Thursday, September 13, 2007

What if...?

-What if, just one night, I could come back to my room in the wee hours of the morning and have someone there waiting for me, willing to talk or to listen, or to just sit with me while I try to decompress?
-What if feeling overly busy and useful went hand in hand? That is to say, what if whenever I feel busy beyond belief (which is all the time), it meant that I also felt useful, needed?
-What if the world could stop so I could catch my breath and readjust before continuing onto whatever is waiting to be done?
-What if you automatically felt appreciated?
-What if 24 hours was enough to hang out with your friends, work, go to school, have alone time, and sleep? Oh wait, I forgot about meals... and homework... and cleaning... and showering... and laundry... and other miscellaneous items that demand attention...
-What if when you tried your best to hold all the pieces of yours and everyone else's life together, you could succeed?
-What if the best you could do at the time was always good enough?

It's hard to like the fact that those things aren't guaranteed or don't happen, because it means I'm fallible. It means I'm human. It means I am dependent on someone other than myself to make things happen. It reminds me that I need God. Need Him. So when it feels hard, or impossible, that's when I'm so sure that I cannot do this alone, that's when I feel Him pulling me closer.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I've been reading a book called The Cost of Committment. Sammie Jo wanted me to give it a try, so we could discuss it during our discipleship meetings. I gave it a try and I'll be honest, I couldn't put it down.

At first I was a little skeptical, mostly, I think, because of the title. I guess I've heard over and over again that in order to follow Jesus, we pay a price. It is a price that is more than worth it; the price of rejection, ridicule, pain, or whatever else is worth it, in the end... because, in reality, the greatest price was paid on the cross two thousand years ago.

But beyond all that, the title harkened back to the two parables in the Bible... the one about the Treasure in the field and the one about the Pearl of Great Price. The treasure in the field story is where a man finds buried treasure in a field. Overcome with excitement at this discovery, he buries the treasure again in a field, and sells everything he owns in order to buy the field. I was always kind of awe-struck by this. I value many things in my life, sure, but I guess the only way I ever saw this story as being applicable was to give up everything I have in life to follow Jesus. But, the author of The Cost of Committment writes that it's not so much about renouncing everything you have but rather, re-evaluating everything you have, and understanding what you think your priorities are and what they ought to be.

I liked that. I liked that following Jesus didn't necessarily have to be about renouncing all my worldly possessions, but it's about committing everything to Him and taking up my cross daily.

I guess that's what I've been thinking about lately... what it truly means to follow. The other thing that stuck out to me, although I'm only half way through the book, so I'm sure there will be more later, is when he talked about a Muslim man's conversion to Christianity, how he is shunned and rejected and almost hated by his family. But, the author says, this man's heart still breaks and he still weeps everytime he leaves his family. He is not angry or bitter or frustrated, but heartbroken because they do not know the joy that comes from the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. I have come to the realization that my heart may never stop breaking for my family and friends who do not know Jesus. That I am much less angry. I am just sad. Because Jesus has brought me unspeakable joy and incredible peace, even in the midst of suffering. And I cannot tell you what I wouldn't give so that those I love and even those I don't know could know the immeasurable joy and love that I experience with Christ. I think that's how God feels about each of His children... He desires a relationship with each of them, so to ever think that we should cease to feel heartbroken seems inconsistent with a personable, loving God who pursues us even when we don't deserve it.

Objects of mercy, who should have known wrath.
We're filled with unspeakable joy
Riches of wisdom, unsearchable wealth
And the wonder of knowing Your voice
You are our treasure and our great reward,
Our hope and our glorious King.