Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! I’m sure most of you know that “Mardi Gras” is French for “fat Tuesday” (really “Tuesday fat” because my beloved French love to put adjectives after their nouns). Unfortunately, this day/evening before the beginning of Lent has come to be associated with mild revelry at best, and all kinds of unspeakable debauchery at worst. I’m hoping you all will enjoy an evening of a little safe indulgence while eagerly anticipating the journey which begins tomorrow.
I have heard many times over the years that God loves FAT people, which has been quite encouraging, since I have battled a weight problem most of my life. But wait…that’s not the “FAT” that applies here. 😉 It’s an anagram meaning Faithful, Available, and Teachable. Given my contemplative journey, I’m inclined to change the “A” to “Aware” or even “Awake.” Either way, the heart of the matter is very much the same. Makes me think of a song I used to sing taken from 2 Chronicles 16:9 —
The eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the earth that He might find
the one whose heart is completely His…
I don’t know about you, but that verse both encourages and terrifies me. Is my heart ever going to be completely His on this earth? Oh, that it were so. It’s certainly what I long for. Thinking of the FAT anagram, how can I claim to be faithful when I have been anything but so many times? Available and/or aware? Sometimes, yes. Teachable? I’d like to think so, but dang, my pride can sure get in the way. But all of that is looking through the lens of performance, of measuring up, of some kind of standard that is missing a very key element — GRACE.
Because of Christ’s death and resurrection — events we are heading toward on this Lenten journey — we are dressed in His robe of righteousness. It’s not about perfection, it’s about moving toward Him, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. The Lord often reminds me that He called David a man after His own heart, and David was anything but FAT all the time! However, it was David’s heart’s trajectory toward God — to always return to God and confess, repent, and move forward, even after the most heinous of sins — that made Him “after God’s heart.” He trusted God in the good and bad, beautiful and ugly, and he is one of my biggest role models.
Oh wow…this just hit me — David was chasing after God’s heart! It’s not that His heart was always God’s, but He was desiring more and more of God’s own heart. HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS BEFORE???
OK, friends. Let’s forget about perfect, let’s forget about performance, and striving, and comparing, and the impossible measuring sticks we use on ourselves (and others!). What does God want? Our hearts…and whatever amount of Faithfulness, Availability/Awareness, and Teachability we possess. He will take whatever we offer and use it for His glory. And then because He is so good, He will give us MORE of Himself that we can then give back to Him. Wow. This excites me! This is reason to celebrate tonight!!!
I knew this before, but it bears being said — the myriad of changes I’m making for this Lenten season is ultimately not about ME, or how well I do at it. The last thing I want this blog to be about is reporting success or failure in eating rice and beans and not watching TV and movies. What I want, desperately want, is my heart to be chasing after more of His heart. The dietary and lifestyle changes will be tools to chase after God like never before.
So on this FAT Tuesday, yes, I’m going to have some meat, and a sweet, and probably watch tonight’s episode of “The Voice.” And as I do I’m still going turn my heart toward God in grateful anticipation of all that lies ahead.
Wherever you are on your journey today, no matter how “FAT” you are in this moment, know that He is waiting with open arms to embrace you and to give you more of His heart.
Let’s chase after Him together!!!