so I climbed a mountain, bulit an alter. Looked out as far as I could see..

I sat staring at the wooden stage in front of me. The speaker was still blasting us but my mind had begun to wander, laden down with weighty truth. The words on the wall blurred into a million colors of nonsense as I slipped into the comfortable, blink-less, dreamlike business that is zoning out. My peripherals tingled with the shifting of students in their chairs, the flipping of pages in their notebooks and the scratching of pens across college ruled paper. I continued on in my trance-like state thinking about everything and nothing all at once. O how at home I feel in that sect of consciousness. Drifting along on a whim, sent tumbling and twirling into nostalgia. Finding yourself resting your soul on hope or sinking deep into what could be. One moment you're exploring deep and beautiful crevasses, and the next you're soaring to the chilly, snow laden peaks of your dreams. The crisp air of that altitude never expires. The long grasses of your meadow of desires never withers or fades, not in this place, it only seems to bloom more brightly and beautifully as time passes. One could definitely get lost in this place.. but it never lasts long enough for you to really grasp the beauty, or take hold of the sensation. It's always alighting just outside your reach. Always comes whirring back with incredible speed, colliding in a ineffable shattering of two worlds. Leaving you with the shadow of what was and the somehow fractionally less beautiful thing that is our current reality resting in your lap.

And it happened just like that (although much different from any other time, as you'll see now). From a featherlight experience of dreams and hopes to the shocking reality, substantially more beautiful and inexpressible than ever before. Just as my mind ventured the question, "what if Jesus showed up on the stage right now before me?" there he was - and without second thought I was forsaking everything. Jumping up from my chair I rushed the stage, all eighty-five others suddenly evaporating behind me. The walls melted into oblivion, the floor slunk away from me in a sickening landslide of grey concrete and yet I stood. Intrepid. My eyes locked on his.

He didn't speak, nor did I. And yet the communication had been made. Everything was his. Everything. Every hope for the future, every dream that inhabited my heart, every memory and all of my past. This present, dissolving reality (was it really dissolving? or just growing nebulous in his blinding light?), my inhibitions and doubts...everything. Without question and in the resounding silence of our locked gaze it was his. It seemed like an eternity I stayed there, my mind lilted along, captured by the radiance that rolled off him unrestrained and it somewhere within that moment I realized he was everything he said he was. Everything that had ever been spoken of his beauty and brilliance, might and power was utterly and completely factual. I would follow him anywhere. I would do anything he asked. I would believe for anything he thought possible. I would crawl into the deepest and darkest parts of anywhere with the belief that his radiance would light the darkness. I knew it was true - Just look at him! I would go to the ends of the earth if only to be walking along side him. I would sit an eternity at his feet if just to hear him breathe. I would spend forever in his eyes if just to fancy a fraction of what he was thinking...I would...

what? The frigid waters of our immediate reality crashed over me. The speaker paced back and forth on the stage. Somewhere behind me there was weeping and sniffling; the person to my left hunched forward their face in their hands. Irritation welled up in me at the escape of my daydream but peace followed close at hand flooding my consciousness. & in the silence of my mind I heard, "why is it that only when I stand before you in flesh are you are so willing to drop everything and believe me at my word?"

That question changed my life. My perspective forever shifted. My heart broke at the reality of those words, and the truth they carried, searing straight to my soul. Why is it that when I imagine Jesus showing up on the scene I'm all in, 100% ready to go and heal the sick, raise the dead...forsake everything to walk with him, if not just for a moment in time, but when all I have is the word somehow those things are just, 'not my gifting'? Does that much doubt really find lodging in my bones? in my spirit? From that place I found the question, "if I really believe Jesus is who he says he is, and took him at his word what would my life look like?" the answer not only shocked me but propelled me forward into a greater reality and walk than ever before.

If Jesus really is who he says he is, all Truth and Life, than that means I really am who he says I am: an adopted heir (eph 1:5); a citizen of Heaven (eph 3:20), a disciple and pupil (matthew 11:29). & that means healing, the prophetic, tongues, miracles, faithful provision, unending love, eternity, power, authority and everything else that we tend to leave outside the church doors lest we 'freak people out' are all real. That means the great commission (matt 28:16-20 ) is real and crucial. That means that Jesus really is the one and only way to the Father (john 14:6). That means that God is absolutely and unconditionally in love with me (john 15:9). That means that regardless of circumstances Jesus is FAITHFUL in word and deed (1 thess 5:24) - and so much more. It means SO MUCH MORE.

I'm so sick of my half-hearted pursuit.

So I climbed a mountain, built an alter. Looked out as far as I could see..

If I'm in I'm in 100%. and if I get in 100% and find out it's all a huge sham I'll be the first one to admit it - but so far I've seen nothing but provision upon provision, healing upon healing, radical heart encounters, chains being broken, freedom released all riding on a ridiculously deep and strong current of Love.

What do we have to lose? I know he will prove himself true - he is, after all... who he says he is.

Taren MarounComment