Five Year Winter

     Due to the fairly-recent reference to them a couple of posts ago as well as to the growing influence of the beard, I’ve had Zao stuck in my head fairly non-stop. Well… let me qualify that. Certainly I’ve had the tune itself on Repeat within my consciousness, but what has actually been circulating even more is the phrase itself, “Burn it down and walk away.” Simple. Exhortative. Brilliant.
     Encumbered by the cares of the world? Burn it down and walk away.
     Ensnared by the fear of man? Burn it down and walk away.
     Strangled by the demands of the workplace? Burn it down and walk away.
     Alienated by political agendas? Burn it down and walk away.
     Mired in the pursuit of possessions? Burn it down and walk away.
     Chained to the desire for approval? Burn it down and walk away.
     Enslaved to pressures of culture? Burn it down and walk away.
     Vexed by the compulsion to over-achieve? Burn it down and walk away.
     Guilt-ridden by the past? Burn it down and walk away.
     Disenfranchised by the currents of popular opinion? Burn it down and walk away.
     So to qualify a bit further, I of course don’t mean that armed uprising is in order or anything ridiculous like that, so please don’t go join a militia or start stocking up on reverse osmosis purified water and first aid kits. I mean nothing revolutionary in the geo-political sense. What I do mean is something more revolutionary in an eschatological sense. We live now in Christ’s inaugurated Kingdom, having been delivered from the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13). We await the full manifestation of His reign at the end of the present age, when the Kingdom is consummated and the Eternal State is instituted with a new heavens and a new earth. The covenant community lives and works and plays and eats and breathes and does everything else in an era of “now, but not yet” as we enjoy some of the blessings of the Kingdom within the context of a still-fallen world.
     All that to say: we are not a part of a world that is perishing. We die daily to it! So why am I so often bogged down by temporary things that are passing away? Part of it is of course my own fault as I make idols of various things, but some of it is simply due to my losing perspective on God’s eternal purposes and instead fixing my gaze upon things that are here today and gone in about three and a half minutes… if it lasts even that long! The commitment of my heart to vain, impermanent things serves in no way to lift me up, it only deprives me of traction and plants me more deeply into a quagmire of worthless fretting!    
     I really need to ask myself why I spend money on what is not bread and why I labor for that which doesn’t satisfy (Isaiah 55:1-2). Why bother with idols? God is like an evergreen cyprus, and from Him comes my fruit (Hosea 14:8). With winter coming, idols make for some great firewood, and the warmth will help me in redeeming the time. And even though I won’t be joining a militia, it will be a battle. The battle, however, is not against flesh and blood- it is against the powers of spiritual darkness (Ephesians 6:12). The war isn’t waged with the weapons of armies but rather with the power of God (2 Corinthians 10:4); and Zao will be my soundtrack at that those perplexing times when the fight rears its not-particularly-pretty cabesa and I need the reminder to just burn it down and walk away.
     Now I just feel pumped to be in a boxing match… but I think that’s the beard talking.

    

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