catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 11, Num 13 :: 2012.06.22 — 2012.07.05


Super Size my sanctification, please

I want sanctification to happen quickly — faster, really, than drive-thru fast food, where I wait in my car in the hot sun longer than I would if I went inside to order in the air conditioning. I want sanctification to happen like a quick trip to the grocery store: grab green peppers and onions in produce, milk and eggs in dairy. Speed through express self-checkout, don’t speak to anyone. Just in, out and on with my day.

I want sanctification to happen weekly: to go to church, to shed my garbage in a prayer of confession, to be changed by the sermon. I want to receive a super-sized dose of grace from the table, shake a few hand and continue my day and my life, emulating Jesus like Jesus would have himself.

I want sanctification to fit, to get it at the store, just like shopping for shoes: I ask what the store has in size 43 European, because European sizes are more consistent and most stores only carry women’s shoes up to size 42. When they bring out five pairs, I choose the most appropriate, comfortable shoe. I’m done faster than a trip to the grocery store.

I want sanctification to happen on time. I take the tardy, crowded city bus because parking on campus is impossible and expensive. The closer we creep to campus, the more crowded the bus becomes and the closer to humanity I am, closer to the boiling annoyance of people, standing passengers wearing backpacks who don’t realize that when they turn, their bags club seated passengers on the head. I push my way through the human sardines and pop out onto the sidewalk, relieved and irritated and late.

In reality, though, sanctification is like searching for a shamrock shake: after waiting in line for ten minutes, I get to the front of the line only to discover that the shake machine is broken, and can they get me anything else? No. There should have been a sign: it’s three days before St. Patty’s Day, and people are expecting shamrock shakes.

I sulk back to my car, angry at the ten minutes wasted in line for nothing, no processed, overly-minty lime green sugar-packed shake to show for my time. I am angry at the moments I could have spent grading papers or surfing Facebook. When I know the truth that I would have procrastinated those ten minutes anyway, I experience again the need for confession of my impatience.

In the car, I twist my wedding rings on my finger. Inscribed inside them are words from Psalm 46: “Be still and know I AM.” I breathe deep diaphragm breaths so that my belly rises and falls.

Whether fast or slow, I need sanctification to happen in me.

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