Today was a rough morning. Not for any particular reason other than me over thinking and trying to micromanage my life and the lives of each family member. I finally decided to do something about it around 11 AM.
PS. I don’t like working out.
I don’t like it working out but… I do like to eat. Me and my daughter share a love of walking tacos. Even if it’s not my favorite thing working out does help manage my bad attitude and need to micromanage.
At 11AM this morning when I should have been putting lunch on the table or packing up my husbands lunch to deliver it to the office or field, I turned on my beach body app and me and my 5 year old did our yoga video. (Thanks Stacey!!)
While I was in downward dog my daughter chimed in and said ” You get to smell the walking tacos while you are working out. This is great” I laughed so hard. And replied with you are so right. Then I started thinking.
Some times life is hard. Some times it’s a struggle and I can’t articulate why. This morning was one of those mornings. One of those mornings where I was just plain overwhelmed. Nothing catastrophic had happened. Things were just off. Days like that sometimes make me long for heaven. Long for a time when everything will be as it should be. Obviously it’s not my decision when I will be headed to heaven and I genuinely love my life. Some days are so beautiful that I thank God for what he has got started and is sustaining in my life.
A book I have read and will probably reread at some point does an awesome job describing the feelings I described above and what we have to look forward to. ‘Home: How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy our Deepest Longings.’ In this book Fitzpatrick describes the thin places
“You may not be familiar with it, but the idea of thin places is well known in Celtic spirituality. Thin places ‘are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and were able to catch a glimpse of the divine or the transcendent. ‘ The Celts believed that heaven and earth were only three feet apart, “but in thin places that distance is even shorter.”
Without making too much of what is not a strictly biblical construct, I think it’s allowable for us to use our imaginations and stretch the borders of the ways we normally think about the relationship between the church and the world to come.
The church when it’s functioning as it should be, should almost enable us to experience the world to come; it should make the division between here and there nearly transparent. That’s not to say that every moment of every time we gather together as a church is to be a rapturous experience of the New Earth; rather that the church should be a place where we get glimpses, whiffs, whispers of it form time to time.”
So what in the world does that all mean?
Does it mean that we can walk into church and feel the presence of God in our souls?
Many people have had negative experiences in church so it’s not as if church is some portal to heaven (Fitzpatrick is clear to point that out in almost those exact words). But church is where we can go because the places that Christ has promised to be are there. On those days when things are not lining up or when catastrophic life events are happening all around us we can go to the places God has promised to be. Don’t get me wrong he has promised to be everywhere! Just keep reading.
Fitzpatrick does a rock star job of describing the sacraments as those ‘thin places’ where God has promised to be. And you know a fantastic thing about the sacraments is there are physical elements associated with them. If you are like me I can respond to or maybe a better word is understand those things I can touch, taste, hear and smell more than things I am suppose to ‘feel’ down deep somewhere. When my 5 senses are engaged it becomes more of a reality. Just like when I can smell the taco meat for the walking tacos warming on the stove they are closer to me than when the meat is frozen in the deep freeze. When life is out of place we can go to or remember these sacraments and heaven becomes more of a reality to us than something in a distant galaxy far far away. Heaven gets closer to us.
Here is the quote from Fitzpatrick where she writes about the sacraments:
“But there are other significant events in the church that speak loudly of the world to come. They are the preaching of the word of Christ and the sacraments, those ancient rites without which the church becomes nother more than in impotent civic organization. The sacraments are the very heartbeat of the church and are “one of the points where heaven and earth overlap and interlock” The French reformer John Calvin wrote, “In this sense the preaching fo the gospel is called the kingdom of heaven, and the sacraments may be called the gate of heaven, because they admit us into the presence of God.”
On those days when things are not going as planned.
You are doing the things you know are good for you or you think are good for you or you really have no idea if they are good for you but this is where you are at right now we can go to the sacraments.
It’s like when we are working out we can smell the walking taco. We are trudging along in this life but we can smell heaven is near. When life is not functioning as it should we can go to these thin places.
The places where we can feel on our skin the waters of baptism or remember our baptism when we feel water run over and cleanse us. When wine runs over our taste buds we can remember the words of Christ ‘Take drink, this is my blood’. We can hear the words of forgiveness.
PS. I do know heaven will be better than a walking taco. I just really like them. I hope they are included in the feast so I can bring one along and get a chance to hear Luther and Paul preach, lay on a grassy spots of heaven and bask in the light of Jesus, and discover how our creator intended life to be.
So now that you are really curious after all my rambling. Go and buy Home by Elyse Fitzpatrick.