In his book, Think Differently Live Differently (affiliate link), Study Guide for chapter one (pg14-15), he asks a question related to the Parable of the Kingdom (Acrobat) that seemed almost trite at first.... but now it's starting to gnaw at me... like it's more important than I realized.
Come and Play - What's something you loved to do as a child? Can you do that this week?
While I ponder all of the days events, conversations, and this question... I'm listening to A Deeper Level: Live (affiliate link), by Israel & New Breed. The opening song, So Come (with intro)(YouTube link) always found a way to stir my heart, even at it's hardest. Something about it reminds me of.... me... younger me.
I had a love hate relationship with music and worship all my life.
When I surrendered to Jesus on August 8, 2002, I was playing worship songs ANGRY at God at the time. I told him I'd do anything but pastor.
He said "go back into music."
I replied anything "anything but pastor and music."
He said, "you asked."
So I did... he immediately confirmed with signs and wonders... but then it got hard again.
I had taken music, over the years before and since, and turned it into a chore. Something to perfect. The harder I worked it, the harder it got, until one day.... I just couldn't take it anymore and I put it all away.
I'd then pick it up, put it away, and so on...
When I think about "why"? I get the feeling: "Fake". I always felt like a sham, fake, like everyone else here is genuine but me.
I knew I was saved, spirit filled, born again... so it wasn't that...
I knew I was forgiven, blood bought, blood washed, the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, more than a conqueror..... yada yada.... That wasn't it. I didn't feel guilty.... just fake.
Like.... if I believe this stuff, which I do, why am I still filled with more desire to do "wrong" than "right"? I'm going to leave this worship service I'm leading, go home, and before the night is over I'll have turned on pornography.... wished for a pill to pop... wished for a swig of JD... and I have no business standing here in this condition.
...until one day... I just couldn't anymore.
I not only stopped playing, I stopped listening. I couldn't sit in a worship service in any church, I'd either show up late to miss it on purpose, or go to the bathroom or find someone to talk to in the lobby... find a rock decoration very interesting... anything to keep me out of service during music time. I couldn't hear it on the radio, unless I endured it for the wife and kids. It was silence or talk radio. That was all before I even left California to come to Texas. I had a brief reprieve, having changed my environment (lowest level of change), but only brief. Then I just still couldn't do it anymore... again.
One day, I was feeling rather dead... I heard HolySpirit say to me: "Sing to me... like you did when you were younger."
I got so mad! Music... there it is again! I picked up my guitar, only now my callouses were gone. It hurt, I played so badly it hurt my music-sensitive ears. I nearly threw the guitar across the room... "See, I can't!"
Recently, I've been in a church that plays exceptionally good music... even for my discriminating tastes. So good in fact, there's NO change I'd end up on the platform because it would take far more work to get back up to speed and then further to get to their speed... but this means... no pressure. Nobody is going to say "Oh, you play? We need you on stage!" They've got more musicians than they can handle, and certainly better ones than me. No pressure to play...
In that zero pressure environment... with world class musicians... I find myself free to just... play! I play the one instrument I have the least training with, and found the most enjoyment with... drums! I take my air sticks, and play along with the drummer. One guy even commented that he enjoyed sitting behind me that day because my playing air drum really ministered to him... if you can believe that?!
In light of the Parable of the Acrobat (Kingdom), younger didn't mean the 13 year old that was learning to play guitar by playing worship songs (all four chords, LOL)(this was the image I had in my head when he said younger).
Younger meant MUCH younger... the youngest pictures I have from my child-hood (six months years old, two and three, etc.) show me in front of a piano, pretending to play a guitar, playing a kiddy-drum set... I wasn't REALLY playing any of those things. I was just playing.
Music was an experience to be had (right brain), not a craft to be perfected (left brain). It was Playing In His Presence! For some people this question might mean that they pick up the guitar again, or start writing that story, or get the tools out and work on their hot rod.... for me... I think it means, in part, that I need to pretend to play those things and just PLAY in His Presence.
Today with Dr. Bob we chatted about many things... I'm learning I don't have to memorize them all... but I'd like to preserve the most important things here in case I forget.
Emotions are not bad, unless peeing is bad. Peeing releases the toxins built up in the bladder after cleaning your system. Expression of emotion is the same kind of release. Crying, though it doesn't feel "good", is a release of toxic emotions that the spirit is trying to clean out of the system. If you don't let the crying continue, you stop the cleansing, and back up the system creating toxic build up.
The mechanism of addiction is fueled by Pain and Emptiness. If we can remove those fuels, even without removing the mechanism, we can make strides toward Freedom.
Right/Left Brain and the Language of Emotion. Small children/babies, are incapable of using their left brain to describe things yet. They are almost wholly developing their right brains. The stares into your eyes are their attempt to establish connection. That "experience" is totally right brained. As they develop, they learn language "ouch" "sting" to describe the experiences they have. The left brain develops and ideally adds to the overall experience by the gift of language. However, as we develop we often over develop the left brain to the point that we then retreat into the left brain; being able to describe experiences we are not having. Thus: "I understand and agree (left brain) that God loves me, but I don't believe/feel (right brain) in my heart that He loves me."
Why did Jesus teach in Parables? So that seeing they wouldn't see and hearing they wouldn't hear.... in other words... so that they would not learn something with their left brain that they haven't LEARNED (experienced) with their heart (right brain). He was trying to bring them an experience not a new set of thoughts.
Open an emotional conduit - Spock is a bad idol, cast that idol down. I've lived a life believing I had MORE emotions than other humans (like Spock/Vulcans) and needed to turn down the volume through drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex, or whatever other thing I could use... blogging.... But what if I don't have more emotions than others, I just have them backed up (I haven't emotionally peed in years). There's so many emotions because I'm not expressing/experiencing them, creating back pressure. By living in the left brain, I'm describing things I'm not experiencing, but I'm also lacking the language of emotions (right brain language). Without that language I lack the conduit through which to fully experience. And if I have an experience I cannot describe, I discount it and push it down. It's like I have a fire hydrant's worth of emotion trying to squeeze through a conduit the size of a straw. By widening the conduit (through developing language around emotion and allowing the experience, not stopping it), the flow will increase but the pressure from the back up will eventually lessen. Eventually, I could reach a place where they flow freely and the pressure behind them will be missing. The conduit can be increased like any muscle in the body. However, until I develop that right brain language, I may have experiences I cannot describe. Dr. Bob will work with me to develop that language, but I may find myself having experiences I cannot describe or understand, just let it be.... let it happen...
Establishing real connections with others, instead of the counterfeits I've been trying to use. That means opening up, and telling trusted others what you need from them; in bite size pieces if need be. This will be scary, but I need to start to consider what this could mean for me, logistically. How I can start to establish the connections to get my legitimate needs met legitimately, instead of through counterfeits? If I've lived a life deaf to emotions, I will need to find these connections in new ways... and take them in smaller pieces so as not to overwhelm.
On that note... I'm going to go experience this song... then either head home or... yeah I should head home. I can finish reading there. :)
So, broken or whole, "right or wrong", that's what I'm thinking about today,