A New Thing

This is  a new blog.

It feels kind of weird.

I planned to write a lot this summer. I planned to do a lot things this summer. All the stars were aligned for me to have a solid three months of really productive writing, and, to say the the least, that  did not happen.

I moved into an apartment by myself, opted out of wifi and planned to rise early, work out, brew some coffee and write for a solid hour in the earnest  hopes that after the summer I would have a decent if not great first draft of my book.

So what happened? I’m almost ashamed to tell you, it’s so pathetic. Gossip  Girls happened. This trivial  New York socialite television show waltzed ino my life with all its fashionable  charm, and suddenly I was staying up late, pressing snooze and promising myself I’d write tomoorow, and the next day and the next, and now it is August and the summer is behind me  like the sunset , a brilliant flourish at the end of a beautiful day.

And it has been a beautiful summer. Not what I expected at all, but beautiful. It was hard in ways I could not have anticipated, and more full of triumph and depth than I probably even realize. Jesus has pursued me this summer, and as I sit here in the Tallahassee Starbucks, I want to cry, because as much as I wanted to, I did not pursue him.  I chose other things, things which were not inherently evil, but they became evil as they distracted me from my one True Love.

Oh, my friends, how often do we all do this? We have every opportunity to seek Him, to meet Him in the secret place, to cultivate an intimacy with Him with which nothing on this earth can compare, and we choose not to. My mom once told me the right thing is easy to do, but it’s also easy not to do. That’s the catch. Seeking the Lord, pursuing my writing, working out faithfully–these things are easy to do, but they are painfully easy not to do.

I don’t want to miss out on the most fulfilling experiences of my life because I was watching television, but each time I choose  that over what is truly important I send a message that tells me what is truly most important.  I am not proud of the message I sent this summer.

My dear friend shared about Peter today at church. How often am I Peter, denying Christ and choosing doubt and fear? How often do I step out of the boat with all the faith in the world, only to break eye  contact with my Father seconds  later and  have to start all over again? I am Peter to the core. Yet God built his church on Petter, he told Peter to feed his lambs. After Peter denied God,  He entrusted Peter.

Oh God. Thank you. At the end of this summer, I am so thankful. You pursued me, you redeemed me, you picked me up out of the water until I could walk with you again, and you are wooing me with every breath to chase you, to chase the beautiful sunsets you created for us to enjoy together.

Sunset is a prime example of God’s vast affection for us. He did not have to end the day with a breathtaking panorama of colors, but out of his love, he did. He didn’t have to pull out his palate of blues and purples and creamy oranges and soft pinks every night in the history of creation and paint for us a picture of his love, but he did. And each night as I watch  the sun drift into its dusky home, I’m so thankful for second chances, for the chance to have tomorrow, to do better, to choose Him.

That’s why I made a new blog. Because He’s doing a new thing in me, in you, and in His church. He’s beckoning us deeper, he’s inviting us to live and love well each minute of the day. I can feel it, and I can see it. I think the sunsets are getting brighter and more marvelous, as if He’s saying, “See? I love you so much. I’m painting this for you, regardless of what you chose today, and I’m plucking the sun out of the sky and inviting you to rest and start anew tomorrow. My mercies are new every morning.”

Thank you, Jesus.

Autumn morning in the Smoky Mountains National Park.

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. –Colossians 1: 9-12

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