It is a term I have thought about several times during the last 30 or so years. Of course I am older than 30 but I remember thinking about shifting when I was 16 years old. Yep, it was a stick shift. A Volkswagen Rabbit with a sunroof. And the wide open road.
When I began to learn the trade of masonry I began to think about the skills of that trade in context of square, level and plumb. Of course every bit of masonry rests upon a foundation and every mason takes into consideration where and how the foundation is built. Foundations will shift if they are built wrong.
And if the offense moves the ball quickly then the defense must shift. If the defense doesn’t shift quick enough the other team will score. Many a three point shot or a goal has been made because the defense failed to shift.
The poet within loves to think of how similar shift and sift are. Satan desires to sift those who do not follow him. I try and shift gears before I get sifted.
I’m just like that. I want to get as close to the edge as I can without falling off. I want to push the limits. I want to be somebody. I want to be relevant and something within screams, “Go as far as you can before you repent.”
The weird thing about Grace is that God doesn’t play on the same scale as I am playing. God is Holy and I am not.
Does that mean I have Divine permission to simply do anything I want and then repent. God calls us to be Holy. Jesus told several folks, “go and sin no more.” I’m good at the “go” part.
I get it. It ain’t easy. Walking around a bit today I was thinking about my own sin. Terry and I met up at a new Hostel. It is a cool place but not what I am accustomed to. 20 years ago sure -hang on a second where are these thought coming from? I have become accustomed to comfort and pain relief. Not tonight!
It’s strange how much of my life is not Holy. Can I shift? Is it too late? Have I been sifted?
Bilbao in Holy Week is crowded and beautiful. So many cool people. I’m glad that I didn’t commit suicide. I’m glad that I am still alive. I’m glad that at some point I decided that I must cling to grace.
I’m holding on to grace with both hands. I’m holding onto grace with all the faith I can muster- mustard. I’m in deep belief and love with God. Will I achieve “sin no more?” I doubt it. Will I a get to “holiness?” I doubt it.
I can strive to be a bit better right here right now. I can and I will. I shifting gears, avoiding shifting sand and avoiding the shifty moves of the opponent.
I walked into a shop today that has a tarot card reading area. I left the shop thinking about all the people who are looking for something real. Christ is real. Love is real.
It’s now late here in Bilbao and we just returned from the Paschal Virgil service. The building is an old 14th century cathedral. Y’all may know the service. Lights out. Everyone has a candle. They come in with the Christ candle lit and begin lighting candles. Each person turns and lights another candle. The light of Christ is spread person to person, just like it is outside those church building walls.
A lady in front of us was videoing with her iPhone. Her phone light was jacking everything up! I had so much trouble concentrating. I kept thinking about grabbing her phone and sliding it on the floor towards the front of the building.
I didn’t but I kept thinking about it. Satan was tempting me. And I thought about making a shift. I thought directly back to this blog that I am writing. I later told Terry about my struggle. He laughed. He wasn’t pleased with the lady’s actions either. We were both glad I didn’t destroy her phone.
Life is so strange.
The struggle is real. I cannot educate myself out of it. I cannot overcome yet I am more than a conqueror through Christ. I am religious only in the sense of the way of James (visiting the orphans and widows in their need and keeping myself unspotted from the world). But I’m even terrible at that. I haven’t visited the widows as I could have. I haven’t reached out to the orphans and I am most poca dotted- a world beyond simple spots.
Grace, mercy - the only hope I have is in Christ!
Arise! Get the keys to hell! Conqueror death! - I can almost hear my modern day self cheering way back then with the Angels of Ancient time. Because Christ is my only hope. My only hope is Christ.