09 April 2011

Powerful Pauses

Today I feel particularly lazy. It's not difficult for me to feel lazy. I can go the the litany of medical reasons that sap my energy and come up with plausible excuses. Not just plausible excuses, genuine reasons. I am exhausted today, not just lazy. I have had two cups of caffeinated coffee and am working on the energy to go make a third which may do the trick or complicate my day by making my guts fight back. My life has a lot of pauses in it. Pausing for energy. Pausing to reconsider choices. Pausing to breathe.

Pauses are wonderful things. In acting we learned that pauses are uncomfortable for the actor but give the audience a chance to feel and consider what they have heard and seen. They convey discomfort, regret, sorrow, arrogance, disgust any number of situations can be related to in a pause. Think of the power of a pause in music. Just when you think it is over, right when your soul is begging for relief the pause nearly kills you and then the note you are looking for come crashing in and you know it's going to be just as you imagined it. Anticipation is birthed in pauses.

A theology geek friend said something the other day about not being a fan of Jonathan Edwards and John Piper. Two of my favorite theologians, not that I agree with all the write. I read what my friend had to say about Edwards preaching law and not the gospel. My initial response to his opinion was to blow a virtual raspberry at him. I planned to debate with him the merits of his comment and suddenly, for reasons I can't tell you, I stopped to see why he'd said what he did. He was in a conversation with someone else and I didn't have the luxury of knowing the details of that conversation. That's not the reason I am writing, the object of this rant is that I paused to consider his point. Something amazing happened when I did that. Did pausing change my mind about Edwards and Piper? Not hardly. The amazing part is I didn't die for want of telling him all the reasons he was wrong. My brain didn't explode as it categorized the errors and assumptions. My heart didn't stop. Pausing didn't injure me at all.

Instead of getting into the debate, I picked up some reading material and read what Edwards had to say about the gospel. I read this:

"It is the honor of Christ to save the greatest sinners, when they come to Him, as it is the honor of a physician that he cures the most desperate diseases or wounds. Therefore, no doubt, Christ will be willing to save the greatest sinners, if they come to Him."

Yeah, I am OK with liking Edwards and OK if someone else doesn't. I should pause more often.

Rom 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
17 For in it {the} righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous {man} shall live by faith."
(NAS)

Heb 4:12
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(NAS)

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