than anything else I can conceive of. There is no end to the songs to be written about God’s Love; there are not enough words to explain it; there is nothing I can do to fully express it. All I can do is live in it.
May I remember this day, and ever dance in anti-apathy: the untamed, reckless, raging fury that is the Love of God.