As a Mom of two small children, the words above often describe the state of my being and existence in this world in the midst of all the chaos and busyness. I often find myself merely existing, void of vibrancy and true, authentic LIFE. I’m fully present in body but far removed and displaced in my mind, with a searching soul desperate for nourishment. We often find ourselves living captive to our calendars, enslaved to our jobs, distracted by all of our modern day “conveniences,” all the while holding on just a little too tightly to the things of this world that have subconsciously become our idols. My eyes are open for about 16 hours a day but I wonder if I am really awake?
Is this living?
In the Book of Ezekiel, the Lord takes Ezekiel to a valley, full of dry, scattered bones. Ezekiel learns that the bones represent the nation of Israel and all of the Jews that have been held captive and have fallen asleep or died spiritually. “These bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.” Do you ever feel like the pressures, distractions and calamities of our fallen world, cause us to feel void of hope, empty or detached? We live in a time, plagued by sin and darkness, danger looming on every horizon. We are burdened by constant comparison and judgement, we are tempted by ungodly desires, we flirt with idols and we are dead in our addictions.
Is this living?
We go through the motions of life. Our empty bodies appear to be alive because our hearts beat, we take in air, move about, talk with one another, and interact with our surroundings, BUT, our precious soul, the core of our being…is there a pulse? To the outside world, the “appearance” of life exists. The heart of our physical being may beat but our one, true lifeline is plugged in to the wrong power source. Our life dances to the rhythm of the world instead of in step with the Holy Spirit.
Is this living?
I feel like we live in a time where being busy is considered better, where being strung out, run down, utterly exhausted is exulted. We have turned into a society full of busy bodies and weary souls. We are smothered by the pressures to do more, be more, have more, while our souls are suffocating and dying a slow, spiritual death. The constant clamor of the mundane, wrestles for our time and undivided attention and ultimately, tunes out the subtle, yet ever-present voice of the Holy Spirit. We often blame God for abandoning us in this upside down and inside out world, when really, He was there all along. We were just tuned in to the wrong station. We are living on a completely different wave length to even notice His overwhelming and wondrous presence.
Is our soul tuned in to the station of the world or the station of the spirit?
Are you walking through your days physically present, with eyes wide open, yet you find yourself feeling your way around in the darkness, stumbling at every twist and turn, aimlessly grabbing for anything you can find to hold on to, with a weary, spiritually blind soul, trailing behind, just trying to exist?
As Ezekiel stood in the presence of the Lord, he was commanded to prophesy to the bones to come together physically, and they did…yet, there was no life, because there was no breath. But then God commanded, “Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live…breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet…” I can relate to the dry bones in the valley. Can you? If I were tried in court, I would be found guilty of going through the motions of life. You can find me saying my rout, robotic prayers, hurrying through my quiet time just to check it off my list of to-dos, attending church in body, while checking my mind and soul at the door, zoning in on the revolving door of Facebook status updates, while simultaneously, accepting the unacceptable and living with my spiritual blinders on. Is this the breath of life?
Today, we are a people desperate for renewal, restoration and revival for our tattered and torn spirits. If we are honest, I think we could all benefit from a breath of fresh spirit infusion. Our world today resembles the people referenced in Matthew 13:13-15, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand…you will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes.”
The Lord is constantly at work around us. His heart’s greatest desire is to woo us, amaze us, and to captivate our hearts to enter into a personal relationship with Him. Our God is WONDERFUL! He is constantly giving us gifts and opportunities to experience new life, to get that much needed breath of fresh air, to ignite that spark of spiritual infusion. But, how often do we miss the gifts? How many times do we pass up the opportunities or ignore them altogether? Has God ever given you a divine appointment but you were just too busy to show up? According to 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
Precious Father, I beg you to stop us dead in our tracks. Arrest our self-righteous hearts. Breathe life into our dry bones and infuse us with your Holy Spirit. Lord, we beseech you to remove our spiritual blinders and to keep the shades of our life wide open so we do not miss a second of your goodness, wonder and awe. Inconvenience me and my sisters Lord, in any way that you see fit, to break the endless cycle of complacency and detachment. Father, I pray that you will light our souls on fire for you, that will you will revive our spirits and restore our weary souls. Help us find your extraordinary in the everyday ordinary that surrounds us and draw us into a state of expectancy and urgency. “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).
As children of God, we were not meant to be of this world; we are just merely passing through. Our life here on Earth is “… just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away”(James 4:14). I pray we can seize every opportunity to experience and encounter the Father, while being renewed and refreshed daily with the constant presence of His Holy Spirit. In the poetic words of Adelaide Proctor,
“For life is all too short dear.
And sorrow is all to great,
To allow our slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it’s not the thing you do dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache,
At the setting of the sun.”
(Things Left Undone, Adelaide Proctor)
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