January 11, 2010… a.k.a. prior thoughts
Briefly, and completely outside the realm of relevance, I just wanted to state how sad I am that my last post was a complete failure. I feel like that blog was such a good idea, but nobody really caught on. The link posted there doesn’t even work anymore. Another tangent, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve sat down and read a book. Where am I heading in my life? Perhaps I’ll answer my own question in this post.
Recently, my friend Joe went to a mission’s conference in Missouri (maybe called Urbana) and came back with a fresh look at missions. His first explanation of his experience and how he felt was, “I wanna quit eating so much.” I responded saying that he needed to eat, and that I thought it was kind of silly. He also said that he wanted to start showering military style (get wet, turn off water, soap up, turn on water and rinse). I was beside myself and took the opposing view telling him that if God has blessed us with having free water, why not use it, especially when he isn’t paying for the water he is using. His response was that it was practice for the real world. That money that wouldn’t be used, or dare I say wasted, on the luxury of long hot showers, could be reserved and used for ministry. The more that we talked about it, the more my spirit has dwelled on the issue. We talked about what luxuries we could give up and how we could lead minimalistic lives. At first, I approached his enthusiasm with raised eyebrows and questioned his zeal asking myself if his will to cut out anything abundant in his life was necessary.
My spirit has become unsettled by the weight of our discussion and it’s only been getting more agitated. Joe has since asked me to go on a mission’s trip with him with the Mercy Ship. I know a lady who has done this ministry before. I’ve heard her stories and always thought it would be neat to do. But, I would have to give up everything. Isn’t that what God calls us to do?
I went to small group last night. I almost didn’t go, but I fell asleep on the couch before I could text Laura and tell her I wasn’t coming and she’d have to drive herself. Instead, I woke up to her phone call rushing me out of the house. God is so amazing. Last night we talked about a book Katie was reading called “God Is Closer than You Think,” by John Ortberg. It seems like a really good book, but the base idea is that God has placed himself on earth in the flesh twice, once through Jesus Christ, and second through the Body of Christ. We marvel over nature and God’s creation, but we never stop to fawn over God’s greatest creation… humans. We are His creation, and as Ortberg says, we are God carriers. Hmmm, it’s just so interesting. I really want to read that book.
Yet again, the issue of “giving it all,” came up again last night. I can’t even remember how it materialized out of the conversation we were having in small group. All I know is that God is knocking on my heart again. Joe had brought up the physical and financial surrender to put toward a spiritual cause, while last night small group drew up an emotional and spiritual surrender. We need to reach out to our world and to do that we need to give it all.
America, we are so profoundly stuck in our need for comfort that we have forgotten how to trust in God alone. We trust our jobs to provide us with good wages, we trust our friends to always be there for us, we trust our schools to give us good education. Where has our faith gone? We have placed our faith so strongly in what makes our lives comfortable, and yet God calls us to Him for comfort. How sad does our Father feel when we turn to material things for comfort instead of Him? He wants to take care of us, and if we let him he can do it so beautifully and we will never want anymore!
Psalm 107 5-9
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
I just found this verse on http://www.biblegateway.com . Isn’t it interesting that the psalmist describes the people first to be in dire need of a Savior? They are hungry and thirsty, and they are dying! Then we see our Savior step in and rescue His people and He satisfies their thirst and their hunger. AH! God is the only thing we need in this world for comfort, but we have tried to put a harness around our needs and pull them in ourselves, but we are incapable and we only find ourselves in the mud, dazed and confused wondering where our happiness went.
I wonder if this is just a temporary God high, but I do want to give it all away. We hold on so dearly to the American dream and we forget that our treasures are not stored here. I do want to be successful, but I want to do it with selflessness. This is what is being laid on my heart. God’s ministry is here, knocking on my door and I have to answer it.