Created to... What?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So there's truth, and then there's worship.

I'm not trying to create a false dichotomy or unnecessarily differentiate between two concepts. I am saying that in my life, there's truth, and then there's worship.

Truth. I'm good at truth. If you want truth, I can give you truth. I will be your up-front, honest, blunt friend. I will call it like I see it. I will usually be right, too. (Have to include a *wink* after that statement...)

God has given me a gift for knowing truth. It is such a part of me I can't escape it. This is why my relationship with God comes down to one rather regular choice - accepting Him or rejecting Him. It's not like I forget Him. (This, I am led to understand, is not the way that most of the rest of the world operates, so please forgive me for not getting your forgetfulness sometimes.)

In my relationship with God, I want truth. I want to speak the truth in my heart, which means that I am incredibly honest with myself about my faults, fallacies, foibles and... is there another "f" word that I could put there? Ah yes, fears. I also demand from Him truth about Himself that sometimes skewers my own desires and leaves me mad at Him and willing to reject Him because He's not what I want Him to be.

In a way, I have accepted this focus and knowledge and pursuit of truth as my identity. I am called to speak the truth. I know I must believe the truth, accept the truth. My spiritual gift falls well within the technical realm of "prophet." I think that a lot of people don't like this rather obvious side of me. *I* don't. I've lost more friends and caused more trouble...

But prophecy is not my only gift. (Please forgive me, my musician grad school/Julliard-type friends for the sudden, emotional confession to follow.)

I have been trying to sell my piano. We're trying to downsize for a smaller house. We need the money. I can't justify the repeated expense of moving and tuning when I have only played for maybe 15 minutes every three weeks since having Piper.

The logical conclusion for me is to get rid of it. I know, I know. Pete helped me pay for that piano before we were even dating. Sentimental value and all that. Blah, blah, blah. It feels like I'm losing everything anyway. (You have no idea - I could put a list down here that would leave you weeping!)

So Sunday I sat down to play after I got a call about the piano. I zipped my way through a couple of pieces, trying to imagine what they would sound like on the Clavinova my parents have promised me. Then I pulled out one of my old songbooks and began to play a song that I used to play and sing in high school, that grew in meaning through my first year at Bible college and meant even more through my time at PHC and beyond.

"In my moments of fear, through every pain, every tear..."

My throat closed. I couldn't sing it. I let the piano take the melody.

There's a God who's been faithful to me.

I tried again.

"When my strength was all..." gone, when my heart had no song, still in love, He's proved faithful to me...

I was choking on the words. I still meant them. For all the walls I have thrown up in my struggle over the truth, for as prickly as I have been toward God because I don't want to accept Him - ALL of Him - as He is, I could not sing those words without meaning them.

Over the last couple of days, I have tried other songs. The same thing has happened. I cannot hold my heart back from Him when I sing. I don't know whether to be annoyed, frightened, or shout for joy that perhaps I am not as awful and horrible as I think I am.

I'm not sure what happens when I sing. I don't understand how the music that wells up inside me somehow transcends the very logical, intellectual "I really don't like God right now" side of me. But it does.

I am a technical mess on the piano. I slide a bit when I sing sometimes, just because I like the sound a little better. Yet when I sing about God, it doesn't matter. Something takes over. Someone, I think. When I was younger, I used to try to mean the words I sang about Him. Now, I can't help but mean the words, the melody, the whole song. My entire being aches to be lost in Him as I sing. As I sing, I can believe He is good. I can want Him to be good, even though life is so hard. I can accept that He loves me in song. I can tell Him in song that I love Him. No caveats, nothing withheld.

I've been focusing on truth and acceptance and rejection and all the prophetic things that are only a part of who I am. It's great for practicality's sake. I mean, look at all the sentimental junk I am getting rid of as we prepare to move! But it's terrible for my heart.

Sometimes, truth in hard facts turns submission to God into subjection to a tyrant. Truth spoken without love destroys relationship. Honesty without discretion can wound and bring fear.

When God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, I think He didn't spend all of His time focusing on "truth." I think maybe He didn't think they needed to know so much as He knew about right and wrong and good and bad. I suspect that's why He told them not to eat from that tree. I imagine that their time together must have been spent with them asking Him about how He got to be so big. Or why He made the elephant's nose so long. Or maybe Eve grabbed His hand when He came to show Him a flower she had found that morning, and Adam asked Him about what He'd been thinking when He made Eve so *different* from Adam. I wonder if maybe they spent time telling Him how amazing He was, how wonderful life was to them, and how much they loved Him and had missed Him during the day, how they couldn't wait to see Him when He arrived that evening.

I found a Psalm once that talked about how all creation worships God, simply by being what He created. It's been a long time since I've stopped trying to make myself into something for Him by accepting or rejecting or understanding or knowing or whatever. I think I have fallen into believing that I was created to fulfill a calling of some sort, be it as a helpmeet, a mom, a prophet, a photographer... The more tightly I cling to my "calling," the harder it is for me to let go of the things that I think I want.

I don't come alive from these things.

I am never more alive than when I know and believe and love God as He is - powerful, loving, holy, righteous - a consuming fire.

I am asking myself again why I was created. At the moment, I am beginning to suspect He wanted me to just... BE. Just BE HIS. No strings attached. Somehow, at the Cross, Jesus makes up the difference, gets the glory, and cancels my need to fulfill any calling but this.

He first loved me with all of Himself. I might not have known all of His facets. I will probably never know all of His facets. But He was "I Am." Always before, always forever. I'm not much more than a little pipsqueak trying to get Him to change for me.

So here I am (a grace-covered, mercy-receiving, human pipsqueak who likes to sing and take pictures and be married to Pete and be mom to Piper and sister to Kate and a hundred other things). I still don't know if I'll sell the piano or not. But I might try a new approach to God. You know, the one that goes something along the lines of "I love You, because You first loved me."


nic said...

Aww Kelly! I'm glad you are singing again!

Gabe said...

And maybe that's exactly what it means to worship Him in "spirit AND in truth."

Thanks for the encouragement:-)

Kelly Sauer said...

Argh, Gabe... there goes my very own personal dichotomy! Worship AND truth... Now I have to think again!

Jessica said...

I think *knowing* the truth is usually not too hard for most of us, but *feeling* it is very different. Thankfully, I don't think God always expects us to really feel it. Belief and action come first; feelings come later. Like you say, though, singing always seems to bring me closer. It does somehow reach my heart with a simpler truth than what my head sometimes wants to focus on. I really should sing more often -- thanks for the reminder. :-)

LoveTruth said...

Thank you. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing, for making yourself vulnerable. I googled "christian restless heart" and was directed to your blog. I have been ministered to and reminded about the importance of Truth and Trust in the this surprising journey called life. God Bless you today... and I know that God will bless the decisions around your piano. :)

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