catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 19 :: 2010.10.22 — 2010.11.04


Choosing to surrender

I’m not a very good consumer.  If I had more money I might be better at it, but as it is, I buy what I need and spend very little on stuff.  There is much I can’t afford.  To buy expensive items I must weigh the pros and cons of debt management.  It’s not an equation I have to consider very much because it doesn’t cross my mind that often, this going out and buying more.

Come and buy, you without money.  Come and eat, you who have no bread.  There are things that have no price that belong to God.  Peace.  Love.  Reconciliation.  Justice.  Eternity.  Life.  Truth.  As far as I’ve seen there is no way to purchase these items.  No wholesale warehouse lines shelves with anything you don’t have to return to and buy again.  We don’t have the resources to lay hold of the commodities God deals in.  Besides that, they’re free.  On God’s terms, in God’s Kingdom.  They are free.

I prefer free.  Yesterday I was at the market and wandering amidst the new fall flowers and the discounted herbs of summer.  The owner walked past and asked, “Hey, do you want a free plant?”  Well, yes.  Yes, I do.  He led me to flats of big, beautiful mums that needed water and little else.  “Take one.”  It sits on my front steps.  Its deep red is welcoming friends, welcoming autumn, given to me.  That’s true.  Its puckered buds are waiting to unfurl.

Given.  There is a way that seems right to a person, but in the end leads to death.  The religious time clock with its row of time cards has little to do with time at all.  Only God can teach me to number my days with wisdom.  I am told every morning and some days I hear it.  This is the day.  Ann Voskamp says time is a fast moving river leading into the ocean of time that is God.  The one way she has found to slow it is to get wet.  To step in and let the full weight of your body allow you to be present in the moment, living the life you have been given.

I remain a part of this practice that claims exclusive truth for two reasons.  First, the free: I didn’t do anything to be given this — these friends who love past my defenses, these babies born and handed over to those with no training, no experience, the understanding that there are not just 80 years of life that we live.  It was given, with more besides, to someone who has no ability to pay for priceless things.  I can’t afford what is true.

The other reason I stay is the time.  Its rushing towards God becomes audible the older I get.  What should be done?  Stockpile what will not last?  Feast on the best of what is gone in three days time?  In God’s community I’ve been forced to lift my life from the moment.  With hands unseen God has taken the iron of my will and made malleable what I never would have consented to change.  I am better for it and He receives attention for His efforts.  I’ve learned these things walking with Him.  This is the only truth I know.

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