So my neighbor is smoking weed.
And I’m tellin’ ya…this end of the hallway positively reeks. I swear, walk from here to the elevator and you’re going to be baked by approximation.
If my thoughts seem…well…all over the place…now you know why. 😉
It was yesterday, in case you missed it. The infamous “Tongues of Fire” day where we wear red and sing about the Holy Spirit.
I’ve always had a special affection for the day. My childhood imagination would run wild, picturing the scene and what it would have been like to be there. A fantastic chaos of divinity.
But as I’m getting older, I’d be lying if I said that the day and its miraculous events are losing their luster. Maybe it’s all the special effects we’ve become accustomed to in movies and on TV, or perhaps it’s the curse of familiarity, but I found myself glazing over at church today. Which, I am not proud of.
And walking home through the loud and boisterous streets of lower Manhattan, I felt rather guilty for my lack of appreciation and wonderment.
And I realized, as I was getting accosted to buy a soggy pretzel and knockoff Oakley sunglasses, that nowadays, even if the Holy Spirit were to literally throw a tongue of fire right in front of my face, there’s so much noise and distraction all around us, that I’m afraid I wouldn’t even notice.
For a long time, my relationship with God was more of an “insurance plan.” You know – pray when you need an A on a test, or you’re scared, or you need something. I believed in and loved God, but was not really “plugged in” to the Spirit on a day to day. Maybe He’d get an “I love you – Thank you – Goodnight” at the end of the day, but other than that, He was just someone I turned to when I wanted to prevent bodily harm.
But for the seasons in my life when I actually was needing and depending on God on the daily, I realized just how often God would show up in my life. How He’d be there in the small coincidences, the beauty around me, the interactions with others, the lyrics of a song. His Spirit was alive. And on the move.
But I was thinking today: maybe the reason I saw His working in my life, was because I was deliberately looking for it.
The tongues of fire…maybe that wasn’t such a phenomenal occurrence after all? Maybe, He just needs people to pay attention and be receptive to His Spirit?
Or maybe this is blasphemy, and I’m in jeopardy of going to hell.
I spend so much aimless time on things that don’t even matter: things like social media. Netflix. Facebook. Instagram.
And sure, I love a good episode of The Office just like the next shmuck, but what if our free time has a higher calling?
Maybe those precious lull moments could be used to say “hi” to God, and breathe in His Spirit, rather than compulsively refresh Facebook.
Up in that secret room, 2000 years ago, I can tell you one thing: those disciples were not engrossed in SnapChat. They were thinking about Jesus. Reflecting on God. Scared, sure. But they were tuned in. Looking for Him.
And God responded. God showed up. In a big way.
I want to be a disciple in that room. I want to be so totally fixed on Jesus that a tongue of fire literally takes over me.
God, help me to seek you everyday. Let my free time be Your time.
And maybe, just maybe, I could receive a of Tongue of Fire, too.
****Food for thought: Where do you see God working in your life?
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