Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I Missed the Feast

I missed the feast.
Or maybe I just honestly refused the feast.

I'll get back to those thoughts, but first let me explain where they came from. Lately, I've become a podcast junkie. It all started with listening to a homeschooling podcast back in the fall, and the rest has been history. Between homeschooling podcasts (my fave being Circe Institute, Read Aloud Revival, and Your Morning Basket) and sermon podcasts (my fave being The Village Church/Matt Chandler), I have found many encouraging truths in this simple App.

Last week, I was listening to one from Circe Institute called "Ask Andrew Ep. 7: On Moralizing Stories." This is technically a podcast about classical education, but I've been so encouraged by this particular series as I also feel like it challenges me to think about my Christian faith and how I parent my children. This podcast was discussing how we are often tempted to moralize stories when reading them to our children... meaning, we're tempted to simply tell them the moral of a story when we finish reading it. Andrew suggests that we should not do this. He says we should instead read a story and either just let it be (finish the story, close the book, and go on with the day) or finish it and ask questions of the kids without offering our own suggestions. He finds that this approach is better because it allows the student to find their own morals from a story (maybe the moral we see in the story isn't what they would see as the moral)... but also because it allows a story to be more than just a moral. A story isn't just a moral. It's beauty and creation and character development, and we don't want to miss these things in the midst of simply trying to find a moral.

This way of thinking is all new to me within the last year. I was always quick to moralize everything before. But what struck me hard from the podcast (to the point where I actually went back and listened to it again... which I never do) is when Andrew talked about the prodigal son, found in the story Jesus shares in the New Testament.

The prodigal son was always obedient. He was the perfect child; the child everyone wants. He followed all of his father's orders, he made his father look good, he did everything right, he worked hard to please... except when it came to feasting. When Andrew said that, I felt my soul resonate deeply. That was me.
I missed the feast.
Or maybe I just honestly refused the feast.
That was my problem for so many years of my Christian walk. I did everything right, I wanted deeply to satisfy everyone, including God... but I wanted to be able to do it. I wanted to do enough good, I wanted to prove I was worthy, I wanted to follow all of the rules, I wanted to be good enough. But I didn't want to enjoy the feast.

The feast is the celebration of a lost child come home. It's the recognition that we are so unworthy, but the Lord loves us and has shed his blood to allow us to take part in the feast. The feast is where we simply enjoy every good gift that has ever been given to us and see that there is absolutely nothing we can do to make us more worthy in the Lord's sight because that part has already been done. The feast is where we bask in God's glory. The feast is where we sit on equal ground with every other believer because we see that each of us is a wretched sinner who has been changed by the blood of the Lamb. The feast is where we stop doing and instead we sing and dance and eat and laugh and rest because God is good. The feast is where we remember the power and greatness of the Lord. The feast is where we want more. Doing doesn't make us want more of God. We may want more praise, more acclamation, more notice in doing. But it's in feasting that we want more of God.

Oh, how I long to see the value in the feast. To continually desire the feast. To want more and more and more of God. And oh, how I long for my children to want this too. But I realize what I'm saying when I want this. To want the feast, we have to recognize our wretchedness. And for some of us (dare I say all of us?), that means that we have to take very hard, dark, sad, heartbreaking, and lonely paths. In many ways, I don't want that for my children. I long to protect them from it all. But I want them to desire the feast. I don't want them to be satisfied in doing because they can never do enough for God, and they will never have their hearts' longing in doing.
I want them to feast.

1 comment:

  1. I was particularly struck by that episode too! As a trained teacher, it was a really hard transition for me to just ENJOY something. EVERYTHING has to be purposeful; EVERYTHING has to have a clear objective. But this whole motherhood journey has somewhat stripped my minute objectives from me (otherwise, I just end up frustrated) and forced me to focus on The Big Picture. And I'm so so glad about that. Mmm I want to join you in that feasting.