Sunday, August 3, 2014

Make Me Love You

There is a difference between having something and wanting something...tasting something and ingesting it. My dramatic bent has pretended many times to be many things, but those things I am not and never will be. We pretend, play and try out, but rarely ever really become. Desire and work are a huge part of the "becoming" experience, but not all of it. We are limited because we are not gods. Our interdependence requires a need so that we remember our rightful place as human. Sometimes we humbly admit we need our spouse, our medication or our computer savy friend for those unattainable goals. Many times we just keep trying with futility, wasting time and energy on a dream because we believe the unlimited human power propaganda. The fact that people die should prove this, yet we still push forward or totally give up. What if there was another option? What if we asked for help? What if we allowed old Blue Eyes' mantra "I did it MY way" fall by the wayside and did it another way? 

If you are that person who has tried it all and come up empty or is just starting out in life and are too efficient to waste time and soul on experimenting, then may I make a suggestion? If you have even an inkling that God exists, then keep inkling is all that is needed.

David Livingstone, a 19th century Scottish explorer, doctor and missionary, who helped find the heart of Africa, both literally and figuratively, knew this and did it. Growing up around a family of Jesus lovers, he knew of Him, believed in His existence, but didn't really care. He tried playing the part and tasting His wares, but had the self awareness to admit his lack of authenticity. One teenage day, he started praying a spiritually deep and complicated prayer: "Jesus, make me love you." Even though the Spirit had not been given to him, he did not have the zeal, understanding, joy and peace of his Christian family and friends, he knew it could be given him and he wanted to want it. So he simply asked. Not surprisingly, it was given to him. God changed his heart and life and he changed the least Africa. 

When I see my own children struggling with this same weight of becoming, I instruct them to pray the Livingstone prayer. There is no sense in pretending or killing yourself trying, just pray the prayer..."Jesus, make me love you". My oldest son did this. After admitting his lack of love and desire for Christianity in his mid-teens, and after challenging God on His ability to change his heart, the necessary blood and heartbeat was given...and accepted. His hard, dead to the Spirit heart was given the life it wanted. It became a living-stone. No more acting. No more self-made religion. Becoming. 
The only thing a person has to do is give it a chance, the rest is the work and power of the Almighty. Admit you don't care. Admit you can't do it. Then just humbly ask Him to make you love Him. 

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

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