Listening a lot lately to Graham Cooke in his many facets. Here's one I found today that I found particularly cool. If you're going to listen make sure you actually listen - My blog can wait until he's finished :)
Suffering is always worth it in the end. Think about anything worthwhile, and you will hopefully begin to see the journey that it took to get to where it was. Think about freedom for slaves or equality for the poor or food for the hungry; the world over, it's a fight. But most certainly worth it. Think about the tired hands of a sculptor, halfway through his masterpiece. Or an Olympic athlete ten steps before the finish line. Silver and glass and gold are all held in the middle of fire until they're ready. Think about a diamond: one of the most sought after objects on earth, but formed only under intense pressure and immense heat at incredible depths.
I've spent the past few days doing a lot of thinking & prayerfully considering recent months, and especially thinking about last week (a culmination point, if you will). It has been a hard month for me, if you haven't picked up the cues already. Nothing externally difficult necessarily (no more than an average day on earth), but certainly a lot of inner turmoil. Definitely more than usual. Like so many of you I have felt a stirring in my heart lately to reject the brokenness of my past and present and just move on. To what? To the Truths about I AM, and the truths about who I am, and the life that comes with a life lived in the Spirit.
There's something to be said for saying Yes to the calling on your life. It's beautiful, yes. It's rewarding, for certain. But it is hard, isn't it? Especially because, often, it means difficult sacrifice and obvious opposition. We like our boxes, our cardboard crowns and ill fitted costumes. And even if we don't like them, they're all we know. To step out and say that something might exist outside this tiny world I've created for myself...why, that's largely unheard of. Especially when that "other world" is God breathed.
We were made to be alive in Christ, but so many of us are anything but alive (think: North America). Why is this? Perhaps it is because complacency becomes comfortable, numbness becomes normal, and ignorance becomes bliss. We love to live within our comfort zones and we like to do what we like to do because we like to do it. We construct our little boxes and live in them, never minding how small they make our days.Our faith is placed under the guise of pretense - we say what we believe, without ever having to believe it. We make decisions based on the gutlessness of pure emotion or the emptiness of strict logic. We make ourselves far too small...or far too big. We don't want to move, we are fine just the way we are. We pray sometimes and read our Bibles sometimes and we go to church sometimes. We think about the poor. Isn't this enough?
I'm sorry friends, but it isn't. There is a calling on your life to get up and MOVE, to be the Church instead of just going to one.
So these are the words I've heard lately. And a few weeks ago, a word was spoken over me that changed the direction of my heart - a few weeks ago: about the point where I began to feel the heat on me. In the moment of my hearing, I actually grew to want the things I had said all my life I had been wanting, I actually decided that I wanted to do what I believe, instead of just saying it halfheartedly. To be more specific, I don't want to waste my life. I want to live with Christ as my focus, with God's voice as the voice that I hear and the voice that I choose to listen to. And I want my steps to be directed by this very same God.
As I've walked through the past few weeks, I am getting the sense and a picture in my head that I am under immense pressure. I actually feel pressurized, in my spirit. There are things shifting and changing, and new seasons on their way, in my own life and in the life of so many in my community. With this change comes...change. Opposition. Brand new and bigger steps of faith.
Understand, friend, that when you act on your word to love God with your life that things are going to change. It might even get really, really difficult to face a day. Friends, to stand up and live in a world full of dying people is GOING to get you some attention - and some of that attention may not be the kind that feels good. In fact it might get really difficult. And while complacency may be easier than feeling the heat of battle, our hope is in this: the battle is only for a time, and it will end. Our opposition is just that: opposition. They will not win, they have not won. The circumstances of our lives are merely circumstances that are in place to shape us (whether by chisel or by heat or by pressure) into the person that we are supposed to become.
I dare you, I suppose, to admit that your life might be meant for more than yourself. That you are meant for bigger things. Because you are, whether or not you admit it. As has been said, your playing small does not serve the world. (Mirianne Williamson). Even if playing small means you'll be allowed to remain inside while the world is outside, fighting.
There's something to be said for saying Yes to the calling of God on your life.
Even if it's harder than complacency.