I feel like Robert DeNiro.
Not “Raging Bull” DeNiro. More like “Leonard Lowe” DeNiro. Remember Leonard? The mental patient from the movie Awakenings who spent his entire adult life in a catatonic state until a persistent Robin Williams* used an experimental drug to bring his whole being back to life? While Leonard’s awakening was short-lived, he challenged and inspired others to make the most of those moments of clarity. You never know when the joy and fullness you feel in one moment might fade into a tragic lifelessness.
I’m not suggesting that my life is tragic or lifeless. Far from it, actually.** But sometimes we have moments of awakening. Tiny little glimpses of clarity or fullness where joy, love, peace, and goodness just seem to overflow in very a very tangible way. It’s those little moments where everything comes together; where the spiritual/eternal meets the physical/here-and-now; where God seems to smile and let you know that you are right in His will.
And His will is good.
Easter was an awakening for me. For whatever reason, I was totally amped up for Easter this year in a way that was unlike any other time of my life. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I imagine it has something to do with the fact that I went through a radical transition in my life over the past 6 months. Perhaps it’s because the resurrection means more to me every year as I learn more and more about what it means to know God and to be known by Him.
Maybe it was hearing the worship team rehearse early in the morning, singing and playing their hearts out to a risen Savior. Maybe it was the theological depth and lyrical beauty of Matt Maher’s song Christ Is Risen that had been saturating my soul in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. Maybe it was the inspirational interpretation from the biggest and cutest family I have ever seen. Maybe it was the fact that this place felt like home long before I ever moved here.
Maybe it was because God was there. Moving.
Whatever the reason, Easter Sunday awakened my soul. And like Leonard Lowe, I know that the awakening won’t last. In fact, it has already started to fade away, slowly. Just as Leonard realized that his awakening served a greater purpose (medical research), spiritual awakenings don’t occur just for themselves. They are not the end. The Christian life does not revolve around, seek, or exalt any kind of emotionalism. But those moments do serve a greater purpose: we fall more in love with God. When that happens, we give ourselves more to Him, and seek to love him more by serving others.
“Christian love is not just an emotional thing; it involves the giving of the whole person to Christ and to others.” – Wiersbe, 10 Power Principles For Christian Service
I am thankful that Christ went from death to life, and that He invites us to do the same. I am grateful for those tangible moments where my soul is awakened. And I am determined to make sure that I did not come awake only to fall back asleep again.
I was hesitant to include this video with the blog for a number of reasons, mainly because a static video shot cannot capture, nor can it recreate, the emotion and intimacy that was present on Easter Sunday. It’s just not the same. I don’t even want to try. However, I have heard from so many people who were present on Sunday that this particular song will not let them go. There are also many others who will read this post, without any clue of what I am talking about if I don’t provide some context. So, once again, here is an invitation to come awake. For Him, not for you.
** With the exception, perhaps, of my cooking skills: straight-up tragic and lifeless. I ruined pancakes a couple weeks ago. I even managed to spoil a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day after peanut-buttering one piece of bread and the realizing I was out of jelly. I tried to get my Betty Crocker on by substituting the jelly with some orange marmalade that I found in the fridge, but that failed miserably because what is marmalade, anyway?