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Last night we confronted a question together that many of us have been wrestling with alone since Mark Scandrette’s teaching last week:

What do we do with the resistance that naturally rises up in us when we hear Christ’s invitation into the life that is truly life?

After all, it seems like a life lived as a follower of Jesus doesn’t just mean setting aside 20 minutes a day for centering prayer or one day out of every seven for rest and delight in who he is and who he has made us to be.  It’s beginning to seem like Jesus might be asking us for our entire lives.  And this can feel like more than we are actually willing to give.  For me, the deeper we have gone into our study and practices for the suburban stronghold, the more these words of Jesus begin to come to mind:

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  (Matthew 16:25)

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  (John 12:24) 

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  (Luke 9:23)

And the more these teachings come to mind, the more my gut tightens, the more I want to turn to coping mechanisms that keep me from thinking about the ways I am attached to stuff, and the more I’d rather stay on the surface of things where it’s safe.

All of this is why praying through Matthew 11:28-30 and listening to Scott Gibson’s invitation to get curious with our resistance last night felt so tender and holy and safe.  Remembering the kindness of God who got curious when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden, asking them, “Where are you?” gave us a framework and permission to get curious with ourselves.  As Scott taught, what might God do if when we felt resistance – anger, contempt, sadness, or just discomfort – instead of shaming ourselves and judging others, we simply noticed and asked: “What is this about?  What is happening here?”

Download Scott’s Teaching from last night

Such gentleness with our fragile hearts and souls!  Is this even possible?   And can we practice this “getting curious” without the expectation of an immediate answer, knowing that God may take time to unravel what’s really under the resistance?  Can we stay in the wonder?  Can we be the curious child who asks his mom or dad why a giraffe’s neck is so long and is perfectly content not knowing for sure, but wondering about all the possibilities?

This week, we are practicing (1) getting curious and (2) we’ll continue working through Mark’s book Free by reading chapter 2, called Value and Align Your Time. 

Here are the six questions Scott gave us to help with getting curious when we feel resistance:

  1. What am I observing that my heart seems to be doing?
  2. What am I noticing that my body is experiencing?
  3. What are the feelings that I am aware of?
  4. What are the questions that I want to have answers for?
  5. Where does my heart want to go with what I am becoming aware of?
  6. Are there others I could invite to wonder with me?

If I’m going to go with these questions, get curious and wonder, I need God’s help.  The song we sang last night may just be a refrain as I do:

You hear us calling,
You hear us calling, Abba Father. 

Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.

Scott mentioned Barbara Brown Taylor’s most recent book Learning to Walk in the Dark as being helpful to him, so that may be something to check out if you’re looking to learn more.

May you feel the presence of our kind Father this week,

Kellye

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