Our church is sending a group to Swaziland to share the love of God through the game of soccer. When I first heard they were going I knew that I could not. I am not in shape and there were some other factors that made it impossible. I didn't question the impossibility but rather embraced the role that I could play in the trip. I was determined to be the best sender that God would allow me to be. Senders are an absolute necessity. Without them no missions trip would be possible and being a sender is in a sense being a part of the team. Senders give and pray and do any other thing that might help the team get to their destination. This past week I needed a copy of the teams itinerary in order to work on something I was doing for them. As I read it over I got this deep ache in the pit of my stomach. It dawned on me that no matter how much sending I did that I would not be going. I found myself longing to be a part of the going team. Mind you, nothing has changed. I still would need to lose some serious weight, get in much better shape, and have a couple things change in my personal circumstances in order to be a goer; but I still felt that longing. And that is how it should be. Thankfully, I also get to be a goer. Every day I have the opportunity to "go" into the world and share the love of God; "go" into my world and help people grow in their relationship to God: "go" into the world and be a light in a world trapped by sin.
But too many are neither "going" or "sending." They are stuck; going to church but never embracing what it means to follow. If saying yes to Jesus does not require something of us, we have to ask whether it was really Jesus we encountered. In the story "The Lord of the Rings," Frodo did not know his exact destination, but he knew where he was going. He had a purpose. A call. A goal. He was dreaming this dream so that He would save the world. We have been called to be world savers. Christ did the work; gave us His Spirit; and entrusted us with that calling. Do you know who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there? I think I do. I need to embrace the calling to "go" and to "send." I need to live my life daily saying yes. Saying yes until He stops me with a no. Saying yes without worrying that I may make a wrong choice. I will. God will help me through it. Saying yes to going deeper, loving with passion, to making every day count.
Every sender should long to go. Every believer should long to make a difference; to shine their light. When we say YES to God and encounter Him in our yesses just imagine what will happen. I do.
Friday, July 9, 2010
I wrote a list of things I hate but decided to erase it. It was way too depressing. The heat brings that out in me. I have this dark side when the temp goes above 80 and it isn't pretty. I messed up all this paperwork that I was supposed to do and so I had to do it again and that tried my patience and kind of put me over the edge. You see, I had already messed up once and now I did it again. It brought out that out of control feeling where I just want to cry. I am so not a cryer but yesterday and today I explored my weepy side. Thankfully I was around people a lot of the time so it wasn't constant. But once I got in the car it came back. I went directly to the grocery store to make it go away and that worked until I got out. I hate this feeling. It is Shindig weekend and a huge part of me would like to stay home but a little part of me wants to go. I'm not sure which part will win. I miss my husband. I miss him more with each passing week. I am sure that will not last forever but it is my present reality and it is hard and I feel like I have to be okay all of the time and that is hard too. The truth is that I do feel that God is walking through this with me. The truth is that even though that is true it is still hard. The truth is that sometimes it might be okay to just feel bad. The truth is that I keep feeling like I want to go home even though I am home. My home is just not the same and I feel a little lost. It will be okay. It's just not today.
Posted by Random Thoughts at 9:27 PM
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I was in Youth Group tonight and it was not going well. I'm not sure about the why's of that but it sometimes happens. We did get to talking about the impact negativity and criticism have on us. It got me thinking about how, as believers, we are supposed to have each other's back, and how often we fail at that. Remember the story of the son's of Noah? How two of the son's covered the nakedness of their father and did not look upon it. To me that story is a picture of pure love. Instead of looking at their father's weakness and sin they covered him. They did not look upon him. How many times do we point out the weaknesses and sins of others? How often do we revel in anothers shortcomings or at least point out how their weaknesses affect and annoy us? I was thinking about how often I have pointed out the flaws in others. Maybe it is my own insecurities trying to make myself look better (sin) or maybe I just want to be their Holy Spirit (not my job). Whatever it is, it is ugly and it is sin. One of the things that I have learned through the death of my Bill is that I know that you will never be sorry about having lavished love on those around you after you lose them. You will never regret having covered another's sins and flaws when they are gone. You will, however greatly regret not doing better. You will remember and deeply regret your annoyances with them. You will wish you had more time to do it better. I know this. Recently our Pastor challenged us to go a week without being negative and critical and when we slipped to give money to a home that houses homeless women who have been the brunt of criticism and unkindness their whole lives. The week is up but I am still feeling the challenge. There is a song with one line that sums it all up. " Love will hold us together, make us a shelter to weather the storm, and I'll be my brothers keeper, so the whole world will know that we're not alone." We desperately do not want to be alone. We want to find shelter in one another. We want to be able to trust that we have each other's back. Life is a storm and we desperately need each other. I have had love, concern, and prayers poured out on me the past few weeks and I am so deeply grateful. It has made such a difference during what has been such a hard time for me and the girls. You know, I have the best life ever. I serve the Creator and have been saved from all of my sins. I get to represent the Savior on a daily basis. I have the message of salvation entrusted to me. I am the daughter of the King. On top of it, I have wonderful friends, a great job and my Father takes such good care of me. Most of these things, if not all are true of most believers. Let's face it, we are all annoying, full of flaws, and slip into sin. Let's aim to be as the son's of Noah. Lets cover each other so that "the whole world will know that we are not alone." What a testimony that will be!
Posted by Random Thoughts at 10:52 PM