Thursday, August 7, 2008

Yes, I’d like to make an appointment please…………

So life is back to normal. The summer trips have come to a close and for 6 amazing weeks we will be home living a “normal life”. This is an odd season for the Bullocks. I will have traveled more this year than I have my entire life combined. It is a result of not living near family and a new season of me not having to take off work which has made life full of amazing adventures that have kept excitement on the horizon. It has also made the time at home all the more sweet. Today as I did “normal life” I had a dentist appointment that seemed much more mundane than preparing for trips and calculating Cross’ on the go menu, but I was thinking of you guys just the same. Everything I experience now is a potential blog. Honestly, I feel connected with so many of you because I really do believe we have the privilege of sharing life together. Well, the dentist blog has to be proceeded with something the Lord has been revealing to me lately. Back when I first started walking with the Lord “on fire” was an understatement. I was on an endless pursuit to rid myself of even the tiniest molecule of sin. I prayed constantly for the Lord to reveal any and all details of sin in my life from the largest to the most hidden and I was determined to have it all surrendered to the Cross. Today however, the ever dreaded church lady has appeared and I currently (even if it is subconsciously) try to avoid the topic all together. I would honestly rather focus on others sins than my own. I justify that because the “big ones” are gone that the others are just a part of life. It is so much easier to stop getting drunk than it is to rid my soul of pride and fill my heart with love. With this reality check recently swirling in my head, I went to really one of my favorite reoccurring appointments, the dentist. I grew up in a home that looked at the dentist as not only a glorious event but also a glorious privilege. I have a ritual of calling my mom to give her a report even to this day and we always rejoice at the perfect clean feeling that the plaque free, pearly whites experience after the grueling cleaning is complete. As I sat in the chair today through the initial observation, the tedious scraping, the water, then the polishing followed by more scraping and then the grand finale, the floss, I was in awe at the tenacious pursuit of the hygienist for even the tiniest speck of plaque. She adjusted the light just perfectly; she rinsed and sprayed with air to assure that no plaque was disguising itself as the real thing. She went back with the mirror over and over and she patiently polished every tooth from every angel. Wow, I couldn’t stop thinking how much we would look like Christ if we had this same endless pursuit of sin. The ugly plaque that builds up on our hearts, souls, and actions that often does hide itself as the real thing. I was reading today about how sin is above all deceptive and the reality of satan’s desire to keep sin a secret even from the partaker was as eye opening as any truth I have heard lately. When I think of deception I think of something being done behind my back and how scary that our very own personal sin is often the most hidden thing from our reality. So with that truth, why don’t I have that same pursuit for wisdom and discernment about my own ugly sin and attack it with the scraper, the polisher and the floss to make sure not even a speck is left behind. Why didn’t that childlike acceptance that I was a fallen man full of sin stick through the years? Where did this unattractive church lady come from who just longs to have it all together? My amazing mentor here always encourages me when I confess these hidden, ungodly thoughts, she throws her hands in the air and says “awesome, so you still need the Cross”. You bet she is 110% right. Even after a few years of trying to have it all together I still need the Cross, daily, hourly and often minutely (is that even a word?). Jeremy also reminded me how gracious our Heavenly Father is to pursue our hearts and souls with even more vigor that the hygienist pursues the perfection of our teeth. Our Savior searches and knows every crevice that needs to be cleaned, He desires for no stone to be unturned in regards to our character. He, like the insistent hygienists couldn’t bear to have even a tiny speck left behind. Sometimes life can seem so hard, so painful but how much would our perspective change if we saw all this as our Father doing the tedious work on something more valuable than our temporary comfort. I had some bleeding today, some tender gums and honestly that is because I hadn’t done all the daily upkeep that I should have. SO, here goes, that old faithful prayer that got lost with the childlike faith that was just natural with my then astounding awe of a gracious God being madly in love with a fallen sinner. “Jesus, show me it all, show me where even the tiniest speck of sin is hidden and help me to be brave and scrape it, polish it, and floss it right out of my being. Do what you need to do to make me more like you, to reveal this evil deception and make me truly in your image, that really is my heart’s desire.” I think honestly I have been scared to pray this prayer. Scared of how ugly the unturned soil really had become. I haven’t had a good cleaning in some time now and deep down (even if in my subconscious) I know I have been avoiding the appointment. Do you need to grip your chair and say this same prayer to your Heavenly Heart Cleaner? I am reminding myself now that His mercies are new every morning and that the longer I wait the more it will hurt. We avoid God because we assume He will act how we could if our children were equally out of whack. Fortunately, even at the moment He gave us the law through Moses, He followed with these words, (Ex 34:6) “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”.

Thank goodness…..

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