Monday, April 14, 2014

Lord, Anything But...

I read a line in a book where the author defined the word Anything.  Anything means nothing is held back.  When we tell Jesus that we will do anything, we have to really be willing to do anything.  No conditions.  No Anything But....

I joked around that my Anything But... was Detroit.  For a while the thought of being called to live in the worst of the worst inner cities was my But.  And then I realized that was silly and gave that one to the Lord.

Today I realized I have a much deeper Anything But... in my life.  I am ready to go anywhere, do anything, cast my stuff aside, put down my nets and follow Jesus anywhere.

And then I opened my devotional and read this:

When I give you no special guidance, stay where you are.  
Concentrate on doing your everyday tasks in awareness of My Presence with you.  

And this:

The radical act I was being called to commit to was the one thing 
I dreaded more than anything: to be normal.

My spirit immediately rebelled.  Like hardcore rebelled.  No, Lord!  I don't want to stay here!  Anything but here!  Yup, I found my anything.  And here, my normal life, is exactly where God is calling me right now.  

Why is it that it is easier to be okay with selling everything, giving to the poor, and moving to Africa than it is to be okay with staying home?  A great big story is exciting, but continuing to be faithful in your normal, every day life is, well, it's kinda boring.  I found myself praying:

Lord, following You is a real death to self.  It hurts.  

And I think that is exactly where God wants me to be.  Dying to self.  To my plans.  My dreams.  My version of Anything.  To be willing to give Him anything and everything when it means to keep doing what you're doing.

The Next Day:

I wrote the first part yesterday.  Today I was continuing on reading Little Pilgrim's Progress to my kids and we read about Passion and Patience.  Passion is sitting in a chair crying because he wants his treasure RIGHT NOW.  Patience is sitting in a chair, content to wait until the King gives him his treasure at the proper time.  And Patience's treasure will be a lot better in the long run.

Funny how much reading Little Pilgrim's Progress has convicted me, and we're only on chapter 10 out of a lot.  I realized my attitude is much like Passion's.  Give me an assignment to do something grand, and give it to me now!  And it better be a really good assignment and not some boring one.  Yes, I do recognize the similarity between my thoughts and those of a petulant child.

God is teaching me that for some people--Me--the more radical, hard thing is not moving overseas, but to remain right where they are, digging in roots, committed to family, friends, a Community, with a mortgage and 401K plan.  Because every day life doesn't feel radical or important or exciting or "holy."  It just feels like...every day life.

And yet, it is radical to be able to say that I have lived within a 10 mile radius of my birth place my entire life.  Many of my friends have been my friends my entire life.  I married a man I played with when we were toddlers.  I have been a member of the same prayer group since birth.  I live down the street from my parents, my grandma, and my inlaws.  I have roots.  Deep roots.  I am steady and committed.  Every day life may not seem all that glamorous and exciting, but to God it is.  It's important; it's necessary.

So I am waving goodbye to my dreams of being an overseas missionary and embracing the call to Normal that God has given me.  I will just have to learn how to be radical and grand in the midst of Normal Every Day Life.

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