there is alway a certain sense of defeat when you return from a weekend filled with deep revelation and spiritual stirring. it's coming down from the "jesus high". i've spoken to many youth regarding this very thing on several different occasions. it's something i think we all experience. we set aside some time to be with God. a weekend conference. a youth event. a sabbatical. whatever. and we open up our hearts to experience the presence of God and are eager to hear his word. we become honest and broken. we take the time to listen to his gentle whispers instead of rushing through a self serving prayer asking for all our worldly desires. we get to the place where we are filled up with his love for us and his creation. all is good with the world. there is hope. there is forgiveness. there is peace. no, it's not all rainbows and butterflies but we accept our own defeat with the strength of our lord. and then our time is over. our weekend is done. and we fall back into the world as we know it. the world where emphasis lies on our material success and shallow beliefs. and we simply blend in instead of being bold in our faith. where we talk to one another about our financial success or failures or our "woe is me" mentality because things just aren't going our way. we spend countless hours filling our minds and souls up with the garbage society has to offer. the modern day frivolities that we think we need. consuming more. and more. and more. we fight our prideful battles with the people we love in an effort to prove we are .......what? smarter? prettier? thinner? richer? and when we win those battles ...what then? this is the world we live in. the "real" world as so many of us claim it to be. but is it really? a few weeks ago i had coffee with a dear friend who called me on this. he told me he refers to this world of ours simply as, the "fake" world. so it's not the most grammatically beautiful adjective.... it is about as accurate as you can get. indeed, we do live in this "fake" world. this world that reflects so little of what the gospel message is about. a world that was not intended for us but rather a world that WE have created. so how do we live and breathe something as powerful as that message in world that we have created based on our own sinful and earthly desires? how do we keep our own jesus high? i don't know. i don't have that answer. but it is my prayer to figure it out. to figure out how i can make this work. how can i be BOLD for jesus? how can i live in the world but not be OF the world? how can i let go of the reassurance i need from everyone else and instead rely solely on the reassurance of God? how can i hold fast to a faith that escapes me each and everyday? slipping away with each passing second, minute and hour?
heavenly father and almighty creator show me your way. reveal to me your will. give me your strength because it alone is the only strength i need to surpass a life of sin and defeat. dwell within me, my heart and my soul and allow me to find the courage to be bold for you and you alone. amen.