Today I worked hard from 8:30am to 7pm and got home in time to practice with the worship band and then immediately went over to the team house, because a group that came a few years ago returned and they wanted to see me. But I got there when the team's worship service was starting. They had a band that was rocking and the people were getting into it. I stood there trying to talk to the the Lord, but it was like I've been living in a freezer and though I was suddenly placed into a warm environment, I was still frozen stiff and could not feel my numbness melting away. I just stood there cold while I watched those around me aglow and on fire.
It was kind of like eating dinner and when it was time to pay, feeling my pockets in dismay as the reality that my wallet is lost settles in. Yeah, I was like “crap, where is my spirit? I neglected him all week, Oh my, where could he be?” (speaking of that, I did not use my camera for several days and when I thought I would take it along with me somewhere, I spent a good hour looking everywhere for it. Finally I painfully struggled to recall each day of the week, until I found the missing piece that solved the mystery of were I left it. But it's different with things I use everyday, though I still loose them everyday, I find them much quicker. I think it's this way with the spiritual part of me too, when I neglect it for so long, when I'm in a place where I need to be spiritual, I notice its nowhere to be found and the process of recovering it is much more difficult.)

Hmm... it's all kind of like waking up in church, looking down and noticing I am standing there in my underwear, while everyone else around me is all dressed up in their Sunday's best. Wide eyed and puzzled, I wonder where did I leave my clothes?
So yeah, I begin to wonder, how do I find and awaken this spiritual part of me? But as I tried to stir my spirit awake, it seemed like my spirit is not a morning person, even if I pour cold water, crank the music, tickle the feet and scream in his ear, there is no arousing him. I let him go to sleep and there is no getting him up suddenly.
There is no setting him on the shelf and then going to get him again when I need him, no he slaps my hand! To be honest, I feel like my spirit is overly sensitive, easily offended and given to holding grudges. It demands constant attention, OR ELSE! For the slightest bit of neglect on my part, and it gives me the silent treatment and the cold shoulder for days. It is like a engine that is very hard to start up, if I don't keep it running at all times, there is hell to pay.

So yeah, I left the service and drove home, cause I was to wrapped up in trying to figure out how I could draw what I was feeling. But I gave up trying, and just started writing. I had to write it out again, cause I accidentally deleted it all, and was really upset over the fact and finally while tossing and turning, I got out of bed, turned on the computer and re-wrote it.
I know someone quite well, who worked with girl whom he begin to really like, he contemplated pursuing a relationship but he knew she was not a possibility for various reasons, and yet he really enjoyed spending time with her. When it was near to the time she was to move away, he missed her everyday before she left and yet a few weeks after she was gone he begin to wonder why he even liked her. He felt stupid and like there was nothing attractive about her. He felt content with the possibility of loosing communication with her, if it came to that. There was no will to keep the friendship alive. The distance and silence painted black over all the pleasant memories, it was all swallowed by the present coldness and apathy. Yet several months later he got to have a long conversation with her on the phone and after he hung up, he felt wonderful and was like "Duh... that was why I liked her so much, she is the most amazing listener I've ever met!" and he felt quite silly for having written her off, and yet he knew that it was his feelings that were to blame, not his intellect, for all along he knew the truth, just the truth felt empty and unreal. Emotions or lack of thereof rendered reality meaningless, for he could not hear, see or feel the reality of who she was.

His story reminds me of my own with God. During the rare moments when I feel His presence and hear his voice and when He allows me to see clearly, I'm overwhelmed by how lovely He is and I know why I like Him so much. But it does not take long before the silence and seeming distance make the truth of who God is, seem very unreal. I can't get excited over His attributes, I try to give lip service, but I know within I don't believe it, I don't feel it, nor can I praise Him. For if I attempt to praise him, I feel what is like hands pulling me back, I feel unable speak and something in me strongly resist. Since I have no willingness to fight this and my mind is totally blank, its a test I hardly ever pass. So yeah, I begin to wonder what I even like about God and this goes on until another one of those moments when I finally experience Him again and my eyes are opened and I am like "Duh... this is why I like Him so much!"
"Shout joyfully to the Lord!" -Psalm 98

I read this verse while lying on my bed, right after waking up this morning and was like "what!? you got to be kidding, I can't do that right now." I felt what the obstinate teens in my youth group must have felt, when I would try to make them play a new game. They were 'to cool', and did not feel like playing and did not want to try. So they were miserable whether they I forced into it or if I allowed them to stay out and watch. Why must I be like them?
    When I'm in a worship service, and someone gets on stage who is having a power trip, demanding us to either bow down, raise our hands, clap, yell, jump up and down, or scream "freeeeeeedom!!!!" I don't like it! I don't want to be told to raise my hands, I want to raise them when it would seems genuine. I don't want to say "God, I love you" unless I feel I can mean these words. Yet in light of what I wrote yesterday, it got me thinking, maybe it's like watching a exercise program on TV and the instructor is telling me to do a bunch of stuff I don't feel like or want to do. The temptation is to just turn it off. Hmm... But maybe if I go ahead and do it, maybe I will get stronger. Yes, even though it just brings to light the reality I don't feel like I mean it and it works no magic in freeing my spirit, still it may be exercise and in time I may notice a spiritual strength I never had before.

The problem is as I start doing this, it's like getting a membership at the gym and going on a diet with a friend. We always start out good, and have great intentions, but 99.9% of the time good intentions come to nothing. Yet when we're getting fat and noticing our dwindling muscles and that we're out of breath when going up a few steps, it stirs in us a little motivation. There is no magic pill or quick fix, we may spend a lot of time looking for it, but its time wasted and money burned. There is only one way: eating right and exercising. So yeah, chances are I will forget all that I am learning now, and end up not exercising spiritually, but as my pants cut into my spiritual flab and I notice how the milk jug is hurting my arm muscels, then I will be reminded once again, and hopefully finally come to the point where I'm 100% devoted and will follow through in worshipping God.
Last night I wrote a song starting with these lyrics "This thank You is long overdue, I can be so blind to all you are doing in me" and I went on singing about how me, apart from Him is truly terrifying (It really made me shutter as I though about it). and how God let me experience who I am without Him, for I rarely know what I have, until it is taken away. And finally thanking Him for His interaction, redemption and grace.
But yeah, it was hard writing a song praising and thanking God, I struggled to find words, but eventually was feeling some emotion while I sang. All of this was like trying to light a wet match, it seemed to be no use at first, but I kept trying and finally it lit up, but in a moment it burnt my fingers and was out, for I have no wood, no fuel, no oil; nothing to keep it going. This is what horrifies me. At times it can be so hard get myself to try and then as I try, it seems impossible to press through and when I actually do, I get a taste, a moment of relief, but then its gone and seems it to be all for nothing.

So it is like I am siting out in the barren wasteland at night... cold... longing for warmth and light and all I got is a box of matches. I strike them and watch them burn one by one, and eventually my heart begins to grow sick.

God You are so far beyond us
That anything I say would all seem like foolishness
God You are so other
There is no way to describe Your greatness
And the word greatness is not all that great
As we search for a word, but there is no word in our vocabulary
For You Lord, You're beyond description no words capture who You are

When I looked at the insects and the mammals
The fish and the birds in the sky
And when I see the glories of nature
and how these wonders I cannot describe

How if I can't find words to expound on
The intricate design and beauty
The creativity and brain hurting complexity
Then how could I expect to describe the Creator of these things?
This is the difficulty I have with praising God!

But if we really don't have a heavenly language
Then with our empty words God must be satisfied

Hmm... mere words are meaningful when combined
with awe, delight, joy and excitement
Words are just the bones and emotions is the meat
Neither are meant to be alone
But together they are a beautiful thing!
You've never been stained
Never has one thought strayed
Never one desire unclean
From forever past you are Holy

Love and mercy, justice and compassion, wisdom and Your grace
Are in no short supply for they are part of Your very Being

For You to do good is like for me to breath
For You to do justice is like for me to blink
For You to love is like for my heart to beat

Oh Lord but I live in a messed up world
And it is shades over my eyes
God I want to experience You without this filter
For Your pure water must flow through these filthy pipes

Lord I am so use to Your seeming absence
That I no longer look for Your interaction
I even forget to ask You "How You doing?"
Because I no longer can expect a reply

So whats with Your being so loving
And wanting to have this intimate relationship
When my experience is that You always play hard to get
And only in rare moments do you make yourself evident

Oh for the day when I will finally get to see You with my eyes
No more veil, no more lies, no more misunderstands clouding my sight
Then I will finally KNOW you are holy,
my faith will no longer be blind
For Your goodness will overwhelm me
"180 Degrees"

Oh Lord my God I hope in You
Oh Lord I put my trust in You
Oh Lord my God I look to You
Oh Lord I wait on You

Though it seems like make-believe
Like I am writing fiction
To go on about Your intimate love
When I don't sense a thing

Though it seems like fiction
Like a world of make-believe
To say the world is filled with light
When darkness surrounds me

Oh but You are here
Though I cannot get that reality
To sink within me

You are there for me
Though my past-disappointment
Trys to suffocate this belief

Lord you care about me
Though my experience
Differs 180 degrees
Even when I am enraptured in joy while worshipping God, there is still a part of me that wonders if its all real. yeah, that part of me is shoved in the dark corner of my mind, but he yells out every now and then. Telling me that maybe God is something I've made up in my head, that I am just having a religious experience, the same type of experience people of all religions have. I find I'm never fully free from this pinch of doubt and those unanswered questions that hang around. And dang it, I still need faith, Oh I am so tired of having to have faith. I want my faith to become sight.

Its been so long since I've praised your name that I thought it was about time
But I forgot how, I can't even find how to try

How can something so Elementary be such a mystery to me?

Its been so long since I've really prayed that I thought it was about time
But I forgot how, I can't even find how to try

How can something so Elementary be such a mystery to me?

Its been so long since I've studied Your Word, that I thought it was about time
But I forgot how, I can't even find how to try

How can something so Elementary be such a mystery to me?