Posted by: zephaniah317 | February 25, 2008

War, Imprisonment, and Other Random Thoughts

I watched The Return of the King this evening, extended edition.  The movie that never ceases to inspire me, move me.  Heck, I even got the photo for this blog from it.  Lots of things in it that I had forgotten about.  The thing that kept gripping me the most was how every character in the story faced death at one point or another, and for the most part, did so without blinking an eye.  I’ve got one of my favorite phrases from the movie on my wall at work, that depicts this attitude the best.  It’s from Gimli, after the decision is made to go straight up to the Black Gate of Mordor and basically pick a fight with Sauron, in order to draw out his forces and give Frodo the clearance and time he needs to get to Mount Doom and destroy the ring…

“Certainty of death?  Small chance of success?  Hmph…what’re we waitin’ for?!?!”

And I realized with sudden clarity that I fear death.  Do I really trust God with my very life?  And, on the heels of that realization, there came another one, the fact that I’ve been expecting God to spiritually and emotionally take me back to a place in my life where things were better.  When in fact, there has never been a better time in my life than right now in those two areas.  I’m going to have to pray into this.  It’s as if some pieces came together.  My life hasn’t been a failure, and I’m not a failure, I’ve just been imprisoned.  Haven’t believed or even known the truth.  About me.  About God.  About people.  ‘Til now.

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!  -1 Cor. 13:12, The Message

But why can’t we see clearly while we’re here, as well?  Why can’t we see God for who He truly is?  I know, the verse is talking about actually being with God, but for someone like me, who has seen Him so…wrongly for so long, it’s like breath in my lungs, a burden off my chest.  I long to be like Lt. Spears in Band of Brothers:  “Know what the secret to surviving this war is, soldier?”  “No Lieutenant, what?”  “The only way to survive out here is to accept the fact that you’re already dead.”

How can we live in or even survive the war that’s going on unless we live from our hearts?  I was sharing with some friends the other day about a conversation with my earthly father.  Such as it was, anyway.  I was talking about how I’d quit my day job in a second if the opportunity to play music full-time or be the worship leader at my church came available.  His response?  “Well son, do they pay enough?”  My response:  “God’ll take care of that.”  His response:  “Well son, you have to be realistic…”  And this has been my life.  Living within the boundaries of what we puny humans can see and feel and control.  And in fear of all of it.  Because it’s how I was taught, in a “Christian” home and a “good” church.  I know, I rant about this a lot in my blog, but I continue to peel off layer after layer of crap when I look back on my life and realize how beaten down and scared I’ve been.  So there.  It’s going to continue, right here, on this channel, until the last layer is peeled away and I can breathe the fresh air of God’s love.  Which I believe is possible in this lifetime.  ‘Nuff said.

If we know God, and we’ve entered into relationship with Him, we know in our heart of hearts that we’re dead already.  Anything we do to hang on to this life or create our own “kingdom” here on earth is met with resistance in that place in our gut where we already know the truth.  I need to listen to that place, that voice, every day, if I’m ever going to grow and enjoy the life that God has promised me while I’m here. 

Now, the sobering (and what’s going to sound like self-pity) part of the post:  I’ve never realized love in my life.  To say I’ve never known it would be a lie, that’s why I said “realized”.  It’s been all around me, through people and God, but I’ve never realized it, because I’ve believed that loving someone is making sure you don’t do anything to piss them off.  See the difference?  I’ve been more afraid of being hurt by people when I make a mistake or offend them than I have been concerned with loving and caring for them.  It’s imprisonment.  And the lights are still going on.  There’s no “good time” in my life to go back to.  The best is yet to come.  Whew!  Thanks, again, Father.


  1. There are lots of things here that I have been contemplating myself…realizing that I do not live in the possibility of what God has for me, but in the reality of what I think I can achieve myself. I looked at all of the verses that dealt with “hope” in the Bible the other day…I was struck by how many also spoke of faith and where you put it. It was like the hope (not of salvation, but of what God has for your life) was nullified if you put it in your own strength or earthly things…we limit ourselves by believing and hoping only in what is possible. Here’s to placing our hope in God, and allowing Him to give us the faith of a child!!

  2. hey, brother, your post reminds me of the first chapter in “waking the dead” (I think it’s the first chapter) where eldredge talks about a plane flying through fog and the different levels of visibility. he talks about us living most of our days in a pretty low level of visibility, but then every once in a while, the power of the sun clears the fog and we get a deep, glorious glimpse of the full light that we’re flying toward. anyway, i’m probably butchering the metaphor, but you should check it out again.
    we love you.

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