just visiting

Posted: September 16th, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: | 13 Comments »

I think that people underestimate the fact that we are designed to be in relationship with God. We were made for Him and any substitute is cheap and hollow and we can feel it.

Nothing in the physical world can penetrate the spiritual world enough to alter the Truth. Everything we try to do, noble or ignoble, serves as a distraction. You can get your physical life closer to the veil between the two with love and you can feel the distance with sin.

Our choices don’t separate us from His love, but they do provide us with a competition between flesh and spirit. If we are in touch with our created purpose (to experience spiritual life and connection with God), then, when we go through an experience that separates us from that, it teaches a spiritual difference of life and death. With that separation in mind, we choose life. The law was a band-aid. It dealt only with the flesh. With so much attention put on the physical life, there is no space to focus on the spiritual life. God missed simply being with us, so he made our load lighter and now we can lay on the floor with him and watch the fan spin against a cloudless sky.

Let go of all of it. You’ll still experience life. You’ll still experience death. Stop worrying about getting it right, that distracts you. Stop trying to get your own way, that distracts you, too. Let go of the whole mess. Push your ear up against the door between this life and the next and listen to the sounds of home.

You’re in a foreign country, don’t lay down roots, keep moving and keep getting your feet dirty. Love the people who live here and move when it’s time to move. Be of practical use and sprinkle the seasoning of home on what they ingest with you around. Cultivate gardens with roots and seeds you get from home. Embrace this life with passion and skill knowing all the while that this life is a summer trip. It’s a peace corp mission. It’s a study abroad. It’s a third world country. Don’t make choices that insure your survival in this country you’re visiting. Tourist are aloof risk takers. You’re a tourist with a purpose of leaving this place better than when you found it. You’re here to make a difference and learn and when it’s time to let go, let go and go home.


13 Comments on “just visiting”

  1. 1 Sisterlisa said at 5:43 am on September 16th, 2009:

    How beautiful. Thank you for the encouragement today Serena.

  2. 2 Reborn said at 7:54 am on September 16th, 2009:

    "Push your ear up against the door between this life and the next and listen to the sounds of home."

    This is a really cool way to think about prayer/spiritual meditation. I probably identify with it because I did so much eavesdropping as a kid… πŸ˜›

    I love your unique perspective. Something about the way you write gives me fresh understanding of some dusty old concepts and the Word begins to move out of my head and into my heart.

    On another note, would you prefer I e-mail you my questions about your book, or post them publicly in the comments of your blog?


  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 8:08 am on September 16th, 2009:

    You can email and I may turn them into a question/answer blog post if that's okay with you. It could be fun. πŸ™‚

  4. 4 Reborn said at 8:20 am on September 16th, 2009:

    Will do! I actually plan to read it twice first (per your instructions!). πŸ™‚ Thanks so much!


  5. 5 Renee said at 8:24 am on September 16th, 2009:

    Thank you for your writings. It has touched me in different ways and I am so thankful that I found your website. Hopefully my book will be here tomorrow, can't wait!

  6. 6 Serena Woods said at 8:25 am on September 16th, 2009:

    David, thank you for your encouraging words. I really appreciate it.

  7. 7 Serena Woods said at 8:27 am on September 16th, 2009:

    Renee, yesterday's post was for you. πŸ™‚ I'm so glad you're here.

    Reborn: today's post is inspired by your questions. πŸ™‚

  8. 8 Kelly Langner Sauer said at 8:42 am on September 16th, 2009:

    Serena, sometimes I get to wondering just how much of what I believe about God is true, because we forget, we don't realize, we underestimate that relational significance that grace supplies us.

    Then I run across someone I haven't known, and the Spirit has put words and understanding in their heart that didn't come from me, from all the books I've read, from the conversations I've had, and I know it is Him, and I feel as though I've known the person forever, because I know that Voice…

    Oh, thank you so much for writing and sharing what He has taught! There is so much encouragement to be found in His Body, so much that He is doing that I have not seen!

  9. 9 Anita said at 9:04 am on September 16th, 2009:

    THIS is such a great perspective! This life IS a 3rd world country and we ARE here as "missionaries" to try to share the love and GRACE as much as possible.

    Thank you, Serena. I needed this especially today.

  10. 10 Serena Woods said at 9:12 am on September 16th, 2009:

    Kelly: we absolutely DO underestimate the significance of grace! You are so right.

    Anita: I'm honored by your visit! I loved your essay about little Grace!

  11. 11 Dave P. said at 9:59 am on September 16th, 2009:

    Beautiful imagery! So much to ponder and so much to let go of and so much more to embrace!

  12. 12 Reborn said at 11:23 am on September 16th, 2009:

    I came back and read this again…

    …and this phrase hit me this time:

    "Everything we try to do, NOBLE or ignoble, serves as a distraction. "

    I was just telling my husband yesterday that I was beginning to believe that even when I do something "good" (i.e. in obedience to the law) and EVEN if I have a good motive for doing it, if I was not empowered by the Holy Spirit, my "good" action is just as much a work of the flesh as any action that would be considered "sinful".

    So maybe I should stop thinking in terms of "sin" and… un-sin(?) entirely, and replace that with "works of the flesh" and "works of the spirit"? Then, instead of constantly need to judge whether certain thoughts/behaviors/etc are sin so that I can avoid them, I would instead constantly ask God to help me distinguish whether my desires are being led by the Spirit or my flesh (Gal 5:18).

    That's probably a super obvious thought and what you've been trying to get through my thick head all along, but to this legalistic girl… well… it pretty much makes my brain explode! πŸ˜›

  13. 13 Serena Woods said at 1:12 pm on September 16th, 2009:

    Oh, make sure you’re finished with the book, too. Some questions get answered long after they come up. I like to build tension with writing and then provide the scriptural inspiration later.

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