juxtaposed...

Raskalnikov

WARNING: Long Rambling Post Ahead... I'm working through a process right now - trying to clarify my thoughts, & what Jesus is saying, has said, & is pointing me towards.



The irony of knowing that there was truth in Jesus' declaration about life in all of its fullness while not seeing/feeling/experiencing/living in that fullness led to a preoccupation... the kind that I have been told is one of the things that The Bean loves about me. It's a preoccupation that stays on something, actively & passively, until there's a point of resolution. She loves it, w/one exception... when the preoccupation turns gets pointed in her direction in a point of relational conflict. But I digress. (Reminds me of when Monk talks about his quirky obsessive/compulsive 'gift' as a blessing. And a curse. The "dark side" if you will, of a strength...)


I spent a lot of time in the Gospel of John; not just in 10:10, but all around it. I was dwelling on; meditating on; maybe even obsessing on it. Call it "focused study." I would start with the KJV, w/the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance with Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek word definitions, & review each word in the passage, as every word & phrase is full of meaning & connotations. Examining context, nuances. Then I'd break out all the Bible translations in English that I had available: NASB, NRSV, NKJV, NIT, NLT, & The Message... to see how each of the translators (or paraphrasers) had chosen to word the passage.


One of the things I do as a part of studying & researching is to go through a big chunk of material (see above paragraph,) then enter "processing mode." This is where I do something that is seemingly unrelated to what I had just been doing, but actually is a vital part of the studying/researching/writing - usually this involves cleaning or organizing something. It's like the cleaning helps to sort through thoughts & ideas, & aids the germination of what God is speaking to me about. (I also did this while writing papers in college...) If I'm really onto something, I vacuum. The lines in the carpet are so reassuring...


Thoughts from 10:10: the thief is one who comes to take what belongs to others & to use it for their own gain or to squander it so the one that has had it, can't use it. His purpose is 3-fold:
  • to steal - take away by stealth;
  • to kill - slaughter, kill, sacrifice
  • to destroy - render useless; remove completely; ruin; put to an end

    On the other side of that, Jesus states His purpose - the word purpose really, really is important here - it is a main reason that He came.
  • Jesus came that humanity would have - hold fast to
  • Life - vitality, absolute fullness of life
  • In all of its fullness - greater measure; more than is necessary; over & over...



    In the pondering of the word purpose, a light came on. The enemy, the thief is actively working to steal, kill, & destroy - to sabotage humanity. Jesus, who came to undo the works of the devil & more specifically, to give, that humanity would have an abundance & overflow of life... And what He gives cannot be earned. Or deserved.

    Bingo. That was me.

    Jesus died for my sins. I can receive that. He was resurrected from the dead, so I have eternal life. I'm there too. But grace for each day... hmm. that's where I was stuck. That's where I was toiling to be 'worthy' of the life that I could never earn.


    A flash of remembrance: Rich Mullins had had a dramatic influence on my life through his music, writings, & zest for life. He spoke about something that had changed his life, in how he viewed himself, something that had clarified all that he had 'known' about God as revealed in Jesus. It was The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. So I bought it. And made it through 3 pages before I broke down, weeping.

    Jesus loves me. And has grace for me. Even after I became a Christian, His grace is still enough for me.

    to be continued...at some point...
  • 5 launchings into the blogosphere....:

    SeƱor H said...

    I am reading that book right now, I have been reading it for a while. It is a pretty good book. I just need to take time to read more. What ever happened to all my time that I used to have?

    On a lighter note: Have you ever heard Brennan Manning speak? I'm convinced he is George Carlin's long lost brother.

    Listen and watch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY7c6XPagmA&feature=related

    Jeni said...

    That book has come up so many times an I still have not read it. I really need to.

    And as far as trying to EARN what has already been given-- I'm there.

    Looking forward to the "to be continued..."

    Strekalopalis said...

    I saw Rich Mullins years ago in Carson at the Community Center. Believe it or not, but we went there for Nick Duralde's birthday.

    Jen in Budapest said...

    Ragamuffin Gospel. I own the book and it sits collecting dust at my parent's house. I do remember it striking several chords when I was first recommended to read it.

    This life is absolutely a mystery -- the fact that God cares and continues to care - no fluctuation, no change, no upgrades and exchanges for a better model of us. Nope. He takes us for all of who we are - knows us for all of who we are and actually reveals to us Himself in the midst of our self -- our stuff. Thanks for posting.

    I can relate to the research and then having a moment to clean or do something else to process. I do that too...leaving trails behind and then going back to clean up as it gets sorted in my head :D

    noel said...

    to me living life to the fullest is taking on more of a turn in the direction of God saying , "Please take the time to enjoy what I have given you because otherwise it's all for not"