One of my favorite sections of the Bible is Revelation 2 – short letters to the churches telling them what they are nailing and what they are screwing up. In my small group, we decided to take a stab at writing a letter to ourselves as if from God in order to highlight the aspects of our lives that are especially fruitful and the aspects that are holding us back from abundant life. Here is my attempt:
These are the words of Him who is holy and true. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
I know your heart and I see deeds. I know that you nurture and care for your friends and your family with diligence. I see the way you comfort the oppressed and downtrodden when the opportunity presents itself. I understand the concern you feel when friends and strangers alike face tragedy and despair, and I know that you cannot tolerate unkindness and violence. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut: to offer unconditional love to every person you meet all the days of your life.
Nevertheless, I have a few things against you. Your mind has dulled as a result of overstimulation and overindulgence. Where you once were intentional in your study and discipline, you are now like a boat tossed in the waves of this world. You say yes to everything and everyone, consume information that does’t pertain to things eternal, and pursue every whim that might make you feel pleasure. You allow your fear and chronic pain to distract you from things of worth, and you are lazy in your pursuit of healing and strength.
Turn all your senses back to life in the Spirit, and find your worth in my presence. Tune out the distractions and listen for my voice in Scripture and by writing. Apply your mind to learning and understanding your purpose in life, as my child, so that daily struggles do not disorient you like a captain with no compass. Earn your good health for all your days, and do not hate your body’s shortcomings. Serve your temple the way you serve those you love as a sacrifice of joy to your Creator, so that you might worship and love with vigor. Pursue every opportunity to be a minister of mercy, as your days are numbered.
If you have ears, hear what the Spirit says.