Thoughts on Thursday

I’ve walked with Christ for 44 years. It’s doubtful I will be on this earth for 44 more years. So I’ve been thinking. How can I best use the time remaining? Thus these thoughts… Dentistry has always disturbed me although I have a great dentist whom I appreciate. A few years back, I was introduced to nitrous-oxide. It tends to create a dreamy state for me. I don’t laugh (it’s popularly called “laughing gas”) but I drift along in a fuzzy world of contemplation while dental stuff is being done somewhere above me. Occasionally flashes of reality will inject themselves into my lovely dream. Jamie (my dentist) will warn me to keep my mouth open or some such thing. Very annoying. Also frightening! A moment of panic will wash over me. The nitrous fog was being penetrated by another world. The “real” world where things were happening that I did not perceive. That was okay. I didn’t want to perceive them. In fact, I felt resentment when they would turn off the gas. Even so, that nagging feeling. What was going on “up there?” Was I annoying the dentist?

Recently, I had a dream. In heaven there were people who were closer to God than me. A different ” class” if you will. It was nothing conferred on them but a natural result of a life spent in close communion with Him. They knew Him better than I did. A huge crowd of people, including me, stood together watching and yearning to be included but had to settle for the level of relationship with God so far developed. I woke up thinking to myself that I am not satisfied to be on the outside, yearning. It isn’t power or miracles that I want. No special favors or problems solved. (I do ask for solved problems on occasion. We all need them from time to time.) Nope. Here’s what I need.

Philippians 3:8
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

I think there is more to knowing Christ than the knowledge of His message or to be aware of His existence or to accept His offer of grace. There is a fog of nitrous oxide to be penetrated so as to see the real world where things I don’t perceive are happening (whether I see them or not.) I want the “surpassing value of knowing Christ” How do I do that?

I don’t know. I’ve read the Christian mystics (like Brother Lawrence or A.W. Tozer) but frankly they make no sense to me. The answer, I think, lies in this simple verse.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Short and sweet is this passage but who really does it? Brain dead people? “Rejoice always.” Okay. Will do. So long as rejoicing kinds of things happen. “Pray without ceasing”? Can’t. Life is too busy. My mind wanders. “In everything give thanks.” Very few of us will say, “Thanks God for that piece of bad news.”

Yet, somewhere in that verse is the key to seeing reality, to knowing Christ, to attained the depth of relationship I am seeking. I am suspicious of people who summarize this into three bullet points so I won’t. I am going to head this direction and jot down a few thoughts on the way…

About six months ago, I stopped asking Jamie for nitrous oxide.

One thought on “Thoughts on Thursday

  1. That’s really the hard part, isn’t it? To realize that this hard circumstance, this very unwelcome situation is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus…what?! He has a bigger goal for me than I can imagine? I’m really not my own? I’m truly bought with a price?

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