Sunday, March 15, 2009


from Friday, March 13

No one's better at compartmentalizing their life than I am. I've perfected the art of living life out of boxes. One box for this part of my life. One box for another part of my life. Another box ... another separate chunk of life. Family, Church, Marriage, Finances, Music, Career - each with their own box; each with their own distinct territory staked out in my heart.

While I believe I've made progress over time tearing down some of these compartments and opening up some of these boxes, there are times when it feels like there are just as many boxes as there always were. The same compartments are still there; I've just rearranged the boxes and lulled myself into a false sense of contentment.

We all have what Ezekiel would call a "divided heart" (Ezekiel 11:19). We may not like it, but we've lived this way so long that it functions reasonably well. Except for this nagging thought that there's so much more to being fully alive than living out of these boxes. Perhaps when the boxes are gone we will discover life; but until then - it's the boxes. They offer us familiarity if nothing else.

In Romans 2:29, Paul says that we all need a "circumcision of the heart." He means that something needs to change inside of us. Something so dramatic and so life-altering that we could only compare it to circumcision. Circumcision was done on the 8th day after birth and was a sign of being ushered into the fullness of the covenant that God made with the People. From that moment on there was no turning back.

The compartments and boxes persist because we are trying to hide some part of ourselves from our Creator. We are trying to bargain with grace. "I'll give you free reign of this much of my life, but I'll keep this box for myself. I'll keep it over here in the corner. It won't be in the way. You won't even know it's here." And the little compartment in the corner dominates and directs the entire space.

We need to be circumcised again; as painful as that image may sound. We need to be renewed and receive a new spirit. That will remove the boxes. It will open us up to wholeness and move us away from a life lived in pieces and compartments. We will no longer live in our own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, reveal to me my sin that I may turn away from it.

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