The Familiarity of the Unfamiliar

Today I learned something about myself that I never knew before – or at least had never fully realized. I’m the kind of person who likes to tackle things one at a time. Even though I was homeschooled, I wouldn’t bounce around between subjects. I would finish history before moving onto science, and I would always save math for last because I knew I would be too frustrated to focus on anything else after that. I even eat my food in order. I simply can’t take one bite of beans then one bite of potatoes. If I start with the beans, I don’t touch the potatoes until the beans are finished. Weird, I know.

I just don’t like leaving things unfinished or having too much going on all at once. I guess I like simplicity, but I’m starting to feel as if God is shaking the boundaries of my comfort zone (as He so often does). I feel like He’s throwing more things at me, and I’m having to learn to juggle (which I’ve never had a desire to do). Still, God is stretching me and, as He often does, He’s using people. Namely, author Steven James.

Today, when I arrived home from work, I discovered a package waiting for me. Knowing exactly what it was, I tore into the manila envelope with great delight. Voila! Sailing Between the Stars. I had to start reading it immediately.

Wait. What? I’ve had other books on hold for over two weeks because I haven’t finished my current reads. How can I even think about cracking this one open? Simple really. It’s Steven James. And I connect with his writing unlike any other author I’ve ever read. I simply have to know what he is going to say. I have to ponder his insights into the Kingdom. I’m drawn into his poetic flow and enraptured by the paradoxes he presents. How can anyone be splintered into wholeness? He says things that leave me thinking, and things that keep me coming back for more.

So on top of my devotional and the book I was already reading, I now have two Steven James books thrown in the mix. And I think it’s God’s way of telling me He wants to expand my boundaries. Already, He’s been playing with my dreams and turning my expectations upside-down. There was a time that I thought I had my life all figured out, but now I feel as if I’ve lost control of everything. And I don’t understand. But according to Steven James, my lack of understanding isn’t a bad thing. Here’s a quote from Sailing Between the Stars:

…we’re busy trying to make Jesus seem reasonable, sensible, and practical. But He’s not. He’s radical, paradoxical, and absurd.

And that’s one of the reasons He’s so attractive to me.

That’s one of the reasons I believe.

God doesn’t make sense to the human mind. If He did, He wouldn’t be God. I’m not going to waste my time analyzing and trying to understand every little aspect of the heavenly realm. Rather, I’m going to embrace the mystery and step out into the wonderful familiarity of the unfamiliar, because it’s the poetical paradox of who God is that keeps me coming back for more.

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