Thursday, January 17, 2008

Raisins Rather Than Grapes

"Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom."
The Song of Songs 2:15

Big challenges present big problems, but small things can accumulate and ruin everything. Like a constrictor, slowly but efficiently they squeeze the life out of us by tightening their grip on every exhale. We breathe out but don't breathe in. Sometimes the constrictors in our lives are anything but slithery (Revelation 2:2-3). The Spirit goes out in word and deed, but isn't given the opportunity to refill. Sometimes those constrictors are just the distractions of life (Luke 8:14). The Spirit is replaced by that which is not Spirit, like inhaling nitrous oxide instead of oxygen, making the constrictor's clinch twice as deadly.

The soul of our existence is our oneness with God (
John 17:20-26). When the congress between the Spirit of God and us is free, without competition, we know who He is and who we are in him. We're anchored, standing on solid ground. When we begin getting too occupied doing things, even holy things, we end up getting out of Breath. We go stale, we drift, doubts increase, often so does sin.

Jesus was incredibly busy and yet never seemed in a rush. He knew what his source was. He didn't substitute action for interaction with his Father. Somehow, whether in our rush to do good, or just to do, we lose track of that lesson, and forget that what makes us what we are and fuels what we hope to be is God's presence in our lives.

What hope do we have apart from the warmth of our fellowship and the depth of our conversation with God? In using the illustration of the vinedresser and his vines in describing our interaction with him, I don't think Jesus was implying he had a taste for raisins rather than grapes.