Just after midnight, I’m standing there in the kitchen swigging back a bit of a bottle.
The house that looks like a stampede of wild horses had rode through mad sometime after dinner.
I have no idea why there are several splayed dolls, tangled balls of yarn and the innards of some mechanical car remains strewn across the living room floor — with a gentle dusting of allen wrenches everywhere.
I’m not saying that the whole thing wouldn’t drive a woman to drink whatever she found in the fridge.
I’m just saying that a swig or two (okay, it was more like four or five) from that slender necked bottle of pure maple syrup was sweet relief there in the dark.
I’ll deal with the mess in the morning.
The clock ticks likes a huffy tsk, tsk, get to bed.
Malakai couldn’t find batteries for it today. He’d shrugged and said we should just hang it back up on the wall anyway. “It doesn’t care that it doesn’t tell time.”
“It doesn’t matter…. it doesn’t matter,” the flukey grammar teacher in me had slammed the emphasis down on the word— “It doesn’t matter — and it does matter.” I feel a bit crazy.
“Look — can you find some new batteries?” I’d taken the clock out of his hands. “You could hang the clock as art. It would be beautiful.” And I believe it: What is beautiful in our lives is what actually becomes the most useful in our lives.
And there is this— if you let the clock do what it is meant to do? It will be beautiful and make your life beautiful. I don’t think the 11-year-old kid with tousled hair got it.
“It looks nice enough to just hang.” He’d half grinned. “I don’t know where any batteries are.”
On the splattered old chalkboard by the kitchen table, I’d taped it up with white bandage tape (because we’re classy like that, yes ma’am):
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God….” A verse scrolled on paper to highlight the essence of its internal beauty…
Is Jesus merely useful to you — or is He ultimately beautiful to you?
When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want Him to move my world.
When Jesus is ultimately beautiful to me, it’s my heart that is moved – and this begins to change the world.
When the beginning began — the Word was already there. The Word was never created, never had a beginning, the Word has always been. If you’re looking for one, if you need one, there is a Rock for any of your storms.
Everything that has ever had a beginning — had its beginning in Him.
And I swallow hard in a dark house: The beginning of any change in me begins with Him being my beginning.
The beginning of my everyday, my every thought, my every plan, my every conversation, my every step forward. If, in the beginning of anything, there is something different than the Word, the ending will be different than you hoped.
Beautiful — He is beautiful to me. I wipe off a sticky counter. He is all my beautiful beginnings. I inhale that.
And there was that guy who lived beside me in dorm at university —
That had this mullet cut, drove an old Ford yellow pick up with these orange flames burning up the fenders, who wanted to be a truck driver like his dad, just right after he got his 4 year degree in Latin and Greek philosophy.
He gave me long stem red roses and told me that he was a better pick for me than that Farmer-Boy I had waiting for me back home – but all that is another story for another time.
The part of that story that is this story in a messy house at midnight with a loud clock ticking on the wall is what the Greek philosophy books said on that guy’s shelf: That more than half a century before the Gospel of John was ever written, more than 500 years before God pulled on flesh and stretched out on straw, Heraclitus was the first Greek philosopher who used that word: Logos.
Heraclitus was this Greek philosopher who looked at the world, at the skies, at nature, and said that there had to be some unity, some governing principle, some harmonious order to the cosmos…and Heraclitus concluded that what gives the world all coherent structure — is a principle he called Logos.
Heraclitus said that the coherent structure of everything, the order behind the world, the order of all things — was Logos.
And for 500 years after Heraclitus, the Greeks lived by Logos. They lived their life by Logos, the principle of meaning and balance and profound order in the universe.
A slave was meant to serve, a cup was meant to contain, a horse was meant to haul. This was logic. This was Logos. This is why, Son, the clock needs to have batteries – it’s Logos is meant to tell time.
A slave didn’t contain wine, a cup didn’t haul bags, a horse didn’t serve dinner. Life had a Logos, a logic of being, a reason for existence, and you aligned yourself with the Logos.
Align yourself with the Logos and your life was rightly organized.
And then 500 years after Heraclitus — John picks up picks up a pen, chooses his words carefully, purposefully, divinely, and his ink blows the top right off the whole down and out world:
In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God — and the Logos was God. The first lines of John’s book reorients the cosmos:
The Logos isn’t an organizing Principle — It’s an organizing Person.
The Absolute behind the universe is absolutely Jesus.
The order behind the World — is Jesus in the World.
The organizing structure of the world isn’t a philosophy — the organizing structure of the world is the Word — the Word of God. The words of Jesus.
All cosmic organization is not around one principle – but around One Person.
There is a slide of banana peels across the counter. My mind felt scrambled with a mess of worries all morning. No one can find the toilet bowl cleaner. Malakai did find batteries. The clock ticks on the wall, beating out a steady grace at the day’s weary close. It’s found it’s beautiful Logos.
There is The Word that’s getting underlined, a Bible in a year, that teeters atop a stack of lesser books by my bed.
There’s the chimes on my phone that call like church bells at nine, at noon, at night, calling me to stop and pray stop and pray in the midst of the chaos and the undone – calling me to hard stops — because God wants knees more than work.
You can always choose a hard stop to keep you from crashing.
I run my hand along a sticky counter. The Person of Jesus is the world’s only real organizing principle.
The Words of Jesus are the only real logic. Jesus is the only real logic. Jesus is my only real logic.
Align a life with Logos, with the Word, with Jesus, and your life’s rightly organized. What is beautiful in our lives is what actually becomes the most useful in our lives. The clock up there on the wall is making art; it’s doing what it’s meant to do. It’s living out its Logos.
When my life is organized around Jesus, who is Beautiful, my messy life is organized beautifully.
I pick up a trail of dirty balled socks, sprawled books, the clock still ticking, being the beautiful it’s meant to be, and I organize around the beautiful like I’m meant to and murmur it into the dark: In the beginning was the Word, Logos — and the Logos was God…
And right there —
the lighting beauty of Him organizes the messes within.
Every Wednesday: Your Virtual Bible Study Community: #TheJesusProject: Every Wednesday in 2014, Lord willing, we’ll unpack that wk’s #TheJesusProject memory verse from the book of John: Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us
Next Wednesday, we are memorizing and unpacking the 2nd verse of #TheJesusProject: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Related: Print Out all #TheJesusProject Memory Prints from the book of John here: Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: #TheJesus Project
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