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.


lance said...

The trouble with being a jar of clay is that you break so easily, but maybe it's at this point that all the good stuff you're filled with falls out into the world. I don't know.

I do know that all God requires of us is to love him with all our heart, and to love one another as we love ourselves.

Thankfully, He always picks up the pieces and mends the cracks.

Anonymous said...

I was there for that sermon!

ed said...

Lance: It's true! What God requires of us is so simple...but so not easy. I'm glad He allows for the fact that we are made from dirt, and prone to breaking. In fact, He seems to value our brokenness when we rely on Him alone to make us whole. He is indeed a God who picks up the pieces and strengthens the weak cracks! You know what else I like? Some of those pieces get so far flung in the breaking, that we could never hope to retrieve them. We'd just forget and try to go on about our (leaky) business with a few holes, if it weren't for the fact that He is also a God who gathers. From the far-flung-deep-dark-all-but-forever-lost places. He gathers. Oh, I love that!

Katie: Oh, so that was you I heard laughing in the background. Just kidding. I hope I get to go with you soon!

Beth said...

That is a good sermon. I like what he has to say about our excuses for not doing stuff (i.e., stuff that God is asking us to do) when all those excuses really boil down to is fear. And it kind of makes me want to write again. But not really. :(