Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Few of Too Many

Incohesive thoughts that I feel the need to express:

Love: Am I ready for God's love for others to make its home in me? Just look how 'far' it got Jesus, right? The Bible tells us he was moved with compassion for multitudes. Am I ready to be moved to broken-hearted tears when His love in me identifies with their suffering? Am I ready to be moved into radical action? Am I ready to give up everything that's comfy and safe when His love is pursuing, and still expect nothing in return? Am I ready to look like a fool? Ready to be misunderstood? Ready to be rejected and betrayed? The answer: Probably not. But that's okay. I don't know anyone who would be ready for all of that (how would one prepare?). It is enough for me to be weak but willing. Willing to be made strong. Willing to let all-sufficient grace do its work in me as opportunities arise to be God's love. Think of it. We are vessels for His glory. What an amazing and precious gift we walk around with every day. Does anyone else get to see that? Do I see that in myself?

Story: I heard a Donald Miller quote the other day. He was quoting Henry David Thoreau, who said "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation", and he interpreted it something like this: Most people's stories suck, and they know it. At first I laughed. Then I laughed in the 'It's funny 'cause it's true' sort of way. I think he's right. He played this little game where he imagined that the movie trailer guy voice was following him around and, in thrilling intonations, describing all the dull details that no one would ever pay to see on film. I imagined the voice following my own life, and Mr. Miller is right. It's annoying. The truth is that everyone's life is always going to be full of little mundane details that would never make it into a script. But the truth is also that we all long for our lives to be a good story. We want to be characters that people actually care about. And this is a good thing. I'm massacring his sermon (It's called Story and it's in the Imago Dei podcasts on itunes) with all my rambling, but here are some things that stuck with me. 1. God wants to write a story with our lives, and He will, as long as we don't try to take the pen from Him and write it ourselves (I did this once, and my computer of the most happy disasters of my life). 2. Our story is part of a much bigger story, which points to the glory of the greatest storyteller and the ultimate hero (these are my own words...they are not nearly literary enough to be a quote): God. I'm challenged and excited...for me and everyone I know. No one else can live out your story, friend (self...). Let God write to the glory of His name!

All right...I did pretty good...I only used one exclamation point! (Okay, two). I really do love you, friends. You challenge me and inspire me more than you know.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Better Things, Part II

It's me again. Back because you can't have a part one without a part two. Paul Harvey would not approve. I would say there's just a few things to add before I move on from what God is teaching me, but I guess I don't ever really want to move on from what He is teaching. That being said...I don't want anyone to feel dumped on or ranted to. I guess it's just here to be taken for whatever it's worth.

The overwhelming feeling I have right now is that of being thankful. Thankful for emptiness, because only then can I know what it is to be filled. Thankful for the opportunity of pain, because it is then that I experience His complete healing and perfect love more than at any other time...It is then that I can choose to humble myself and bow go a little deeper in this walk of scratch the surface of an infathomable slow down in a frantic crawl like a child into the Father's wash my eyes, my face, my soul with be silent and surrender control and my ability to trust in His share in the sufferings of Jesus...that one day I may be God's light in someone else's darkness.

I'm thankful. For the raw material that is life, and the tool that is sometimes pain. For the jeweled crown that He is helping* us to make, so that one day, when we catch that first holy glimpse, we may have something to cast down at His feet in worship. I read a book by Elisabeth Elliot once (you know the one) and in it she said something like 'God gives us material for sacrifice'. When we understand how worthy God is, and all that He sacrificed for us, then the most painful things become something to be thankful for. Material for sacrifice.

That's it for now...Thanks to everyone for bearing with me...and making it through even without pictures. Until next time...

*(The image I have in my head is of a mother 'helping' her 3 year old to make cookies. She probably ends up doing 3 times the work, but she is somehow blessed to share the mess.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Better Things, Part I

Pain is the washer fluid that clears my vision, and my unwillingness to walk through it is the clog that keeps it from doing its work. Wash away, God. I want to see you more clearly today.

A Fate Slightly Better Than Death

They say that without pain, we'd die, because we wouldn't be aware of what was killing us. I suppose it's true enough. I know I've refused to feel pain before and ended up dying inside. I guess the worst pain we can feel is still better than the unfeeling-ness of death. All the same, pain sucks, and it's getting old.

Talk to you soon when I have better things to say.