Its been a while...too long for my liking, but it seems that life is passing along at a VERY challenging pace. First it was the end of the school year, now its the dog days of summer … all of these things seem to be taking FOREVER to pass, but suddenly they are gone – like some strange time vortex that we haven't quite figured out. In any event, I realized today that I have a lot to say and no one to say it to... and then I remembered this nice little space where I can vent.
I woke up this morning, as I normally do, with a song on my heart.
It usually sets the tone for my day. There is always a message in it
for me... always... sometimes its obvious, other times its not... but
today it struck me as something I had to chew on for a while before
I could spit it out.
The lyrics said “ I've tasted and I've seen – of a God who is
greater than anything.” It was a spontaneous moment that soared
into the throne room of heaven in this specific worship set. It
immediately brought to mind Psalm 34:8 – taste and see that the
Lord is good.
I was brought back to my childhood church. To the high and lofty
ceilings painted white with beautiful wooden beams running across it,
drop pendant lights sprinkled throughout. To the smell of powder and incense and
wood polish for the long, long pews that glistened even on the rainiest of days. I can recall, with absolute
clarity, the sound of the organ and Mr. Kirby singing “taste and see, taste and
see, that the Lord is good.” As bizarre as it sounds, I can also recall the sound of his cough in between songs - he chain smoked like nobody's business and it seemed to take a toll on his Sunday morning crooning.
As sad as this is, I have to confess that it took me until my adult years to
make the connection that he actually WAS singing the Psalms. The ones
I could read for myself in the Good Book. The ones that have brought me comfort and eased the growing pains of life ... those very same Psalms. I have no idea why I never put two and two together,...but I suppose that is another story for another day.
Let's get to the heart of the matter, shall we?
My journey since my younger catholic years has moved me to a new church and
given me a whole new worship experience. Gone is the organ, here is the keyboard and bass - even some drums. Makes me face-hurt smile to think how much I love where I am. I have learned more about who Jesus is in the past 5 years than I did in my first 25... but again, that is another story for another day (I guess one blog post begets two more?!??!)
In thinking about the lyrics today, and comparing it to the organ-laced song from my youth, I realized that tense matters. No, not the tightness in between my shoulders (I wouldn't EVER say no to a massage!) but to the actual TENSE of the words. The lyrics are past tense - she has tastED and SEEN. The Word says to taste and see. Taste. See. Now. Not in the past. That got me thinking...
I can say for sure that I have tastED and I have SEEN that the Lord is good. But can I really say that in the present tense?
I can't help but relate this to food (no snide remarks, please...). Do you have a desire to taste something when you're not hungry? Think about it. You've just had a meal - whatever your heart desires - and you're just sitting in your seat. Satisfied. Full - OVERfull, maybe... but absolutely happy that what you just ate has exceeded your expectations. If I said to you - do you want to taste my food? You probably would say no. You're satisfied. You don't want to change the taste that lingers on your tongue. But if you were NOT satisfied - if you were starving and I offered you a taste of my food, you would be happy to oblige. You are HUNGRY. You WANT. You, quite possibly, need a taste.
Jesus offers us this - Jesus offers us the ability to taste and see that He is good. But He won't force us to try a bite. He waits for us to be hungry - and eventually we realize that it doesn't matter what food we eat, the only true source of satisfaction is Him.
I, unfortunately, have a selfish nature. My first thought is often about how I'm feeling even if whatever the issue brings up is not about me or how I'm feeling. I am working on it. This selfish tendency can put blinders on me. I look around and see how things are NOT instead of how things ARE. I forget that there is pleasure in the small things - like the sound of laughter or a really good cup of coffee. My selfishness ALWAYS turns to grumbling and groaning. Instead of feeling like I'm serving my family by making them dinner, I end up thinking that they are all ungrateful people and should be making ME dinner for all I do for them (I swear, I've had these thoughts. No, I'm not proud of them - I'm keepin' it real here though... I know I'm not the only one). In these blinding situations, I can not SEE that the Lord is good. I can only SEE how things are affecting ME.
So the song sings to me that I've tasted and I've seen... in the past. And I have - both of those things. And in each time I recognized it, I was full to bursting at the God who would know and see me. If you asked me right at this moment if I can taste and see if the Lord is good, my immediate response would be no. I am not tasting and seeing that He is good. I'm stuck in my own head.
But if you asked me if I've tastED and SEEN that He is good, I would absolutely say YES.
Sooooo...we have a problem here, no?
We (I say we, but I mean I) spend so much time thinking about what has happened, and what WILL happen...that we forget what IS happening. We (again, I) are so caught up in before and after; in I 'used to' but next 'I will.' We change course from the road we USED TO travel SO THAT we can end up at a different destination - completely unaware of the beauty that surrounds us because our mind and hearts are too far ahead - hanging on a hope that may or may not be what we should cling to. We have tastED, we have SEEN. We do not taste and see.
I'm working on it. Join me?