In lieu of Coke, I drank sweet tea

You’d think that after sitting around and thinking for three weeks that I’d have wonderful things to say.

You’d think my words would be eloquent and divinely inspired.

You’d think they would be full of revelation and profound truth.

You’d think…

I’d say that, yeah, I have learned a lot in this time. Yeah, I do have great things to say. Sure, if I sat here long enough and proofread every word three times this blog would flow seamlessly. Certainly I’ve received words of comfort from God. But I don’t know if I’d term them revelationary. (Yeah. That’s a new word.)

My roommate suggested that I fast something until I get a job. I decided to fast pop/soda/coke/cola/soda pop. Truth is, I’d often find myself plotting ways to go out and buy pop. I’d plan my day around my cola intake. I’d say that’s a case of the flesh overtaking my self control. Time out for a mini-lesson. Your flesh is your sinful, lustful, selfish side. Your spirit (that is, if you’re a Christian) is the God-seeking, submissive, righteous, holy side.

Since last week, I’ve not had any pop. It hasn’t been that hard to abstain from drinking it.

However, I noticed that I started drinking sweet tea and eating more candy bars instead. Rather than totally overcoming the urge for sugar, I just transferred the method of sugar intake. Not exactly a successful fasting exercise.

Good news is that I realized this was happening and I’ve taken steps to properly align myself, God, the flesh and my desires.

Some of you may find it weird that I have to starve my flesh into submission. I don’t find it strange. I find it necessary. Contrary to the way America works, our flesh and self-fleshness (‘nother new word combo) are not in charge. The flesh shouldn’t rule all of our desires. We shouldn’t go about our lives driven by our latest lust.

If I’m not careful, I find myself scheming for the next thing that I want. Take now, for example. I want an iPod Touch. My flesh is convinced that I have every good reason to have one. Examine the truth and you’ll find that I already have an iPod Nano. The Nano works fine. I’m unemployed and frankly cannot and should not afford another iPod right now. The main reasons I want an iPod Touch are so I can have wireless connectivity and email wherever I am. I want to beef up my cool factor. I want to have another toy to play with.

I don’t need a new iPod. I just want one. For totally stupid reasons.

If I were still employed, I would’ve purchased that iPod around the time I got laid off. I thought I had enough money to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was planning a trip to New Mexico. I had a newly-deposited stimulus check from the government sitting in my bank account, waiting to be used. I was loving work. I was rolling in self competency.

And then all of that dreaminess and money freedom ended on a Tuesday morning when my boss came in and said my position had been eliminated.

I went from iPod dreams to an, “I’m unemployed,” reality.

Three weeks later, here I am with my third (perhaps fourth blog) about the fact that I’m unemployed. I still haven’t lost hope. I’m still expecting God to do great things.

Here’s what’s different:

1. I’m no longer controlled by my flesh (and ultimately Satan; since he drives all pursuits of the flesh).

2. I’m stewarding the money God has allowed me to temporarily use as my own to pay my bills, sow the seeds of His kingdom and give back to Him mainly in increments of 10%.

3 I’m a prisoner of hope. All I can do is hope. I cannot be negative because I find no moral, spiritual, physical, mental or sensical reason to be negative.

4. I enjoy my life everyday because I’m desperate for God, His provision, His work, His might, His comfort and His promises. I’ve learned the lesson that I need to be desperate for God all of the time. On the good days, the bad days, the sad days, the glad days. All days must be desperate days. Apart from God, I can do nothing. I was aware of that verse and concept but I just didn’t quite get it until I found myself in desperation.

I used to be ashamed of desperation. I have always been the put-together, proud person. I would only tell my life story experiences after they were wrapped up, taken care of and had a happy ending.

And now I am desperate…and I am celebrating it! I need God–more than I need a happy ending, more than I need a great job, more than I need a husband, more than I need food on the table.

In my current mental movie, I see the Nashville skyline on the left and God standing on the right. I hear Him say, “Do you choose to be alone with everything–your dream job, a good paycheck and friendly coworkers? Or do you choose Me alone, your everything? What do you want? Commuter? Or community? Do you want to be alone in your car on the way to work most of your life? Or do you want to work in the community where you live and build relationships with the neighbors around you?”

As I gaze upon the city skyline, I sigh. I see falsely glamorous, busy activity and aimless pursuits in circular, repetitive motion. When I fix my eyes upon Him, my Creator, I see true peace. I see a flowing river next to a stable, rooted, healthy tree.

Without vision, the people perish. Thankfully, you’ve just witnessed me receiving something revelationary.

I choose He alone, my everything.

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One thought on “In lieu of Coke, I drank sweet tea”

  1. honestly i’m not even sure what to comment cause it’s like there’s nothing else that needs to be added except a big…”Amen!”
    just, very powerful points that you make here.
    i’m glad you’re making all this progress and growing so much, it’s very cool to witness.

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