Saturday, July 11, 2009

Savour the Things that Be of God

I think the disciple Peter was a little bit like me. When Jesus told Peter that he was going to suffer and die, Peter was upset. Actually Peter was so upset that he told Jesus to stop talking. Peter didn't like to dream of building suffering into the future.

To be honest, I don't either.

When I look into the future, I dream of creating an oasis, a haven, a resting place. I don't like to make room in my dreams to do really hard things that are way outside my comfort zone, that take a lot of sacrifice and a lot of commitment and a lot of gut.

But Jesus always turns the world inside out and upside down. I think Jesus knew that if Peter and I were turned loose to our dreams of comfort and rest, we would lose ourselves. So Jesus wasn't even sympathetic to Peter. Jesus didn't say, "Boy, I guess it is hard to dream of suffering and dying."

Jesus instead told Peter to be quiet and listen. "Peter," Jesus said, "Savour the things that be of God, not the things that be of men."

I think Jesus is having a similar conversation with me, "Sarah, what do you savour?"

I tell Jesus, "A really, really deep breath after the apple pie has just come out of the oven. The last warm and colorful rays of sun before setting. That final blast of air-conditioning before stepping out into the baking summer weather. Those moments with a bosom friend before they board their airplane and leave me alone. The taste in my mouth when the last M&M is gone from the little yellow bag. A day of vacation in a month of endless work. The quiet when my last student has left the classroom."

And then I think Jesus says to me, "Savour faith more. Savour more than all those things, the faith that believes that sacrifice and dedication and discipline will grow love, very deep love. When deep love that is rooted in commitment, in gut and in self-giving has grown, then my Kingdom is closer to Earth as in Heaven. Sarah, savour faith more."

(Based on Mark 8:32-33)