Broken-down Poetry: There will be snacks


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

There will be snacks

College makes me cynical.

I used to be so optimistic and hopeful and daydreamy, but ever since I started mingling with so many like-minded people with their stupid morals and stupid agendas* ... ugh ... I've grown exhausted. Optimism used to come so naturally. Now I have to work at it.

* When I'm cynical, I stereotype.

But I think this might be changing - slowly.

A few posts ago I described Grace as a hug. I can't get over that. It's not a perfect analogy by any means, but I can't stop thinking about it.

Grace hugged me a lot last week.

The weather is beautiful. The sky might still be grey and dull, but it's warm. *Hugs*
Two of my favorite Salinger books came in the mail. *Hugs*
I bought the Avett Brothers' album "I and Love and You," which is beautiful. *Hugs*

Believing that we don't live according to a merit system is wonderful. When I do something wrong, God doesn't punish me. God doesn't just bless me when I do something right. Everything in life is a gift.

I don't have to earn anything.
How freeing.

These Grace hugs are making me more generous. I find myself wanting to give my money away. I tell people I'm praying for them - and I actually do pray. (I don't usually tell people I'll pray for them because I know I'll forget.)

I know this isn't coming from me. It has to be God. I'm just not a very nice person.

You know how in elementary school we had to list three adjectives to describe ourselves, and "nice" is always the default description? Lauren is QUIET, CREATIVE and NICE. False. I'm not nice. (Side note: what if we were honest about those three adjectives? Lauren is SELFISH, INSECURE and AWKWARD. Thank God for Grace.)

I think of the Kingdom of Heaven, of Zion, of the New Jerusalem. The Bible talks about a redeemed world established by Jesus, but not complete until he returns again.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny mustard seed.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman kneads into dough.

I think of Christianity as a grassroots movement. I think of the early church meeting in attics and sharing money and food. I think of everyone having enough.

In the midst of my cynicism, I'm realizing how desperately I yearn for Zion. I want to be part of that underground movement, not like the Christians on their megaphones who turn our faith into a Political Party, a Crusade or a Religion.

I want to be part of the Kingdom. I don't want to pretend that going to church or talking Christianese means more than it does. I want to serve like Jesus served. I want to be the last in order to be first. I want to live open-handedly and give to the poor. I want to lose my life to save it.

Andrew Bird sings about a post-Apocalyptic world. His description is so elementary, but I think it's what I want the Kingdom of heaven to be about:

I know we're going to meet some day
In the crumbled financial institutions of this land
There will be tables and chairs
There'll be pony rides and dancing bears
There'll even be a band
'Cause listen, after the fall there will be no more countries
No currencies at all, we're gonna live on our wits
We're gonna throw away survival kits,
Trade butterfly-knives for adderall
And that's not all
Ooh-ooh, there will be snacks there will
There will be snacks, there will be snacks.
As Christians we talk so much about the Kingdom to be established, but what about the one on earth? What about the one we have a hand in creating?

Maybe this is why I have been so cynical. I don't think we're establishing the Kingdom, just adding to the noise of the culture.

I want to be Kingdom-minded.
I want to focus on things that matter.
I want to delight in the Hugs God gives me. (Oh, I'm aware how cheesy that sounds.)

Living for God looks less like a formula, and more like a story.
But like all stories, there's conflict.

Establishing the Kingdom of God means overcoming fears. It means getting over our human desire for comfort, and believing that there are thing worth living and dying for. It means taking risks. It means acting irrationally by the world's standards, for God and for Love.

And not everything will go as planned.

But it's okay.
Because there will be snacks.

Everything in life is a gift, a snack table at the funeral of our life-as-we-know-it.

Cling to Grace.

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 24f

with love and squalor,

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