Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What if you really were a Princess?

When I was a child I devoured books. Before I started school, I apparently taught myself to read. I was so advanced in my reading skills that in Kindergarten they would make me go to 1st grade reading classes, and in 1st grade I went to 2nd grade classes. I wasn't allowed to compete in reading contests at school.

(I think this is where much of my social awkwardness comes from...)

Even as a young child, my heart yearned for something bigger than reality. When I wasn't reading, I would daydream. I imagined myself as a character in my favorite series. I never imagined myself as one of the already established characters. I always imagined that I myself would be transported into that world, and interact with the characters. I would always become someone essential to the story after I entered. I would have some special power or knowledge that would make me valuable to the characters. And they would love me.

Sometimes I would even pray that God would magically transport me into one of these worlds.

In those stories, my heart came alive. They were so much more real than going to school, or cleaning my room, or doing chores.

I didn't often read princess stories, but recently the idea has been floating around in my head (again, I have to credit John Eldridge for this latest bout of blogging). What if I really was a Princess? How would that change the way I live? How would it change the way I act? How would it change my relationship with God? What if it were True?

Have you ever thought of it? If we are Children of God, and God is a King, that makes us Princes and Princesses. That means we have glory, we have grace, we have responsibility. And we have access to and the delight of our King.

What if I am a Princess? How does that change my heart? How does that change my thinking?

Suddenly my head is held just a little higher. Fear of rejection and disappointment fade. I am a Princess.

With a mission.

My Father King has sent me to become an ambassador to another country. A country I begged Him to let me go to. A country He also loves and wants to form a Covenant with. It's a rather large country, so He chose many of my Brothers and Sisters to come with me. But He gave me my own area to be an ambassador to.

But somewhere along the way, I forgot that's what I was doing. It's easy to forget, or never quite realize that you are a Princess.

The Truth was cleverly hidden in this mess we call reality. And I doubted my glory. I doubted my worth. I doubted my heart.

But the stories call out to me again, and make me remember. They give voice and form to long forgotten yearnings.

And this time, I see. I see the Truth hidden in the fiction. And I find a measure of Peace again today.

Today I decided to re-read the book "The Journey of Desire" by (you guessed it) John Eldridge.

This may come as a surprise to you: Christianity is not an invitation to become a moral person. It is not a program for getting us in line or for reforming society. It has a powerful effect upon our lives, but when transformation comes, it is always the aftereffect of something else, something at the level of our hearts. At it's core, Christianity beings with an invitation to desire.
- p 35

In other words, eternal life is not primarily duration but quality of life, "life to the limit." It cannot be stolen from us, and so it does go on. But the focus is on the life itself. "In him was life," as the apostle John said of Jesus, "and that life was the light of men" (John 1:4 NIV). Notice that the people who aren't so good at keeping up with the program but who are very aware of their souls' deep thirst are captured by Jesus' message. Common folk tear the roofs off houses to get to him. They literally trample each other in an effort to get to this man. I've never seen anyone acting like this in order to get a chance to serve on some church committee or to hear a sermon on why dancing is "of the devil." People act like this when it's a matter of life and death. Crowds trample each other to get out of a burning building; they press into the mob to reach a food line. When life is at stake and the answer is within reach, that's when you see human desire unmasked in all it's desperation.
-p 39

I look at my fellow "siblings" here in Japan. So many are dead inside. Sundays are spent filled with hollow services that have very little resemblance to actual worship to them, followed by meetings and obligations. Sundays are the only days off for some people and spent further sucking the life out of church members, keeping them in impotent bondage.

I feel so much frustration with it, but also I feel frustrated that I don't seem to be doing anything about it either. I'm upset with their blindness, or rather their inability to understand that their blindness can be/has been healed, but I'm also upset with my impotence.

This wasn't the Romance I imagined.

But now that my own blindness has been lifted, I can roll up my sleeves, bend my knees, and start pouring out my heart again for this country that I still love, that I still want to see in a Covenant Treaty with my Father.
To the weary, Jesus speaks of rest. To the lost, he speaks of finding your way. Again and again and again Jesus takes people back ot their desires: "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matt 7:7 NIV). These are outrageous words, provocative words. Ask, seek, knock - these words invited and arouse desire. What is it that you want? They fall in deaf ears if there is nothing you want, nothing you're looking for, nothing you're hungry enough to bang on a door over.
Jesus provokes desire; he awakens it; he heightens it. The religious watchdogs accuse him of heresy. He says, "Not at all. This is the invitation God has been sending all along."
-p 37-8

What do you want?

I want to be restored as a Princess.

And to resume my abandoned and misunderstood job as an Ambassador.

I want my heart back.

And I want to pour it out for the people of this land.

I want to love.

For Real.

Just like a real Princess.


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