Wednesday, October 20, 2010

God in a Hurry

We've all heard that certain evangelical strain of pathos: "Thousands are dying without Christ every second" or "Let's finish preaching the gospel in one generation so that the end may finally come!" Yeah, as if I needed to put any more pressure on myself. I have been reading J.B. Phillips' book Your God Is Too Small for the last few days. The book was written in 1952 but aptly categorizes the many false gods or images of God that many "modern" people hold. I do not know the punchline of the book yet - the pithy ending where Phillips tells me how I might open up my view of God to be larger - but his descriptions of the small gods people serve (or avoid) have unmasked several points of small-mindedness within my own view of God.

The most poignant example for me has been Phillips description of the "God in a Hurry" conception of God. When I am being particularly hard on myself (and when am I not), I end up feeling something like a trusty little red wagon that God has piled all his hopes and dreams up in for the Kingdom. Yes, to an extent, "Christ in me the hope of glory," is the equivalent of having all of the glory, honor, and miraculous potential of God's cherished Son in my wagon, but I so easily mistake my "light load" for something heavy.

I have been in a hurry for most of my evangelical Christian experience. Eagerly I read my Bible, go to Church, do good things, and try to shine my bright light for others to see so that I may somehow graduate to the next level of spiritual maturity. I want to do miracles. I want to see people changed and freed and loved. I want to see the kingdom of this world crumble in the face of a powerful Kingdom of God restoring order to all creation. Yet I forget, as Phillips writes, the "quietness of Christ."

When Jesus was hanging in Bethany across the Jordan teaching and healing, his good friend Lazarus passed away. As God incarnate, he probably knew Lazarus was dying, but the messenger did not probably reach Jesus until Lazarus had already falled into eternal sleep. Even so, Jesus still waiting another day to depart to the other Bethany. His disciples were worried he would be killed by outraged Jews in the city of Bethany where Lazarus had lived. Anyway, Jesus finished what he was doing (purposefully) in Bethany across the Jordan before bravely returning to the home of his friend. We know how the story turns out. Jesus shows death to the door and welcomes Lazarus back to the living.

It's easy to see Jesus as some kind of Greek hero going here and there, escaping death, feeding thousands, healing hundreds (or more), and making friends with the lowly. It's easy for me to think that as a "little Christ," I should be here and there, escaping death, feeding thousands, and healing the sick, and befriending the lowliest. I have been told to do that my whole life. Now. Quickly. It's urgent. Don't stop. Don't look back.

Not surprisingly, I am no match for my conceptions of "God in a Hurry" and my visions of "Kid Christmas in a Hurry."

I want to re-aquaint myself with the purposeful kind of God who puts me where He needs me when He needs me there. I also want to believe in a God that will patiently wait for me to not only hear His voice but obey His voice instead of frantically following my own plans.

This is the theme of my time in FrXc0, CO. Slow Down. Stop being so hard on yourself. God is not in a hurry. So I should not be either.

To quote from a recent favorite song:

Why must I negotiate
Why must I think You hold my fate dangling from a string that's worn and frayed
I used to think, it was all mapped out
While I stayed the course, You rethought the route
When lost for good, I tried to sort it out alone

But now You're here
Oh what love I've found
You found me, my days rewound
I need Your love more than I need to understand
If I could I would fall backwards...
I think I'm falling backwards


Monday, September 13, 2010

My First Blog

So, however long ago when I started this blog, I imagined I would fill it with the interesting details of my soon to be ever-so-adventerous life. I planned to be in China touring and teaching English, savoring the culture and learning to share my faith as easy as breathing in and out.

I still live in Colorado. I just got married. Sharing my faith is a challenge. And China is really far off. Honestly, it's still a bit shocking. But strangely ok.

Kicking the Whirlwind for me has meant letting go of all the plans I had made for myself, plans which I thought were god-given but were actually me-driven. For me, being accomplished meant being a missionary and teaching people about Jesus. Now, I'm not sure what it means to be accomplished, but I have bravely tried many new things in the last few years:

1. Taking a scholarship opportunity in S. California at a Bible College for one year
2. Grant writing and non-profit fundraising
3. Working for a home inspector and helping to grow his business
4. Redefining my idea of Church and the Body of Christ
5. Meeting, loving, and marrying the best gift God has ever given me - my husband Chris

I've only been married for nine days, but there is a great sense of adventure in joining myself to Chris because God has combined our likes and passions in such a way as to make for a much bigger whirlwind. Somewhere in Ecclesiastes 4 the verses say something like: "Two are better than one, for if one falls down, the other can help him up. Likewise, if one is cold, two can keep warm together. Two can also fight off their enemy. Finally, a chord of three strands is not easily broken."

Chris and I will kick our whirlwind together. We want to bravely seek out the Lord's plans, even if that means giving up a great deal of security to wander nomadically together in search of the place God has for us.

Well, there you have it - my first blog as a married woman.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

wrtign bleh

I am forming a theory...that I don't want to grant write anymore because I have been forcing myself to write so many pieces that I don't care about for the last 14 years. School has done this to me. I hate writing assignments that do not mean anything to me. Bleh. Can I be burnt out? Can I be finished for a while.

Perhaps after a time passes, I will want to pick up the pen again.

Truth is, I won't stop writing. I just don't want to write about topics and for purposes that mean nothing to me.

Irony? I had to write to say this.