My TOB Twin
Last Thursday night I had the incredible honor of getting to hear one of my favorite authors talk on one of my favorite subjects. Theology of the Body, Sex and God. Can we just pause and relish the beauty of that combination and the fact that Christopher West spoke on a stage that was literally less than 30 feet away from me? Or the fact that I was surrounded by almost four hundred primarily college aged men and women who were striving for sainthood alongside me and were interested in the same subject?
Christopher West spoke on a beautiful variety of subjects, but one that has hit me over and over this week while processing the whole talk was about how we live in a world that tries so desperately hard to distract us. Christopher talked about a time during his college years where he did a miniature social experiment of his own, and decided to stay sober for one weekend of the school semester. He wanted to see what his crazy life looked like from an outside objective opinion. What he saw shocked him.
He talked about how his roommate came home so sick to his stomach from excessive drinking that he passed out in their living room on the floor when he walked in the door. He talked about witnessing the rape of a young woman and being so shocked at the lack of respect for human beings and their inherent worth that he couldn't do anything about the rape situation...and how he still regrets that to this day.
Striving for Sainthood with these amazing people
Have you heard Alessia Cara's new song Here? It's relatively new to the music scene and is actually what they call a "sleeper hit," or a song that has had quite a bit of air time but no official promotion or sponsorship. It's a song that sneaks onto the airwaves and makes a huge wave, despite the fact that no one really knows the singer, but can connect at a deep level with the lyrics. And boy, does Alessia's lyrics ever hit home in today's culture.
Alessia sings about her experience at a party that she really does not want to be at.
But since my friends are here, I just came to kick it. But really I would rather be at home all by myself, not in this room with people who don't even care about my well being.
How did it ever come to this? I should've never come to this. So holla at me, I'll be in the car when you're done. I'm stand-offish, don't want what you're offerin' and I'm done talkin', awfully sad it had to be this way.
Oh oh oh here, I asked myself, what am I doin' here? Oh oh oh, here oh oh oh. And I can't wait 'til we can break up out of here.
Whoa. Talk about an honesty hour.
I don't know what your weekends look like. Maybe they're a lot like mine and involve sitting around with good friends and large cups of coffee, chatting about life. Maybe they involve hours spent in the library, pouring over that one last final that you are so close to finishing. Perhaps they're spent distracting yourself from something whose ache and hurt has rooted itself deep within you at a soul level and you just want a moment of relief from it...so that you can not think about it for just a few precious minutes.
If that's where you are at, if you're in the "here" that Alessia sings about and Christopher was shocked to his core about, then the amazingly beautiful thing is that Christ isn't throwing in the towel on your relationship with Him.
That ache that we want to get away from, to numb ourselves from, to escape from, is an indication that something that can fill that ache is out there. And we spend a lot of time trying to fill an infinitely deep, God-shaped hole with finite substitutes.
“In essence, Christ’s life proclaims: “You don’t believe God loves you? Let me show you how much God loves you. You don’t believe that God is ‘gift’? This is my body given for you (see Luke 22:19). You think God wants to keep you from life? I will offer myself so that my life’s blood can give you life to the full (see John 10:10).
You thought God was a tyrant, a slave-driver? I will take the form of a slave (see Philippians 2:7); I will let you ‘lord it over’ me to demonstrate that God has no desire to ‘lord it over’ you (see Matthew 20:28). You thought God would whip your back if you gave him the chance? I will let you whip my back to demonstrate that God has no desire to whip yours. I have not come to condemn you but to save you (see John 3:17).
I have not come to enslave you but to set you free (see Galatians 5:1). Stop persisting in your unbelief. Repent and believe in the good news” (see Mark 1:15).” (Christopher West)
Run to Him. Get out of "Here" and into His heart. Find those along the way who are striving for His heart and push you to His side. Be Not Afraid