Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is It The Real Thing?

i am sitting here on our comfy couch. i do that a lot. but this is great. i'm surfing the Internet - doing some research on macs. i love macs. i am one of them. i've got NFL network on which has the 2002 superbowl between the pats/rams. this is the life. i am basking in the goodness of the patriots. it feels so sweet. i am happy.

i know i know. the patriots are done for the year. we've been done for quite a while. did i tell you about my trip to visit family in new england? it was a great trip. but it was a long trip - which means something bad was sure to happen with the patriots. it just happens that way. remember everything i've told you? superbowl? pats loss to miami? uhhh. so dreadful.

my brother and sister in law were in town the week of the last game of the year. we all sat around the TV watching the patriots shutout the bills. it felt so good. it felt so pure. we had a 13 hour trip ahead of us - but we were not going to leave before we knew the conclusion of the game. with 2 minutes left, a 13 point lead, and possession of the ball, i felt comfortable to leave. so we did. but there was so much left in store for the pats that day. we needed miami OR baltimore to lose. neither did. they both won. brett the jet let me down. i was stuck on interstate 90 when i heard the news. it was miserable. it just sucked. needless to say, i was just in a terrible terrible mood. we didn't get to the family's house until 4 am. my wife and i were exhausted.

we need we would be. we had it coming. we could have left right after church at 12:30. instead, we watched the game and left at like 3:30. its just the way it is.

but they are my team. i am going to follow them. thick or thin. i have to. i love them. i read about them - everyday. i check espn.com constantly for updates. i check patriots.com and boston.com and the herald daily. i shift my weekly schedule to watch their games. i am dedicated to following them. i love it.

i suppose this is just the way i am. i've been like this for quite a while. and i like to think this is what separates me from the normal fan. i am loyal. i am sincere. and i am hardcore. my love for the patriots is what fuels this behavior which could be defined by some as a sort of strict religiosity. but i am also a purist. you can only be a fan of one team. what i mean is, i can't be a patriots fan and also a chiefs fan. i can't love new england and also follow the bucs. it just doesn't work that way. you can only be a fan of one team.

but my point is that i will do anything to follow this team. i will sacrifice to be a part of the game. i love it.

i know that i go on and on and on. about the patriots and really about everything. my blogs get to be long. i am sorry. but i shock myself. really, i do. i am crazy in love with my team and am a passionate follower of the pats.

you know how sometimes God is working and seems to be hitting you with a theme over and over? sometimes you see it in relationships. sometimes you see it in the world or in the news. sometimes he tells you - yes verbally. sometimes you read it. sometimes you read it multiple times and in various places. i tend to not realize it right away and so he has to used a number of various resources to get my attention.

but here is what I have come up with: i am such a weak follower of christ. now to be honest, i've been struggling as to finish this post, let alone publish it. i've become such a downer. i can't really remember the last positive thing i've said in any of my blogs. but the point is, i'm finding growth in areas that i am recognizing as weaknesses.

this whole concept of dedication is interesting. i've really been searching and digging and praying about this whole idea of following. how do i measure up?

honestly, i am such a weak follower of christ.

sometimes it is almost disgusting. my lack of commitment. my dedication is pathetic. the comparison between the patriots and christ isn't even close.

i am afraid i am a bit of a coward.

what does it mean to be a true follower? what is the "real thing?" i am reminded of that feeling and emotion and question you get when you first think that you may be in love. "how do i know this is real?" or, "is he or she the one?" or "how can I be sure?" soo interesting. soo soo interesting.

but that is the point. isn't it? truly, it is a love relationship. i recently said this in a worship service - and i feel the need to repeat it - take what I say about love and marriage lightly. i've only been hitched for like a year and a half. but perhaps there are still insights here that should be considered.

but the christ/believer relationship IS very similar to that of a man a his lover. i mean that is the example we are given, right? but what i HAVE learned in my one and a half years of wedded bliss, is that those questions never seem to stop. in fact, it is a constant loop - a recurring theme. like i always ask myself, "is this the real thing?" referring, of course, to the LOVE between me and my wife.

my point, though, is not that i am doubting. my point is that this is fully necessary, and that there is a journey we must take, answers that must be had, and realizations to be discovered that lead us to the understanding that the "real thing" must constantly be worked out. it bends. it flows. yes, i did say it bends. but it does not brake. but the point is that it is constant work.

perhaps, "is this the real thing" is the wrong question. maybe the right question is, "am i being the real thing." that is why there is ebb and flow in my relationship with my wife. honestly, sometimes i am not good to her. i try to be. and to be real - often it is still "wedded bliss," and i love it.

the same is true with christ and myself. oh how i long for the feeling of wedded bliss i once had with my savior. but the lack of feeling, emotion, and blessings cannot and should not change the answer to the question, "am i being the real thing?" that is, am i being a real follower? like the love relationship with my wife, christ must be a constant pursuit. the desire and affection of my heart.

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