Watch your step.
If anyone had told me a year ago that I would actually be watching VHS tapes again, I would have told them to shake me. I must admit, though, that some things never go out of style. Perhaps God likes vintage too.
Beth Moore’s biblical video series, Breaking Free, is conveniently available to me in this format. At one point during her discussion, she mentions the necessity of needing to rest, referencing a real life scenario as told to her by her brother. This story is too good to be true, it has to be a joke:
One neighboring couple had an old fluffy white bunny and their next door neighbors had a rambunctious large black dog. Everyday the dog would bark at the bunny from one side of the dividing fence. The couples expressed their concern to one another.
“Your dog doesn’t look too stable. I swear it’s gonna get loose and get our rabbit one day,” the wife lamented to them.
The other wife responded, “Oh, I assure you he’s fine. We keep him chained up. I promise nothing will happen.”
Some time later, the wife was walking through her house when she looked out her window to see, to her horror, her dog prancing around the backyard, swinging its head and flailing the limp body of the neighbor’s fluffy white bunny. She ran into the backyard, retrieved its corpse, which was already stiff, and proceeded to her kitchen. She washed it, dried it, and fluffed up its fur as best as she could, and then snuck over to her neighbor’s backyard, meticulously setting it down and arranging the straw around it to try and conceal its scars and patches.
A few hours later, her husband came home and she told him what had happened. “Are you out of your mind?!” he exclaimed. She snapped back at him, “What else would you expect me to have done? It’s not like we’re moving anytime soon so we’re gonna have to get along with these guys for quite a while. After all, we promised them nothing bad would happen to their pet.”
They were still arguing back and forth when all of a sudden a chilling scream came from their neighbors’ backyard. The couple froze for a moment, staring at one another, and then hesitantly making their way outside. The other wife ran over to them, her face ghost white.
“What happened?” the husband asked, feigning innocence.
She was almost breathless, “Our rabbit died last night. W-we buried it a-and…somehow in the middle of the night it came back and found its way back inside its cage!
People (yes, even those in the church) are as Beth Moore called “the living dead.” We spend our time fluffing up everything on the outside, getting prim and perfected all the while internally we are suffering and stagnant, pretty much dead. I am guilty as charged for this very thing. I read my bible daily. I even do it in Spanish. I write my thoughts down. I pray. I say grace. I cover my sneezes and I brush my teeth before bed–the whole nine yards. Yet, I fell into a rut this weekend, caught in a perpetual cycle of ceaseless and repetitive questions:
What have I been doing wrong God?
I’m praying now aren’t I?!
Why am I still here?
Where’s my paycheck?
Why are you letting this happen?
Are you still there?
I meander my way along the edge of the sidewalk-less road. I approach a desolate ballpark. I lay down and I gaze up at the sky. I appreciate just being away and being outside. I remember the principle of abiding. I recall who God is and, momentarily, let go of what He does. Not just my body but also my spirit had to be still. God operates in those modalities, in the silence, in the emptiness, in the brokeness.
Don’t overlook the key words here: God operates
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
If there’s one thing I can say, God is a good listener.