Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sanctuary vs. Reality

If only I could live in my car!

Each morning I drive to work, praying and worshipping and talking things over with the Lord. I have more clarity, more soundness of thought, more determination to walk in a manner worthy during these 20 minutes than I do at any other time of the day. The stretch of highway looking out over my steering wheel seems full of endless possibilities, hopes, and the promise of strength for the journey. The destination, I am sure, will be good, wonderful, best. The thought of straying, seeking my own way, carving out another path...ridiculous to the 'enth degree.

Then I step out of the car, and "real life" intrudes and things get fuzzy...hopes dwindle...the road gets bumpy and I start looking for options.

As a child of God, however, there are no options. The course has been set, the lines drawn, my steps ordered. The promise is that the path will lead to green pastures and pleasant places, I will one day recieve my "beautiful inheritance". Though that day of receiving is not today, though there are potholes or rivers or mountains or deserts along the way doesn't make the promise any less true and it doesn't exempt me from staying the course.

In my car, I am determined. Disobedience isn't an option. It would be stupid to choose another way when the One who knows all and knows what is best and, in fact, has planned what is best, has planned and constructed and is leading me down this particular road. But, truth be told, when obstacles or difficulties rise up, more often than not my knee-jerk reaction isn't "Woo Hoo! I'm going to obey anyway! This is great!" It isn't even always "Ok, it will be ok. God is good. He sent this, He will see me through." Usually, my first thought is "How do I get out of/avoid this or ensure that I will wind up with what I want." Outside of the cocoon of my sanctuary/car, the world looks very different and my heart tells me that this means all of those resolutions and determinations and affirmations made while inside may not really apply.

This is a lie, of course. Those moments of clarity were given for those exact moments...for the times when "reality" threatens to shake my faith and cause me to stray. They are not mutually exclusive, they do not cancel one another out...they go together. "Reality" requires sanctuary moments. Santuary moments require "reality". Without both, we will never be tried and tested and never see and experience the goodness of God in action. Our faith would never grow. We would remain infants and continue to stumble and crawl around our playpens.

Thank God for the sanctuary and the reality. Thank God that sometimes things are hard. Thank God that He is not content with ideological/intellectual allegience. He is never satisfied with anything less than our all...and promises to give the same back to us in return!

How great is our God!


  1. Wow.....very good thoughts, I will be pondering on these. :)

  2. I completely understand that feeling. It also happens to me during a beautiful time of praise and worship at church. After I sing my heart out and hear an empowering sermon I go home to "reality".

    I think the Lord gives us those times to carry us through reality. The very things the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart during those times are exactly what I need to make the decisions I need to make during the week. He always equips us with just the right tools!