Sunday, 30 March 2008
It's a long one...
I can't believe it's basically already April. I really have had no time to blog. I have thought about blogging......but there always seems to be something more important. However, tonight I am in the blogging mood.
Quick update on me: On Friday I met with an awesome guy who runs the Christian Horizons camp in Paisley and it is confirmed that I will be spending most of my summer there working and I am pretty pumped about it! You can check out the Christian Horizons website at http://www.christian-horizons.org. I have been pretty busy with school and youth and the kids ministry at Wainfleet BIC and of course trying to get ready for General Conference at the end of June.....these are my legitimate excuses for not blogging.....:)!
I have been reading a book called Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I am only half way through it but I highly recommend it for those who like to expand their thinking. There are some really thought provoking things in it. For example:
"I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man's mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God."
"I don't have to watch the evening news to see that the world is bad, I only have to look at myself. I am not browbeating myself here; I am only saying that true change, true life-giving, God-honouring change would have to start with the individual. I was the very problem I had been protesting. I wanted to make a sign that read "I AM THE PROBLEM".
These are two statements/quotes so far in my reading that have stuck out. I love this idea about my heart engaging God....I want to understand it more, I want to know what it's like. Engaging God is the difference between religion and relationship in my opinion. It's such a passionate and fulfilling pursuit that I think so many miss out on. People miss the point. I miss the point. I hate that I miss the point. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of someone who isn't missing the point and I just want to get the point. Rob Bell talks about how everything is spiritual in one of his books. Everything is spiritual, everything. I've thought a lot about this. I see it everyday. In one of my classes we have been discussing effective communication, I sat in class and all I could think about was how these very principles are the ones that Jesus taught; everything is spiritual. What is the number one thing that most companies strive to do......serve the customer well. Servanthood....everything is spiritual. I recently stood at the ocean shore and watched the sun rise and the tide come in, I was in awe because everything is spiritual. I can't look at a human being in all our complexity without thinking that everything is spiritual. I am finding that this pursuit of Christ, of engaging God is amazing. It breathes this depth into my life that gives me purpose and this sense of passion. I don't want to lose it. I don't ever want to stop engaging God.
One of the most awesome things about everything being spiritual is that every single person is surrounded by God even if they are unaware. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I enjoy dialoguing with people about "deeper" stuff.....because most people don't naturally think about God outside of "religion" and what that looks like or what it could mean in their lives. I think people are scared to think about stuff that matters because they might have to change.
The second quote talks about how if I want true change, it has to start with me because I AM THE PROBLEM. This is a hard one to grasp.....especially since it seems to be part of our human nature to constantly blame our problems on anyone or anything else, at least it's a problem for me, maybe I'm the only one, but I doubt it. Maybe I should make a sign that says I am the problem and hang it up, just like this guy says. I don't really know what this means yet. I haven't figured it out. How do I get from admitting I am the problem to true change. What does this look like? How do I actually admit that I am the problem and mean it?
Last weekend was Easter. I love Easter. Essentially Easter is the foundational holiday of my faith. We celebrate the cross, how Jesus, this perfect guy who loved people in this radical way decided that he loved people so much that he would take on all our sins, our failures, our dirt, he would take all our crap and put it on himself so that we would have a chance to really live and to engage God. I AM THE PROBLEM. Jesus wasn't the problem. Yet he died for me because I am the problem and he wanted me to have an opportunity to experience true change. I can't comprehend this. How can someone love me this way? Sometimes I think about my life and about who I am and I am ashamed and I wonder if God really loves me as much as he says he does and maybe he would love me more if I could be better. I know the Sunday school answer....but that answer doesn't always ring true in my heart. I hear the voice of condemnation.
Today in church we talked about condemnation.....the voices that discourage us, rob us of joy and peace, hide God and leave us feeling defeated. I hear these voices a lot. I was challenged today with the thought that those voices need to be rebuked or flushed out with the un-condemning voice of Jesus.....he says you are loved, you are forgiven, your are not condemned, you are treasured, I believe in you, I am with you. Hmmmm......these are the words that I need to remember. These are the words that tell me that God loves me as much as he says he does.
So......where does this leave me tonight......after all of my ramblings......it leaves me with the reality of the cross in my life, the reality of the passionate love Jesus has for me and the reality of my desire to engage God in spite of me being the problem.
So is there anyone else out there who think they may be the problem too?
Perhaps you should think about engaging God.
Sweet dreams my friends,
The Kindred Spirit