I'll be honest with you. Of late I've wondered if I have fallen off-course and lost my way, not in my day-to-day life so much as here, on this blog and in my online existence. I wonder if I've been lured, slowly but surely, away from my first love of wanting to encourage and bless others, to a new desire for establishing a "presence" or "brand" online and increasing my Twitter followers. I am wondering if I have begun to fall away from my longing to give in pursuit of wanting to be fulfilled--or validated, or vindicated, or whatever it is for which I have started looking while pursuing full-time writing in the absence of employment.
I am reminded of the second chapter of the Book of Revelations and Christ's letter to the church at Ephesus:
"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: 'The words of him who holds seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. "I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the work of the Nicolaitans [false teachers and disciples], which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'"
Now, I know we can all get into a discussion about contextualization and exegesis and drawing personal application for oneself as an individual when a document is written to a group, but I have to say, that passage just strikes me today. It really does. I feel like a member of the church of Ephesus, sitting on the floor of some home meeting, hearing those words and feeling the convictions of them. But I also have a great swell of hope, for Christ offers repentance anew and renewal--and I need those things, daily.
I think I may have just solved my own problem, even sitting here, sending these thoughts out to the world. God works in fascinating ways. When I woke this morning, I felt poorly but went through my normal motions, sincerely but with little result. I spent my time in prayer and Scripture reading and memorization, but my mind was full with all manner of distraction. I really tried to focus, but I walked away feeling empty. Then I sat to blog, and I prayed, "What do you want me to say? What do I write when I am feeling like this?". And he answered, "Tell the truth". And I have, and he has led me back to his Word even as I was obeying, and he has shown me his grace, new and beautiful in the morning. I feel far less wounded now. Convicted, yes. In need of reflection, of course. But I'm certainly not in the same place where I began.
Thanks for taking this journey with me, even as I processed it myself. Isn't God good? Yes, he is. He is so good.