Saturday, January 24, 2015

Intrusion

One of my favorite scenes in the first Hobbit movie is when all the dwarfs start invading Bilbo's house. He has just begun his nice quiet dinner alone. He has no idea who they or why they are in his home. Then these loud and obnoxious strangers start eating all of his food, making a mess of everything, and creating chaos of the worst kind. I can so relate to Bilbo's reaction to this very uninvited Intrusion.

Just who do you think you are? I really want some peace and quiet here. What have you done to all of my food and to my house that was in such perfect order? I'm trying to keep my cool and be polite, so would you kindly get out? Now.


But they don't leave, and Gandalf gives Bilbo an invitation to join them on their adventure as their burglar. Bilbo awakens from what seemed like a nightmare, and with a sigh of relief finds his house empty. But then he has a change of heart. Decides he doesn't want to miss out, hurriedly signs the contract, runs after the group and joins their adventure. His life is never the same after the Intrusion.

In The Utter Relief of Holiness, John Eldredge describes both the typical human reaction and Jesus' reaction to Intrusion: “This is at the core of human nature, this thing in us that growls, Do not mess with my program. Do not get in my way. If you aren't aware how deep this runs in you, how do you feel when people cut in the line at the market or the movies, cut you off on the highway, make it difficult for you to get your job done, or make it impossible for you to get some sleep? What angers us is almost always some version of You are making my life even harder than it already is. Get out of the way.

Not Jesus. He welcomes intrusion.

...I think if anyone of us could have known Jesus personally, in that day, we would have loved his company—his ability to navigate difficult situations, to deal with people who didn't know how to deal with him, engage the opposite sex, take on religious leaders with the right spirit and attitude. It's just astounding. One more thing—Jesus isn't gutting it through life. There is no sense of him gritting his teeth, biting his tongue, none of that internal anguish most of us require to pull this off for a day or two. He is walking through it all with such grace and strength. He is living life as it was meant to be lived.

That's the utter relief of holiness. And oh, how utterly attractive it is.”

I want to live this way--with Jesus' grace and strength, “living life as it was meant to be lived.” Not gritting my teeth and churning on the inside when things don't go my way.

After rebuking the Pharisees for being clean-on-the-outside-dirty-on-the-inside cups, Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)

I can hear Jesus saying words like that to me. Can you? I can be easily irritated and focused on the wrong priorities and miss His whisper, How I long for you to be gathered close to me. To sit at my feet and listen with your whole heart, like Mary did. Would you quiet your cluttered heart and leave all of those burdens and worries at the foot of the cross? Being close to me is all that's really important.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

Get out of my way, you're making my life harder.

OR I want to hear your voice and to join you in the adventure you're calling me to, Jesus, no matter what Intrusions you allow to come. I want to welcome inconveniences the way that you did. And like Bilbo, to choose not to miss out on joining the adventure of a lifetime. Help me to be willing, Lord, not resistant to your will for my life.

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