Rewind back to my reckless abandon experience today.
I love you, I love you with all my heart and soul. If I had a peanut I would give you the shell. ~ Said a student to the teacher. Mrs. J. adores these kids, oh my goodness oh how I wish life would never harden them. Ahhhhh, Jesus that is so YOU too.
That gets me thinking, a peanut has two main attributes. The inside holds the seed, its nourishment. The outside, the pod or hull is the outermost shell. When we crack open a peanut we are trying to get to the seed right? When that is found we toss the empty shell.
Giving the teacher the shell is not really all that much of an act of love. Or is it? There are a few scenarios that come to mind. You see, I look at the seed as its soul. That is the nourishment and the lifeline. The shell is simply the protective layer. To recklessly abandon the shell is to expose the soul and that takes incredible Faith. It is so much safer to hold on to that empty shell. Wrap it back up when it is just too much.
An empty shell. It protects us from the harsh realities of the world, from pain and hurt and loneliness. But how much of that is really empty protection that keeps us from life? So what is the definition of empty?
Feeling empty is more about the self than about others. It doesn’t seem to matter how many people are in your life. A lack of identity, a lack of self-acceptance and shame about who you are seem to contribute to emptiness. It’s also a lack of feeling connected to the world and to other people. Being connected is different from caring about them. You can care about others from a distance. Being connected to the world requires a full involvement, jumping in mindfully, without self consciousness. Feeling empty partially comes from living in your head, judging every experience and yourself so that you keep a barrier between you and life. Feeling empty is about not being able to take in the love that is given to you, perhaps because you block it with judgments such as believing that you don’t deserve it. Or there’s not a sense of self to hold onto that love. You might feel it in the moment and then it’s gone, almost as if it never existed. Or perhaps you might dispose of it yourself because it never stays anyway.
That emptiness inside? Don’t run back to it. Don’t wrap yourself back up in it.
Burn it as fuel.
What we should fear far more is living while never truly being alive. Get rid of the empty shell and give it to the teacher. Jesus will show you living with reckless abandon is precisely where we truly feel alive. Where you are never alone, always protected and always loved. For eternity.
Loved By Grace,
If we leave out the cross, we are only left with the empty shell called religion. That’s not my Jesus. Not even close.