Too Mutch

...a safe place to dance with ideas, play with theology, and re-create a life implicated by God

Monday, January 22, 2007

Did you say Euchre-ist?

Uhhhhhh no. That would be one who excels in the wildly popular card game of the Midwest.

Well, it is just about midnight. I sit here in my orange chair (yes, the one Christine thinks is going to the 3rd floor) laptop ready, IPA in reach, with my notes from the conference I attended today at Mars Hill Bible Church. It is a conference celebrating the local church, cleverly titled "Isn't she beautiful?"

What I was referring to was the Eucharist. In it's roots it means thanksgiving...thankfulness...and the like. It is the word used by some churches to describe the sacramental ritual of The Lord's Supper or Communion. Today, Rob used it as a paradigm for leaders (and you could argue all followers of Jesus) to makes sense out of that feeling of being tired in the bones from giving ourselves away. Here's how the picture works out...

When we give ourselves away we are, like Jesus, being given over to death so that others will have life (2 Cor 4). Our bodies are broken when we meet with the couple who is thinking of calling it quits after 12 years of marriage. Our blood is spilled out when we drop everything and go to the hospital to sit with the family who has just lost their teenage son to a drug overdose. Over and over chunks of our soul are ripped away. We are this eucharist for our families, for our churches, for our neighbors, for our co-workers. We exist, as followers of this Jesus, to incarnate the breaking of the body and the spilling of the blood...do this in remembrance of me. Seems like somebody said that once??

And it is good to be broken and to bleed.

very good.

But we have to be put back together again. We, like Jesus, need to get in the boat. We need to go to sleep. We need to escape to quiet places and be replenished. We cannot give 110% . I've heard that said before. We have to give more than we are capable of giving? I don't believe that. We give ourselves over to death, but we have to be refilled with life. Which leads me back to being thankful.

Who and what and where am I put back together again?

My wife...coffee and reading (which turns into coffee and talking).
The great folks in my house church
Late nights at Founders. It seems counter-intuitive, but the conversations fill me
A two hour conversation that "goes there" the first time we meet (thx MLaw)
Nights on the patio with the Howell's
Reading a great book
Coffee or other beverages with Leddy or Nelly
4 hours at the Kava House with you and you and you (you know who you are)
A 10 pm soccer match--but only when we win (which finally happened tonight!)
Holla.
The list could go on...

To the people in my life who put me back together, Thank You. I need to tell you that more often. And in person. I will try.

So, what about the rest of you? When do you find yourself living out a Eucharistic Lifestyle? What breaks you and causes you to bleed? And what puts you back together again?

12 Comments:

At 8:00 AM, Blogger diane said...

it's interesting that you write about this today. today when i wake up feeling more tired then when i went to sleep. today, this eve of Exam Week for my kids and I cram to give them everything they need.

you describe how i often feel as a teacher/missionary. i give myself away and i absorb the broken-ness of others. during Christmas break i remember thinking, "my students give me their broken-ness. I absorb it. I have to heal from it."

so jealous that you went to the Conference this week. if it wasn't Exam Week i'd be there as well.

again, interesting that you write this in this moment. this time when i need to hear it. when i'm realizing that the right thing to do and the God-honoring thing to do are the same thing. and it's okay if that choice leaves me tired.

so...what makes me whole again? Companionship with good friends...in all it's forms.

enjoy the conference today. write again tonight!

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger diane said...

p.s. i wrote something wrong in my previous comment. I meant to say that the thing I want to do and the God-honoring thing are the same thing...

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger ARK said...

for me, something that really causes me to be broken is anytime that a person talks about a fathers love for his son. I re-discovered this last Sunday when in the special music at Calvarys main sanctuary the song was sung "when God ran" and after a message about the prodical son. I am compelled to sit with other guys in my dorms and in my chuch to cherish every moment with those who feel that their father or parents care so much about them. I talk to many guys who just wish there parents would back off and let them be individuals. and in no way am i saying that a young man should not grow up and become his own person apart from their parents. however to be able to remember and cherish those times then their parents held them, cared for them and accepted them. it rips my heart to peices when i think about a parents love from their parents because i know that this is an experiance that I don't have. Something that I all too often find myself wanting but know that I will never have that kind of relationship with my earthly father due to differnt circumstances. the other thing that puts me back together from those moments is time, Gods supernatural comfort and knowing that I can encorage others from my pain that i experiance and knowing that others can know that kind of love. let me know if I mis intrepreted your question.

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous chrisrine said...

For the record...
1. That orange chair WILL go up to the third floor....eventually:)
2. It's not always MY fault that "coffee and reading' turn into "talking and reading" - just most of the time.
3. I am re-energized by solitude. By reading and journaling. By NOT having a schedule or plan for the day. Strangely, then i'm also re-energized by spending quality time with people! I just can't do it without the prior things. (Oh, and I've got this wise and funny husband who revitalizes me too!)

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous chrisrine said...

For the record...
1. That orange chair WILL go up to the third floor....eventually:)
2. It's not always MY fault that "coffee and reading' turn into "talking and reading" - just most of the time.
3. I am re-energized by solitude. By reading and journaling. By NOT having a schedule or plan for the day. Strangely, then i'm also re-energized by spending quality time with people! I just can't do it without the prior things. (Oh, and I've got this wise and funny husband who revitalizes me too!)

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Diane,
I'm glad this "met you" the way it did. In that, it was worth staying up til after midnite to write. The conference was great...a good shot in the arm for me. I hope you get to hear about it from lots of folk who were there.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Greg said...

alan, thanks for posting your thoughts. What I was referring to by "being broken" and "having our blood spilled" relates more to when we are somehow "taking one in the gut for the kingdom of God." When we serve God, Love people, give ourselves away, etc...it is going to break us and make us bleed (as it did for Jesus). And so, we, like Jesus, need to be replenished. We need to find a boat to get into or a quiet place to retreat to. What are the things that replenish you?

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Greg said...

I'm not sure who this "chrisrine" character is, but she's got some issues (beyond posting her thoughts TWICE). Well, I bet she is a real swell gal! One I'd like to meet...again and again and again.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous dl said...

Greg, really enjoyed the thought you put into this blog, you made me think about this in a different way. I'll probably chew on it all day, thanks. Debra (diane's sis...also known as dl)

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Greg said...

thanks debra for checking in and for your comments. happy chewing!
greg

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger ARK said...

things that replenish me. finding a close freind and spending time just talking and being around each other. the touch/hug of a true spiritual father/brother figure in my life is something that gives life back to me. knowing someone is affirming who I am and beleiving that I am capible of something. other things are speding large amounts of times in prayer to God (half hour or more at least). I also find that one on ones with others where I am able to help them and counsol them is something that I find replenishing and brings life to me. beleive it or not but teaching and challenging others with messages from Gods word and having others respond is something that I am finding that I enjoy and brings a breath of fresh air to my soul. those are some things that I find are uplifting too me and replenish me.

 
At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Greg! Congratulations on your new job...it sounds like it's going great. All the best--I'm so glad your period of unemployment has ended and that you've found a good place of ministry and work that matches your gifts and calling. (It feels almost surreal when it happens, doesn't it? I was unemployed for a year and a half, and I cannot tell you how grateful I was after I finally got hired to be able to get up every day and go earn a living!)

All the best,
Cara

 

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