Let’s get up to speed
The Shulamite has said to the Shepherd King, You go on without me.
It is not that she does not love Him, and it is not that she is embroiled in some huge sin. She is just a little nervous, and she is very new to this faith walk He is calling her to.
There is a season in the normal Christian life, even in the lives of those who are super passionate about their faith, even in the lives of those who are “all in,” that we are hesitant to step off the end of the diving board.
When I was a kid I swam like a fish. I was in the water from early May through Late September. They say I learned to swim in the Ocean when I was 3 years old, when my brother took me out in to the deep water (for me) and let me go and made me swim to him.
But when I was 8 or 10 I was still afraid to go off the high dive at Pine Lake, where I spent every day of every summer of my childhood (well mostly.)
I would climb the steps up to the 12-foot board. I would walk to the end of the board and feel it begin to give a bit. I would look off the end of the board. I would hear the calls of my friends in line behind me. Then back to the safe end of the board, back down the ladder, to face the discomfort of my friends mocking me. I felt like a failure!
That is what is happening today in our story. The Shepherd King (Jesus) has called to his love (you and I, His passionate pursuers,) and invited her to come out into the hills and mountains with Him (into some new level of ministry or service,) but she (we) pulls back. She walks back off the diving board and down the ladder.
He goes on about His business and she is left behind.
This is where we come in.
On my bed night after night
I sought Him Whom my soul loves;
I sought Him but did not find him.
I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek Him whom my soul loves.
I sought Him but did not find Him. ~ Song of Songs 3:1-2
Some of the hardest times of our Christian walk come when we shut down the prompting of the Spirit. We look off the end of our personal diving board and turn and walk away.
It strikes me that He spoke to her of the beauty of the nature in the spring time, and invited her to come along. He promised to hide her in the cleft of the rock. He wanted her to come to the wilderness with Him, to the mountains, to the wild places. WAY outside her comfort zone.
Yet even when she decides to go look for Him, she goes to the place she knows. She determines to look for Him in the city.
Are you like that?
Do you harken back to a way you met with the Lord in the old days while all the while He is calling you to a new place in Him?
I know this is true of me, and I observe it in many ways in the Church.
I am a worship leader (on a small scale) but I observe people as I lead to see what the Lord is doing, and how the Spirit is moving.
In many cases I can tell you within 5 years when a person first encountered the Lord in a meaningful way. Why? Because over the decades I have been worshiping the Lord, there have been songs – a few in each wave – that the Spirit has really breathed on. These are the songs that still have impact dozens of years later (hundreds even.)
So when we sing “Majesty,” if you were saved in the early 80’s your hands might go up.
Perhaps you were an early 90’s worshipper and “Ancient of Days” sets you on fire.
Or do you go all the way back to the early 60’s and get a tug on your heart when you sing “His Name is Wonderful?”
You get the idea.
Well, I know for me when I am feeling like I closed the door and said “You go on” to the Lord, I realize my mistake, and I go to the place I know I have found Him in the past, into the city of my beloved worship music.
There are times I find Him the city of past revival empty. Maybe not empty, perhaps even bustling with folks who are very comfortable with that old way. But I can’t find the one my soul longs for.
Don’t fret my beloved. He is coming back. But you may not find Him in your comfortable place, in that old sweet spot.
See you again soon.