Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chex Mix Christians

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7

There's a lot going on in here this morning.

So the other day I am watching this Taco Bell commercial. Maybe you've seen it. These two guys are sitting on the couch and sharing some appetizers when another guy walks in with some burrito-type deal and he eats it. All by himself. The premise of the commercial being that if you were to buy this hand-held appetizer, you wouldn't be like those two suckers having to share...

Or maybe you have seen the Chex Mix commercial with the "BORING" potato chip bag decoy. A guy is enjoying his awesome Chex Mix when his friends subtly ambush him by hijacking all the snacks in the bag. The people freeze. The host tosses the Chex Mix bag inside a Boring potato chip bag, and when the scene resumes the guy's friends turn around, highly disappointed. The point of the decoy bag? Then no one will want to steal the deliciousness...

Selfishness sells. Looks pretty playful in these cases. After all, who hasn't insisted that the pan of brownies is simply awful and no one should try them, In fact, I'll just go ahead and eat them all to spare you the misery. It's funny, right?

Until we all turn into Chex Mix Christians.

This isn't a fluff piece. I thought maybe it was. Won't it be cute? We are Chex Mix Christians! Why cover yourself in a decoy bag instead of sharing the deliciousness of the Gospel?

Is that the point? Actually, yes. Yes it is. But then this morning the kids weren't listening or brushing their teeth. I spilled coffee on myself. Twice. I read this blog post on human trafficking. My husband walks into my office and reads the headline, "Chicago Public Schools May Start Sex Ed in Kindergarten".

And what was lighthearted is becoming heavyhearted.

So I open up my Bible search engine in hopes that I'll find that one verse about wanting to stay silent but the writer just can't contain the word of the Lord, when 2 Timothy 1:7 pops up as the Verse of the Day:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7
Honestly, this has always been one of those fire-me-up verses. Kind of one-dimensional, actually. Never really got past the first part- For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power...
... of love and of self discipline.
Where did that come from? It's a Chex Mix kind of verse. Like faith, hope, and love, only it's power, love, and self discipline.
You want to know what really makes us different than the potato chips? Love. It's always in the mix.
In a world where being "exciting" means you essentially act like everyone else- desperate, unhappy, wild, reckless, evil, grudge-burdened, stumbling, aimless- we have bags full of mixed blessings from the Giver.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by you name, O Lord, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
We aren't the plain white snow of despair that blankets the world- we are the shoots of life that spring out of the ground, nutured and coaxed out into the open by the warmth of the Son.
And no one has to steal the deliciousness of it all, because it just can't be contained. Not in a bag, not in a heart, soul or life. It has to get out. It is blessed, and so blessed that it must bless.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. -Psalm 103:1-6