Words from Ron today:
So much of what we do is just a lot of flim-flam.
You drive like a maniac until your mother is in the car, then it's speed-limit city.
You talk like a sailor at work (sorry, sailors), using swear words with the skill and agility of a master, but tidy up your mouth before you step into your living room.
You have wonderful things to say about that pastor when you're at church, but you rehearse a whole repertoire of slams and criticisms in the car as you pull out of the church parking lot.
You go to a party, pick at the food like you were a bird, then hit McD's on the way home for a Double Quarter Pounder Meal - Going Large, of course.
You flirt with that guy at the office and entertain a little fantasy-world in your head, but you never, ever tell anyone else how close you are to falling off the marital edge.
A flim-flam life. It's hard to know who you really are.
Along with all the grave-clothes that Lazarus lost that day, I imagine he also lost any reason whatsoever to play games. And we're not talking tennis or Uno or Monopoly or Super Mario Bros.
Just think hard on this: You're sick. You're dead. You're naked, and they wrap you up. You're somewhere (???!) for four days. And then Jesus calls your name and tells you to reverse course and come back.
You're alive again, and come stumbling out. And Jesus tells them to unwrap you. "Take the grave clothes off and let him go." Right there, in front of the crowd that has gathered. Unwrapped and naked. Vulnerable. I picture Jesus holding Lazarus' hand.
Do you think it mattered to Lazarus? I don't think so. He had nothing to lose. He had no reason to play hide-and-seek anymore. Exposure, freedom, life, Jesus. I imagine it all came rushing in and stuck in his heart and his throat.
And later - maybe that night, or the next day - as he sat quietly (Martha - "Just take a seat right here on the porch, Lazzie; I'll get you anything you need; you just rest. Do you need anything? Here's some lemonade and cookies. I can get more.") As he sat quietly, sipping lemonade and munching oatmeal raisin cookies, Lazarus determined that he would never hide behind grave-clothes again.
I wonder if he thought about how many hours he had wasted pretending to be someone he wasn't? I wonder if he felt released from all the various parts he had played in his life-performance? I wonder if he decided that there would be no more drama, no more pretense, no more fake living, no more hiding and bargaining and self-protection. Why take up the time? Why go through all the hassle? Why spend all the energy to be someone you're not?
Jesus had given him a second chance. There was no reason to play games anymore.
Want to live like Laz? Drop the games. No more flim-flam. Strip off the grave-clothes. You can be vulnerable. Jesus will be holding your hand.
Suggested Scripture For Today: Psalm 103
Tell your closest friend or your spouse a secret you've never told anyone else.
Try something you know you're not good at, but something you've always wanted to do.Clean out a closet that's been gathering junk. Pretend it's your life.Confess a sin to God that you've never been honest about before.
Question of the Day: What's the first thing Lazarus would have talked about over dinner with his wife?
You guys are awesome.
Isn't this stuff the best?!
So here is my response to Day Six:
My Flim Flam life.... I try hard to not live this way but I do, on occasion, slip up. I do, on occasion drive too fast yet in the presence of a police officer slow down dutifully. I do, on occasion, have drivers rage but in the presence of my son or others control my thoughts so they don't come out of my mouth. I do, on occasion, say bad words or have a lazy day or get easily frustrated. But in the presence of anyone else watching I am straight and narrow..
I made a promise to myself a long time ago that if what ever it is that I'm getting ready to do is something I would be ashamed or embarrassed to do in front of my parents, it definitely is NOT something I should do at all. Well, isn't God my parent? Do we feel more freedom because he cannot stand in front of us tapping his toe, wagging his finger with his face turning three shades of purple while he struggles to not scream his way into breaking the sound barrier? I think we do - God isn't as in your face as your birth parents are - or is he?
We must remember that God is just as close to us as our own mom and dad, or closer! Because he reside in our hearts, watching every move, every thought, hearing every word. Learning to behave as though someone is watching - as though our closets are perpetually clean - is hard work. But also rewarding work. God will always reward or good behaviors, He will always bestow upon us his blessings, his gifts, his joy, his peace and his love when we are obedient until him.
Today I did not fuss, I did not get fussy at the fact that I had to load my truck all alone for the vendor faire. I didn't fuss when my son literally gave away four of my best bracelets in the sale because they were for his "friends" because after all, they're just like family. I didn't balk when my son and his wife needed me to go to the bank after I got done with the show today. (Read: I didn't hesitate and freely and with a smile offered myself to them.)
Today I smiled easily, laughed out loud, gave up and gave in to living happily, living loyally, trusting and just living well. It felt so good!