Monthly Archives: July 2013

It Is There

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I am tired of small. I want big, grand, overarching words and ideas. I want big imposing rocks, not small pebbles. I want immensity. And I know it is there.

I am tired of small discussions revolving around small concerns that generate more small concerns. I am tired of topics that wind themselves down to childlike arguments. I want vast oceans of thought. And I know they are there.

I want the ocean, the mountains, the waterfall, the big clear overwhelming sky on a cold quiet winter night. I want to be overcome by all that is out there. I could never climb it, swim it, or touch it, but I want it there.

Why do we dig ourselves into little caves of personal taste and preference, of self sovereignty based on our limited experiences in our small lives? Why don’t we grasp for the greatness of God’s presence and the width, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love? Why do allow ourselves to be held back from throwing ourselves into this never-ending boundless sea that is laid out right before us? It is right there before us.

We are blind and deaf and too easily sidetracked by the tiniest of thoughts that we somehow miss the looming grandeur of our Creator, our Lord, our Savior. We pick over a grain of sand when right before us is this colossal eternal Rock. We should be pondering, discerning, perceiving, knowing, grasping for the One who is able to do immeasurably more than we would even dream in our wildest dreams.

This is huge. This is what we are aiming for. We cannot miss it. It is there for us, if we will be rooted and grounded in His Word and His love.

Let us forsake the small. Let us reach for the impossibly wonderfully overwhelming overcoming Love that is there to be lavished on us, if we will only open our eyes and ears and reach out our small, feeble hands. It is there.

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Why I Said “No” to Marie Claire

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So a strange thing came in the mail the other day. It was the latest issue of Marie Claire with an offer of one year free subscription. I have no idea how or why it was sent to me. It really doesn’t matter. Because (after paging through it), I threw away the magazine and went online to cancel the subscription.

Why did I do this? Out of fear that “if it seems too good to be true, it is,” that I may somehow be incurring charges that are hidden in some fine print somewhere? No, though that thought did cross my mind. Out of some purist revulsion to the images of less than fully clothed ladies littering the pages? Not really, but that did make it easier.

I did it because, as I sat on my deck on a warm summer evening and casually flipped through the pages, I felt myself at once drawn in and repelled. And I recognized a feeling that washed over me, a hauntingly familiar feeling. I can trace this feeling back to looking at Seventeen Magazine when I was probably 12 or 13, then Glamour into my 20s, and more recently, really any magazine within reach when I am getting my hair done. This is a feeling that I am quite certain most women who flip through these magazines can recall easily. The feeling? Inadequacy.

When we browse the enticingly glossy pictures of impossibly beautiful impeccably dressed women, we are told, in bold type, how we do not measure up. The message is loud and clear. You are not (fill in the blank) enough. Whatever your insecurity, there likely is a photo spread or article to make you feel worse about yourself. But, wait! In three easy steps, you can improve yourself! You can have fuller lips, a more toned body, better hair, hotter style, a cooler career, you name it. If you’re single? Here’s how to “catch a man.” If you’re married? Boy, are you missing out! The new thing? “Taking a lover” How empowering!

The thing is, I know all of this is so ridiculously across the board false. I know it. You know it. We all know it. But something insidious happens when we allow our eyes to rest on the impossible images and the false claims of what it is to be beautiful and whole. The lies seep into to our minds as we glance down at our own bodies, look around at our houses and wardrobes. “I am not good enough. I can (and should) be taller, skinnier, cuter, edgier, more stylish, have better skin, go out more…”

It takes only a few minutes to be drawn into this made up world where everyone is having more fun than you with more flair and style than you’ll ever have, and looking oh so wonderful doing it. And while part of your brain says “whatever” part of you gets sucked in, and you turn the page, read the article, study the fashion tips. Suddenly you are lifted from a world where things are just fine into one where, well, something has to change. And, most tragically, we begin to buy into the deception that any of these vapid concerns or surface changes could ever provide lasting and pure happiness.

Like I said, I don’t know how or why I came upon this “free gift,” I also don’t know how or why this seduction works. But it doesn’t really matter. Because the only way it works is if I let it in.

So Marie hit the recycling, and I sat outside, listening to the chatter of my children, breathing a quiet sigh of contentment, before going in to tackle the dishes.

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