LUKE 3: 1-6 BARUCH 5: 1-9
DECEMBER 6, 2009
There are three kinds of people who run. There are those who run for exercise to lose weight. When the weather is bad, or they get bored or the running is not "fun" or they don't seem to lose the weight, they give up running. The second kind of runner is one who runs to train. They want to get fit and stay fit. They run through bad weather, tiredness and difficult terrain. They love to run. The third kind of runner is like the second, only they want to compete in races as well. They want to test there body and will against the clock and other runners. I am this third type.
I love to run, though I am not always happy or pain free when running. Running is part of who I am. To a non-runner it is difficult to explain. Running is more than exercise. It is not always fun and rarely easy. There is rain cold, and wind. There are uneven trails and sometimes hard roads. Running is not an option in my week of exercise. Wherever I go on my travels and work, I run. Running attire is a good deal of the bulk of my travel clothes. If I visit a place regularly each year, I have running shoes and attire stored there. I run.
Some people think me a bit crazy or odd. Probably John the Baptist was seen as a bit crazy too. He felt that he was called to live in the desert. His father was a big deal in Jewish priesthood. Maybe John was slated to be a temple priest. He saw his truth calling him to live in the desert. A spiritual life is where we find out who we are and then live it. Running for me and living in the desert for John is part of who we are. It is part of our spiritual life.
God wanted John in the desert because God was going to speak the Word in the desert and needed someone to hear it who was comfortable enough in the desert to be open to the Voice. Desert dwelling was not easy, but since John knew that he was fit for it, he did not focus on the difficulties. He was open to hear the Word. When we live our true identity we are then following God's will and plan. In Baruch, the prophet tells the people to stop mourning their difficulties and put on festive clothes. They are God's special people. Celebrate. Baruch is telling the people to access their true identity and live it though there be difficulty in their lives. They are part of God's plan.
Many people ask, "Where can I make the most money?" or, "Where can I be the most secure?". They don't seek to know who they are, their unique self. So a person decides to be a banker, for the money, when in fact, they are meant to be a teacher. Or a person opts to work in health care, when they are called to be a political advisor or journalist.
In this season of Advent waiting, ask if you are waiting for God where you are supposed to be. God may come to you where you are meant to be, and if you are not there, you might miss the coming. If you say, "God is absent," it might be that you are waiting in the wrong place and wrong life. The good news is that when you are lost, or have lost yourself, God can find you. I wonder if the lost sheep was wandering around trying to be a goat?