Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Catbird Seat

Last night I went to see one of my favorite bands: Phoenix. They played at the Electric Factory which isn't the best venue but it was still a great show nonetheless. They played lots of hits including my favorite, "Too Young." I probably looked like a big dork throughout the show: a huge grin on my face, nodding my head to the beat, and trying to dance and not-dance at the same time.

My friend and I were in the back playing the positioning game. You know this game, where you are constantly moving from side to side repositioning yourself around the backs of people's head to see the show. Then up on your tip-toes to see over that one head that you can't get around. It's just the nature of going to concerts, I guess. You have to constantly adjust and position yourself if you want to get the best view of the show.

I started reading The Shack this morning. In the first chapter the main character, Mack, leaves his warm, comfortable home to brave an ice storm so that he can get to the end of the driveway to check the mail. After many slips and falls he reaches the mailbox to find a solitary note - from God.

Upon reading this I found myself reflecting on a sermon I heard last spring during which a pastor, Brian Robinson, talked about the "catbird seat." The catbird seat has to do with positioning. It's often used in horse racing to describe the jockey in the best position coming around the final turn into the last straightaway.

The point of the sermon was to remind hearers that we have the capability to position ourselves in the catbird seat with God. If this is true for concerts (or movies or sporting events or career pursuits, etc.), why wouldn't it be true relating to God?

Could it be that sometimes we have to brave a storm just to put ourselves in the position to receive God's invite? Or to hear God's still, small voice? Or to see God's mustard seed Kingdom? Or to feel God's invisible Wind?

Last night at the Phoenix concert I think I kind of felt like Zacchaeus: the man who, upon hearing that Jesus was coming through town, climbed up a tree so that he might be able to see God in the flesh.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Psalm 23 - A Personal Translation

Have no fear! The Lord is my guide.
He directs me to rest in healthy places.
He leads me right beside the places for refreshment and nourishment.
He shows me the right way to live,
So that I might know Who He is.

Despite the uncertainty of life and the games that my demons play on my mind,
I will have no fear!
For the Lord, my guide, is right here with me.
His scepter shows me that He is King!
And His staff shows me that He too has walked this road before.
Therefore, even though this is difficult, I take comfort knowing that He is my guide.

I will not fear because the Lord is preparing me a feast!
Even now - in the presence of my struggles - He is providing for me.
Even now He is blessing me.
And He brings abundance, goodness, and mercy into my life - more than I had ever hoped for!
And as long as the Lord is my guide, my Lord, and my King (which He is whether I remember it or not), His blessings will be with my my entire life!

Starting now and forever more, I can dwell in the Lord's house as I learn to let Him guide me.

Thank you, Lord Jesus the Christ. You are my guide, my Lord, and my King. Amen.