Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: prayer (page 1 of 2)

This Much

Sometimes it’s the things I’ve known longest, the things most taken for granted, that break me widest open…

Like there, opening arms as if to a long-lost friend, pausing with abandon-joy to savor the song that is the sea– the crashing sound of surf, the salt on the breeze, the endless blue.

His words come out of nowhere, His tone utterly casual. But His eyes twinkle.

So, you know how much I love you?

No, how much?

This much.

Standing on the edge of this expanse as endless the circumference of a circle, my heart gives way, before a truth I already know.
He loves me, this much.

And the salt in my eyes then doesn’t come from the sea.
Or does it?

Forty-Four Words

If God ever fails to do something good, be sure it is for one of two reasons.

One, He is working on something better.
Or two, His arm is being restrained by my failure to intercede.

Let me never be guilty of the latter.

Holy Ground

My steps slow at the threshold of this little hollow around which two trees hold their arms like parents in a perpetual embrace. This space between, this sheltered cove, like their child, eternally living in the safety of their shadows. Wind sings through needles and boughs, and I bow.

History holds in her hands the tales of two classes of men. 
Those who have given their souls away to be used and abused by Darkness in exchange for a little gold, a little lust, a little glamor…
And those who have given their lives away so someone else could live.

Like a man spilling his life blood for someone paler, to find it filled again, or not.  

I press palms into mat of pine needles and press my soul into the door.

I want to be the second kind of man. I beg You to make me through and through, the second kind of man…

–    –    –

I rise, back slowly away from the place. Look down for my shoes.
I sit to slip them back on, and while I do, I steal a glance back towards the cove embraced by the cedars.

And that, is when I thought of you.

And this warrior in me, this fighter that is sometimes a stranger and doesn’t fit in my skin, this thunder that must come from elsewhere because I don’t have the spark to ignite it, it suddenly flashed and roared like the end of the world. And then it was gone. But it left a burn, a throbbing ache. And a breathlessness, and a racing heart.
And this prayer:

Let each of us find in this life ground so holy that shod feet never step there.  

Never, oh never be satisfied till you have found your burning bush.  

This I Can Do

Meander is a good word.
I’ve gone to answer a silent call unmistakable. Over two fences and down a sandy draw.
Wherever my gaze wanders, my feet follow. From rock to creek to giant anthill and back.
These are the best hours of the day, and they belong to God…

But you know, it is most often in the very cradle of these moments, –these hours that slip away into eternity leaving behind them a quiet deep and peace so sweet– it is in these selfsame that I experience the worst agitations, and the deepest discontent.

Because on the heels of every happiness comes the agony that is the reality of another’s pain.
Someone said love and pain go together. How right they were.

Every time I taste the sweeter sweet, I suddenly start up, all taken by this wild desire to distribute.
And that wouldn’t be so bad, if every starving soul would actually take it!!

Maybe that’s why I pace. From creek to anthill and back.
From joy to yearning and back.

Finally, this:

The very best you can do to bring the beautiful hungry to realize the fullness of joy that is in Christ,
is to be constantly realizing that joy yourself. 

You seek. They’ll find. 

This is No Mystery [Born to Fly Free]

What if I told you that every time I’ve ever found myself spinning my mental wheels in spiritual mud;
every time I’ve found myself wondering where my happiness disappeared to;
every time I’ve flown in my dreams only to wake up in the morning and find myself once again mercilessly tied to reality;
every time I’ve found myself confused;
every time I’ve been afraid to try, because I knew I’d fail;
every time I’ve gone ahead and tried, and, sure enough, failed;
and every time my confidence has been replaced with questions

Every. time.–
It’s always been for the same, simple reason.

What if I told you that?
Would you believe me?

And what if I followed that sweeping statement up with this one:

One, single, highly uncomplicated little word has always brought me back to joy.

Would you, could you believe?

Well, [giggles]
guess what?

–  –  –  –  –

I’m more than a bit ashamed to tell you this. But it’s the truth, and I’m going to tell you because every time dreams come true and I fly again (even while I’m awake) I find myself gripped with this desire to pass the gift of free flight to you. And this is the only way I know how…

So, I walk. Duck under and around, pick through muddy patches on the forest floor just undressed from it’s cloak of fluffy whiteness. I stop by one secret sacred spot, then turn to visit another. I’d rather walk than sit today, restless as I am. 
I tussle with this emptiness. This emptiness I hate, especially since I know what it is to be full. And the gnawing drives me soon beyond words, and rather than ask, I simply listen. And quieter than a whisper on the wind, this God Whose voice I’m learning to recognize better and better, He marshals silent words and they press into my mind one at a time–
“There is. no. substitute. for obedience.”
Uh. What to do when God “quotes” you?
I sigh. He speaks only truth. 
I don’t argue. But I am silent for a long, long time. 
but it cross-grains my personality, 
and my values, 
and my family culture, 
and my preferences, 
and my conventions.” 

“And your convictions?”

Silence again.
“Can’t I just…just…”

“Few things in the world are more dangerous than a soldier with a mind of his own.
And I know it crosses you. But I still ask it of you.”
How petty are the things we cling to, when compared with the joy of flying free.

I stop my pacing, straighten up to my full 5 feet 6, look steady at the open sky and with a twinge of fierceness born of resolution re-born, and answer:

“Yes. Yes.”

And I feel myself take flight again…

–  –  –  –  –

This is not rocket science. There is no mystery.

I spent the latter half of my prayer walk plotting against my enemies.
Namely, the three that are one, that make my dreams impossible. That limit my reach to that which is earthly. That confuse, confound, and cause to fear and to fail…

They are simply, Conditional Yes, Deferred Yes, & Incomplete Yes.

And all three of them are just fancy names for no.

I have learned that to negotiate, (that is, to plead for a compromise or conditions) to hesitate, (that is, to wait even three seconds before actuating obedience) or just plain letting the discussion trail off, robs me of life and joy.
It robs me of communion, and confidence.
It robs me of my wings.

And failing to answer yes to the seemingly insignificant blinds me to the realities of the significant…
And vice versa.

One word. Would you believe? It always takes me back to joy; makes God’s dreams come true.
One word.


Almost Obedience [of lights, lanes, and a lecture]

It’s pouring rain. 
I’m half in your lane because the only way I can keep out of the standing water is by straddling the yellow line. 
I’m all lit up, and have been watching your headlights oncoming for the last three miles– 

and you’re going to play chicken. with. an. Ambulance.


–As my dad would say:

“Work with me.”

I have to laugh.
We rumble along. I just raise my eyebrows as they go by, me fully in my lane, driving in deep water.
(because we prefer smart driving to brave.)

The rain slows and we pick up pace again. And three drivers in a row have their cars in park a half mile before I get there, and the next driver just crosses the white line enough to spit gravel everywhere and endanger my windscreen.

I can’t resist a little lecture in the moments before we meet and part.

Eh hem…, driving with one wheel barely over the white line still verily qualifies as being on the road. Especially at that speed, bro. And driving with all but one wheel on the other side would too. Know what I’m saying?

[car streaks by]

This ‘almost off the road’ thing is really a misnomer. 
You’re either on the road,

or you’re… off. the…


And suddenly, it is as if He is sitting in the passenger seat, pointing towards the next car– the one that is almost stopped, and almost all the way off…
It is as if He turns a kind face from it to me, locks with my eyes and just raises His eyebrows a bit and smiles a little, that smile that betrays a bit of something like sadness and a whole lot of Love– That smile I’ve seen too many times to count…
So… whose idea was the lecture. mine, or Yours?

–  –  –  –  –

His, I think.
I suddenly see how they are one and the same. The guy who blazes past, and the guy who almost stops. Both still on the road.

And I think of the times I mostly obey…

Waiting for Me

Allow me to pull you into my throbbing heart for a second, won’t you please??
Then don’t leave. We need to stick together; work together.

Photo, Joshua. Post processing, me.

Suddenly at the edge of the clearing my feet shuffle to a stop, eyes find the ground. A strange lump grows in my throat.
I’m struck with the sense that in this moment, God is here. And this, is holy ground.
I step, but oh so carefully, eyes still down. And just to the edge of Ascension Rock.
When I lift them, all burning and moist, all is quiet. All but my throbbing heart, crying out. Soft, I speak to the God so close, I can feel Him.

“My God, what have we done?

Why are we still here?”

My question trails into the breeze. But only for one moment.

Then, His voice. Silent as it is, I have never heard one kinder.

“Why,… I was just waiting for you.”


Oh Let Me Go

Let me go and spend my last drop of life and strength in some corner darkness calls home.

Let me sell ease and comfort in exchange for pain and toil, and sweat, and sacrifice.
Let me forsake the insanity of security for the audacity of a miracle-studded existence.
Let me weep. And let my tears water your dreams… 
Let me.

Off to War

The four Nebbletts junior land in Albuquerque yesterday after the week of GYC business etc in Seattle and Canada. In company with us is our friend and engineer, and suitcases full of thousands of dollars in recording equipment.

And now, we seem to have a fight on our hands.

But the fight is where glory unfolds, and I want you to be in on the joy. 🙂

So pray that the voice that disappeared suddenly (and completely) in a coughing spell at midnight last night, and the other one that’s likewise suddenly considered “high risk” will be theaters for miracles.

We don’t do this for ourselves… In consequence, we always face war with darkness.

But grace will prevail. It always does. 🙂

We Know

I awake early. I’ve slept for only a few hours, but I am charged…
I blink at a dark room, pause to pray. To consider. To remember–


I have no idea what time it is. I don’t check.
Instead, I count God’s mercies, and beg that He will keep us His… always.
That nothing will ever induce us to chose another life. That no success, no opportunity, no open door, no pain or loss, or suffering will distract us from His claims on this little family of mine.

Hours pass. I don’t know how many. The light of dawn finally glows in the east. I reach into the leather bag I set down by my bed at 11:00 last night, pull out a book, open to December 18.

And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God.

And we know…!” Not we think, or we hope. Not even we have faith that
No, we know.
I know. I’d love to tell you just how, sometime…

I keep reading. But I’ve been fed already.

My mind wanders back over hours of prayers in the dark. There is only one condition in this verse before my eyes. “Love God.” For those who love God, one day (quite possibly much sooner than you think) all the darkness will be understood to be exactly what it really is– a gift.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, 
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?. . . 
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors 
through Him that loved us.”

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