The First Step (May Musings) – May 3, 2023 (123/365)

So let me just go ahead and blitz through all that’s going on in my mind. See, I have a prayer meeting coming up in a bit, and after that, I have a Bible study with our good Pastor Joedy taking lead… So there’s a chance that whatever I do have in my mind at this moment could be laced with some of whatever comes up in one or both of the meetings, and I owe it to my mind and to my being to let out what I have in mind before all of this comes up.

Pure. Unadulterated.

Or maybe not as pristine. Sure, I have a lot of other things going on in my head right now, but what I do want to share is exactly what is being proven during these times of… well, shall we say, ‘escalated’ events. I say escalated in the sense that more things are happening, and in the sense that things of greater impact – both immediate and long-term – are happening.

But yeah, in spite of said escalation, it’s precisely these moments that the constants come up. In the times when we are presented with no choices, or no time to make a choice, the constants come up and make themselves know. My supposed deep-seated mindsets and actions come to the surface.

What sort of deep-seated mindsets? Well, there’s that one thing that I’ve learned throughout all this time – that there are always two sides to the coin. In other words, don’t be so quick to pounce on one thing a person says, before realizing the fact that when you say one thing, you’re saying two things.

What do I mean by this? Well, simply, if you say point A, you are also saying NOT point B. And also, apparently something I’m realizing as I’m writing this, that you preferred to say point A first before not point B is something on its own.

Here’s one example: I’ve always loved Romans 8:38-39, and how we could summarize it to saying that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ. This is like, NOT point or possibility B, point A being something that I’ve said time and time again, without any kickback or violent reactions (so far): That is, EVERYTHING connects us (or I say reminds us at other times) TO the love of God through Jesus Christ.

Have you also noticed, that you could see a little bit more into the heart of the apostle Paul as he wrote this – unlike the example I cited, Paul chose to express NOT Point B instead of Point A in his letter. You can see that he wanted to realize how, in spite of all things going on in us, through us, around us – NONE of these things separate us from God’s love, and Christ guaranteed it.

Do you see the slight nuance here? It’s as if we are more encouraged to respond with peace, instead of moving as if Point A was emphasized first – I imagine that would have us more inquisitive with everything that goes on, and would leave a good chunk of us in the body of Christ overanalyzing and overthinking… more than the usual, for some of us.

Deep-seated mindsets. Constants.  Through the course of the weekend I’ve thought of a theme that we could work with for the rest of this second quarter of 2023:

Features of Love: Constants and Core Competencies

That title is from that one Mike Francis song, which I’m glad to report has finally made its way to Spotify. I chose that, if only to challenge those who have invested resources (the very least of which is time) to listen to what I have to share – to challenge them to understand, evaluate for themselves and inevitably appreciate the love God has for them specifically.

I shared something last Sunday, something to the lines of doubling down, sure, on the fact and truth that we are all generally loved by God – that is, God loved the world, and we are fully aware of that. However, I also shared something – which, I forgot to add, was something that left me crying like an idiot while my parents were conveniently having lunch at one time as we neared 2010 – that is, that Christ was thinking about me; yes, ME – while He was nailed to the cross. I shared it to the congregation, and I’d like to believe that something else beyond the usual sparked into them when I started calling out random folks, saying that Christ was thinking about them, too!

‘Could you imagine with me – the Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who gave up His glory to be born as one of us, and then gave up His body to save us – While He was nailed to the cross, in between His trying to painfully position Himself for just one more breath, He was thinking – THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, JB!

This one’s for you, Brother Steve! This one’s for you, Mama Nitz! This one’s for you, Ate Reena!

And then, could you imagine, this same Christ, triumphant over death in His resurrection, proving that He is who He says He is, and He does what He says He does; imagine Christ, ascending to the heavens after 40 days after commissioning us to testify… rising to the heavens, saying – THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, JB!

This one’s for you, Brother Jardine! This one’s for you, Mama Florence! This one’s for you, Brother Alex!’

This tirade was what got me thinking, as a Pastor, I probably shouldn’t be the only one getting so elated about this love that God has for us. To that note, that’s why I wanted to encourage everyone else to appreciate and recognize the features of God’s love from their unique points of view as well.

Putting this together with the aforementioned constants and deep-seated mindsets that have developed in our minds all this time, I suppose we’re only able to go that deep to see into our past, present, and future by the power we have, guaranteed by God’s great love for us… and we’re also able to face whatever we do see in the past, present, and future for what they are instead of how we want to see them – only by the peace that we have, also guaranteed by God’s great love for us.

I’d love to keep on going but I’ll leave it here for now.

Additional thought before I forget: The gifts I give myself, and the gifts I’ve received as I turned 39. I’m thinking about factoring that in as I continue to write in the little moments of time I have in between all that’s going on. For now, I’ll sit back and listen and transcribe what Pastor Joedy has to share.

Until the next post, God bless you.

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