Monday, May 08, 2006

Sleepless on the Road to Oz

In Hello God, is that You? I wrote how I've been waking up at 3:33 am for a little while now. It doesn't happen every night, and it isn't always exactly 3:33 am, but it has been fairly consistent. On Tuesday, 25th April I didn't actually get out of bed. Wednesday I got up and journaled and cried and read and prayed. Good times.

The same thing happened Thursday. And Friday. Saturday I slept through the night but then it continued on Sunday and following: a few days on, one day off, a dew days on again.

In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge laments the lack of a masculine rites-of-passage in mainstream U.S. culture. He asserts though: if a man wants, he can ask God to take him through something like this. I had recently prayed and asked for this. I thought perhaps, like some Native American traditional rites of passage, God was using sleep deprivation and solitude to bring me to a place of manhood.

He certainly has done that, as I wrote about in Who I Really Am. That was Thursday morning 4th May and although only a few days have gone by I can honestly say it has been life changing.

So the fun continues.

I slept through Friday and Saturday nights, but then this morning I woke up at a little after 3:00 am. I laid there for a few minutes debating with myself and God about whether I should really get up. I said "But God, you are done with that whole rite-of-passage thing, can't I sleep?"

He responded by putting two distinct ideas in my head:
  1. The song Breath of Heaven
    • really just the first 3 words of the chorus of the song, over and over and over and over...
  2. The image of something called a Tree of Heaven
    • we removed some of these last year. They are horrible plants to have in our yard, but are actually a very good representation of the Kingdom of God and how it spreads. I'd go into more detail, but it is something I'm still percolating on and may end up being another post.
    • my name Keith comes from an ancient Scottish word for "woods". I absolutely love to walk in dense forest and love all kinds of trees. As I reflected on the traits of this particular tree it seemed like God was making a favorable comparison between who I am and that kind of tree.
I wrote about me being The Tin Woodsman (Hmmm. Woods. Man.). He has also been using this alone time with Him in the middle of the night to oil my hinges, and teach me about what it means for my heart to come alive. What it means to just sit with Him and really feel things.

So what's a guy to do?

I got up. Boy am I glad I did. What a great time I had!

As I journaled and talked to God about the above, and asked what He is doing, he reminded me that I'm still, in some ways, 13 years old. The Bar Mitzvah was last Thursday morning, but today is just Monday! The way I figure it, I'm now a man, but I still have a lot of growing up to do as a man. A typical rite-of-passage happens in the summer of a boy's 13th year. The transition God recently brought me through has happened in the summer of my 40th year.

I have 27 years of catching-up to do, and I'm glad it is on God's timetable. With God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. So I'm hoping He doesn't take a full 27 years. But it does look like I am still on the yellow brick road for a little bit longer.

In Hello God, is that You? I mentioned a little about the meanings of numbers (you can read the comments there for more info). In case you miss the connection: 27 is 3 raised to the 3rd power. 27=3x3x3. 333 again. Hmmmm.

I honestly don't know what significance that has except to say I believe it is God -- He's saying "This is me Keith. Come away with Me and learn from Me. Follow Me."

And He is tying things in from my past. My first tattoo (done in July 2001 to symbolize a rededication of my life to Jesus) is a celtic cross on my left shoulder. If you look closely at the weave, you'll notice there are 27 places where the weave "crosses" itself. I didn't plan it that way. I only noticed it after the fact. I hadn't thought of that in a long time, but this morning in the shower He pointed it out to me again. So for me 333 (at the very least) seems to be God saying "This is me Keith. Tick Tock Tick Tock."

I have "eyes to see" and I'm watching. I have "ears to hear" and I'm listening.

I'm watching and listening closely to see and hear what God is doing.

He seems to still be up to quite a bit and I am loving it. I think I'm in for some more sleepless nights before I arrive at Oz and really attain all The Wizard wants to impart to me.

(and as tired as I may be, I gotta resist the poppies. Being up at night really has been exhilerating and fun and I don't want to miss any of it!)

~ cob

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