DETOX: Week 5

This is it!  Last week of detox.  That is not to say, I’m gonna fill my life with the junk I’ve been detoxing from.  But rather I will have a new base to begin to strengthen from.  So, I make the focal point of this week, Philippians 2:5-11…good ending passage for a detox period

Week 5: Philippians 2:5-11

  • 7th – Today was a calm day, great day at Austin New Church‘s worship service.  Great Super Bowl Game.  Easy relaxing day at home.  Not much to record as my mind is still fermenting what it took in at the Verge.  Will record more as we finish this last stretch of the Detox phase.
  • 8th – If there is anything that I kept hearing in my soul this past weekend, it was the re-orientation of life…I couldn’t get away from that idea, that philosophy, that challenge… This is what I believe the detox has come down to… I think for the past four weeks, God has been detoxing my life so that when I begin the strengthen phase, I would be able to strengthen my life around the only things that really matter right now.  In other words, I would be able to re-orient my life around the things that matter right now, and not a bunch of other junk…junk that kept me living on the frustrated side.  Sure, God is still allowing me to see trash in my life that needs to be disposed of – I hope that never ends.  When God is detoxing you, at first it makes EVERYTHING so unclear, as it seems like you are in the middle of the forest and all you see are the trees, and you can see nothing else, and you are consumed…for me it was this final week, but at some point, it is almost like he lifts you above the trees to see the forest, to remind you why he needed to uproot this stuff out of my life, to remind me, ‘why I am truly here, both on a macro and micro level…’  Now, part of me wants to rush to the Strengthen phase, so Father, help me slow down, and take in this last week, take it in deeply
  • 9th – “Sarah, I can’t do it…”  I said, “I don’t know how to accomplish my idea of daily success in my work,  my daily idea of a great personal time in prayer and scripture, my idea of daily needed in depth study, along with my desire and calling as a dad and husband and friend…”  I’m not sure what I was expecting her to say?  Maybe, solve it.  Maybe say, “No, babe, not only can you, but you do, you are so good at all of this…”  But she didn’t say that, nor did she solve it, in fact she kind of looked at me as if to say, “FINALLY!”  For me this realization wasn’t good enough…because when I couldn’t or when I can’t do it, I feel much like Jonathan Edwards when we wrote:

April 16th: I was in bitter soul and of anguish in the morning such as I have scarce ever felt with a sense of sin and guilt…I concluded in distress the whole day.  I attempted to pray where ever I went.  And indeed could not help doing, but look upon myself so vile.  I dare not even look anyone in the face and was grieved that anybody should show me any respect or at least that they should be so deceived to think I deserved it.

In other words, like Edwards, my joy is often tied to what I don’t accomplish in a day.  Which allows me to realize how much I don’t live in joy.  However, I believe this is where God has been taking me this whole time, and that is the realization, that I CAN’T DO IT!  So, though it is a fight, I simply told God, “I need your help, I need your help to ‘not do’ to rest in that, to know that you are my beginning and my completer…so Father, I need you to be the accomplisher in all things, and help me rest in you, not in what I can do, and help me to see my validity tied to who I am in you (a son) not in what I fail to accomplish on a daily basis…”

I have to admit, this is very hard for me to rest in.  I am a ‘get-it-done’ kind of person, so much so that the minute I ‘get-it-done’ I quickly find more to get done, and more that I haven’t done. After the depth of Edwards soul on the 16th, he writes a new realization on the 17th:

April 17th: In the evening I could not but think God help me draw near to the throne of grace.  Though most unworthy, He gave me a sense of his favor, and gave me inexpressible support and encouragement...

  • 10th & 11th –  It seems today, my lack of accomplishment still stares me in the face and whispers in my ear, yet a weird sort of rest and peace falls on me.   It seems one of the things I am coming to the realization of, and that is much of the facade I fill my life with, that I have been attempting to detox myself of, is done as to cover the poverty of my own soul…  However, that seems to be a job that is endless and taxing, and no matter how hard I work to do that, when I look in the mirror, I am reminded of my own poverty.  However, I believe I am coming to realize, that my own poverty, need not be covered up, but embraced.  Now, when I say, “embraced” I don’t mean accepted in the way of settling in this reality to become lazy.  I mean, that my poverty needs to be embraced to the point I realize the ONLY remedy for my own poverty is Him – period.  Not what I can accomplish, not what I can do, not who I can be, but Him.  I think this causes me to lean on him, depend on him, and ‘need’ him more…After all, it’s all for ‘His Name Sake’ not mine!
  • 12th – we are two days away from the finish line, the 1/2 marathon.  Helped a friend move today.  God is so good…Going to take today and relax, and enjoy my family, my life, and simply revel in that.  Recognize that all that I am reveling in, is a great gift from God, that I didn’t earn, but is a reflection of His love for me.  Sarah, I did not earn her, but God loved me enough to let me have her.  Eden asked me tonight, “Daddy, why did God give me to you?”  I said (speaking to a 3 year old, not a theology major), “Honey, he gave you to me, because he loves me so much, and he wanted me to teach you to love Jesus…”  She smiled and laid down…I smiled and walked out her room with a thankful heart…
  • 13th – One day before the big race…we are going to take it easy today as to make sure no physical injuries are possible.  I’m more excited for Sarah to run this race, than I am myself.  She’s never truly run more than 5 miles, so 13.1 is a big jump.  Going to stop by the expo center to pick up our packets and hopefully see Alissa.  Then going to go celebrate a friends birthday tonight.  Had a great meeting this morning with the leaders of the Eastside Art House. Beginning to dream big.
  • 14th – Today was it, we began the day by getting up at 5am.  The race started on time this year.  For those who haven’t done this, they might not understand it.  But there is something about being the midst of 13,000+ other runners from 22 different nations and 47 different states.  There is a joy that overcomes you about mile 12.5, almost to the point of tears.  This is sometime how I imagine church, when I let myself go, not running specifically, but going beyond the norm, going to new depths, using a strength that takes you out of the walls, this was a LARGE community, there were no slackers among us, there was no one who showed up to ‘hear a message’, no one could check a box, we all were headed in the same direction, yes, at different speeds, but we all were working together, motivating each other…this is so much better than sitting in a church service…I like how the ‘Prophet’ Tyler Durden says it:

You aren’t alive anywhere like you’re alive at fight club (running)…. Fight club (running) isn’t about winning or losing fights (the race).  Fight club (running) isn’t about words.  You see a guy come to fight club (run) for the first time, and his ass is a loaf of white bread.  You see this same guy here six months later, and he looks carved out of wood…There’s grunting and noise at fight club (a race) like at the gym, but fight club (running) isn’t about looking good.  There’s hysterical shouting in tongues like at church, and when you wake up Sunday afternoon you feel saved.

  • 14th cont – There is something in and on a principle level that happens in one of these that makes you feel apart of something like nothing else does. There is something that makes you truly feel like one with the City…I can’t explain it, but it was good.  Sarah ran the whole freakin’ thing!  I beat last years time, but have a new goal for next year…and we are excited to enter into the strengthen phase on the 22nd, as we are going to take next week (15th-20th) as a recovery week…Switching gears, I received a phone call from a guy who was on a journey with a community Sarah and I started…in a nutshell, he was ruined in a good-kind-of-way…he is having a hard time accepting what his ‘missional’ church is calling community, “It’s not really community, it’s a weekly meeting, in someone’s home, tagged with words like organic, depth, living life…my problem is that I actually believed that they meant what they said..” I guess I am not the only one struggling with this, I think it ruined many of us…Part of me feels bad for him, but most of me, is glad that he will never settle…

Though this period was done in one blog, I am going to daily record the next phase, in which I am moving from Detox to Strengthen!  Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this journey!

Matthew

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2 thoughts on “DETOX: Week 5

  1. Pingback: Coming Daily Blog: Detox « EmmausLife

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