Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year, New Life

I wrote this on the last day of 2011:

And so begins a new year and a new life. I say new, at the age of 49, because what I learned last year makes this year something unique. I learned that I have a future, that I am stronger than I ever believed. And that my relationship with Jesus can be as intimate and "real" as a worldly relationship, and exponentially richer than I ever realized.

The truth is, God not only blessed me the day I was born, but he was willing to let me spend my inheritance as a young and dumb man. And then he extracted me from the muck of the world I had immersed myself in, wrapped his arms around me and resurrected my life.

If ever I was to consciously live as Jesus lived, the beginning was last year, when he rolled away the grave stone. I am alive and ready to live, thank you, Father God!

What will I do with this new life, this new power with which God has imbued me?

I will follow Jesus more closely so I can truly learn from The Teacher. I will seek the holiness he offers to me, a son of Adam. I will embrace the joy that comes from the title, Son of God. And I will enjoy the peace that comes from living with him in me. I will shed the cloak of fear that has named me Afraid the whole of my life. And I will gladly wear the name, Son of God.

And I will stand, with Jesus by my side, and name the fears. And I will cast them out, with the power of Jesus in me:

Fear of Embarrassment - how silly you are to think you can direct the path of a Son of God. What purpose have you served all these years? For too long you have clamped my mouth shut, tied my arms down, whispered supposed ridicule in my ear. Be gone, in the name of Jesus Christ, my King.

Fear of Violence - when you attached yourself to me, as a child I embraced your whispers of safety and held tight. And now, nearly a half-century old, I shed you like old yellow skin. I discard you like a filthy tissue. In the name of Jesus Christ my Brother, I have no further use of you.

Fear of Alienation - you have crept up on me in the last two decades or so, robbing me of the simple belief in the open hearts and goodness of my fellow children of God. But I have come to realize that, if at the end of all things, no one in the world likes or loves Scott Shultz, I rest easy knowing that the Inventor of Love does, the Composer of Love does, the Author of Love does, the Epitome of Love does. Be gone, Fear, in the name of Jesus Christ my Friend.

Fear of Discomfort - you have many disguises, but your true nature has been revealed. I know you as "Fear of No Money", yet you have never reached your potential; God is my provider. I know you as "Fear of Homelessness", yet you have missed your mark; God has sheltered me. I have seen your "hunger-face" and never known hunger. I have glimpsed your "entitlement-mask" and am ashamed to have tried it on. But God has shown me - his gifts are sweeter, richer, more satisfying than all the "treats" of the world.

Be gone!

Fear of Discovery - you think you hold the secrets of my life hostage and taunt me with threats of ransom and revelation. But the truth is - that veil was lifted long ago. And those who love me, love me secrets and all. Perhaps there are still secrets hidden away, but Jesus holds them in his hands. And he will choose what to do with them. Your tenure is revoked, in the name of Jesus Christ my Counselor.

Fear of Insanity/Health Issues - my days of youth were spent playing in a dangerous laboratory and I have no idea what price I may pay for those experiments. But I do know that your whispers and worries fall on deaf ears now. I know that your prophecies and reminders of "family history" hold the weight of dandelion feather. Already they have been whisked away by a cooling breeze, in the name of Jesus Christ my Physician.