I like listening to marriage stories. I like to listen to what has worked for some, what hasn’t worked, I find it fascinating! I am currently even reading a book for married women, and no I aint married, but hey that’s what faith is, right? What does that verse say again, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So anyway one of the things that I hear of repeatedly from married people is that one of the greatest enemies to any marriage is what I will call ‘kuzoeana’! I will break this ‘foreign’ very hard word down a bit.
Kuzoeana is what happens when you’ve been married to someone for so long that you stop being fascinated by the little things that did when you were newlyweds / dating. I think the easiest example that most people have heard off is when ladies start sleeping with stockings (well maybe the word is continue – they probably did when they were single, but as newlywed they had to be at Sunday best then one day they discover but I am married to this guy for keeps so why all the effort – stockings hear we come). Then the stockings get torn and look dark and ugly and the list continues.
A friend of mine a couple of weeks back told me of how the other day she was about to go to bed and she looked at herself with all the 1900 t-shirts and thought this isn’t attractive in any way then a second later remembered but this is my hubby, my true friend, my bunny, he’ll be okay! Kuzoeana; It’s when date nights become a foreign thing that should only be done by newlywed people. It is when everyone else becomes a higher priority than your spouse; you will be with the boys, hang out with them at the expense of madam – afterall at some point she’ll stop making all the noise about the boys; or when the babies take a higher space in priority world than hubby; Kuzoeana.
In some ways I get this kuzoeana thing. It’s a good thing in some ways; it means you are secure in your relationship. But it is no reason to slacken; it took work to get to the secure place.
This week I have been wondering if we do the same thing with God. You know we kuzoeana! We know God, we know His heart, and we know we can be safe, we know we are loved for absolutely no viable reason than just loves sake. Then we begin to take this for granted. We stop being awed by the amount of love this Lord must have for us. We stop being awed at that He woos us. We stop being awed at how He loves us yet we are such sinners. We stop being awed by the battles He fights for us. We stop being awed by just who He is. We forsake the love we had at first!
As a result the things we did when we were first in love disappear; rather than grow and mature, they become extinct. The quiet time disappears to walking time (you know the ‘I will spend the whole day talking to Him anyway so why do I need to set aside a specific time’). The searching for God’s will stops and we discover we can be okay anyway. The prayers and fasting become a thing of the past, heck how many times have I prayed and fasted in the past. We stop being awed by who He is or even what He’s done.
I am busy….
Sometimes we do it even in a better way. We become the busy spouses. You know the spouse that will hustle and get the monies and the good life for the spouse but is never available for the spouse? The spouse who everyone thinks is the most adorable spouse except their own spouses? The spouse who if they had their way they’d get rid of the goodies for a moment with spouse. We become that person.
We are busy, very busy infact at God’s work. We become enchanted by the thrill of doing God’s work. Yes there is such a thing, a thrill of seeing God at work, God using you – it’s amazing! We become so busy, yet at the heart of it is a Lord who is not bothered with the busyness. It’s a Lord who like that spouse wishes they could get rid of the goodies for a moment with us, to just hang out with us. Remember the story of Mary and Martha; Martha was so busy, doing good stuff, heck the Lord needs to eat, right? But Jesus says such a profound thing “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part..”
You see God would rather we are at His feet anyday than busy washing dishes or busy doing the niceties. He wants to have a relationship with us first! I am always amazed at how when God finds Eve and Adam sinning, the first thing He asks is not ‘what have you done’, that’s what I would expect from a disappointed father. What He asks, what I find He asks me today is ‘where are you?’ I am amazed at how what God is after, what He truly wants is not my busyness, good as it may be, it is my heart, it is to hang out with Him, it is that I may know Him!
A holy dissatisfaction
So this week I am crying to God, may I never stop being awed by You Lord. May I never miss what it’s all about. May I first and foremost always be at your feet.
You see I have found that if that does not happen, I begin to be mechanical. I begin to serve mechanically, no longer awed at how God saves His people, no longer the celebrator of people giving their lives to Christ, no longer the person who feeds from a place of I have been fed. I become mechanical. Nothing scares me more than this, to be at the feet of Jesus yet busy running around!
So like Paul, this is my prayer, ‘Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’
A few verses before Paul this verse, Paul lists the things he has done. He even says though: “ I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more” But he chooses to forget what lies behind, the successes, the failures, knew he needed to forget them. Because if he did not forget, kuzoeana would check in.
He would miss the miracle that’s even greater things to come. He would be about the past testimony, not the now testimony. That is not to mean He would not glorify God for the past, or learn from his mistakes; his point was not never look back but that only look back for the sake of pressing forward.
So Lord, forgetting all you’ve enabled me to do; I reach out for more of You. Holy dissatisfaction with where I am is what one John Piper calls it; “develop a holy dissatisfaction with your spiritual life. Stand in front of the mirror of the Word and recognize that you have not yet arrived. The hearty admission of our spiritual imperfections is the starting point for the pursuit of God.”
This song does it for me, I’ll forever be chasing after you…..
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.