Friday, September 19, 2008

Unpacking...

not sure where to really begin with this catharsis...

Last night I saw the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen. This is not an exaggeration! I was literally in the middle of nowhere. No cell phones, no email, no TV, only stillness. I have been around the world and seen many things. I have seen sculptures, buildings, rivers, mountains and even the most famous works of art. I have seen some of the most beautiful things ever created by man. I have seen the best we have to put out there. Last night it was all insignificant. I looked up at the night sky. I was 30 miles from the nearest gas station an 20 miles from the nearest major road. The only lights we're the those in the heavens. I have seen stars before, tons of stars. But never, ever before had I seen more stars than I could count. Now literally speaking I could have counted the stars before, it would have taken forever because there were many, but this was different. As I looked up and my eyes adjusted to the darkness I was blown away. There were literally more stars than I could comprehend. There were stars between stars between stars. And between those were more stars. Everywhere! I was struggling to take it all in. The only thought I had in that moment was "there is no possible way, for any camera, artist, man-made anything to capture this beauty. There is no way that the greatness of the heavens can be re-created, duplicated, or imitated. Only a God who is "beauty fulfilled" could be capable of creating such a magnificent expression of limitless beauty"

Emily referred to this as my "starfish moment." If you've read "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldridge, you understand. It was an awesome moment, and one that I want to remember forever. This revelation came on the heals of what might be the healthiest discussions of the year for me. I have found that in my life, some of the best conversations I've ever had occur in the middle of the night. Wednesday night I found myself with a friend, in a truck, with nothing but time. The conversation lasted only 3 hours, but it was filled with potentially life impacting words. The honesty and transparency throughout the conversation was without boundaries.

I feel like I have unpacked a bag that I was carrying. I was not even aware that I was carrying this bag. Much of what I will write next will probably not make total sense to everyone. But it needs to be said, I need to put it out there. This is the story of how God broke my heart this week.

What would be the greatest honor? I realized, the other night, what the answer to that question is. I am in the midst of living out the answer. I am a missionary. I have been given the honor to taking the story of grace, and telling everyone who will hear. I am privileged to share my days with the most amazing group of people on the planet. God has chosen a group of really really dirty people to proclaim His name throughout the city of Juarez, Mexico. Furthermore, I feel there is no higher calling than to be called to serve God with everything we have. This is a universal call, made to all who would acknowledge Him. The fact that we have submitted our lives to this call does not set us on a higher plain than those who refuse the call. Rather, this act of submission opens the door wide for God to work mightily through us. Piper puts it this way "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him." That is a fantastic summary of what I have realized in my heart over the past 48 hours.

I am not called to be a missionary for a season in my life. It is a life calling, and one that I am prepared to accept. There would be no greater honor than to serve my God for all my days. Wow...that's a big thing to put out there. But it is my heart.

In addition to this awakening I have also decided a few things. Perfection is not something that can ever be achieved, but should it be sought? This is a struggle, especially in today's Christian culture. Here's my take...drink it in and then ponder. God was fully engaged and intentional in the creation process when he brought about the world. Equally, God was fully engaged and intentional as he walked among us in the life of Jesus. Most of all God is fully engaged and intentional in this moment. He has not simply laid a plan out for my life and left me to wander it aimlessly. I am not a bowling ball slowly rolling down an alley with bumpers, drifting side to side, whose course is only affected when it meets an immovable object or obstacle. We are not created this way. Life is not an obstacle course we must endure in order to gain the prize at the end! In response to Gods intentionality and investment it would only seem fair that I would strive to reflect that attitude. The thing that really broke my heart this week is coming to realization that it is me that affects my reflection. It is not God's lack of intentionality that reflects poorly in my life. It is my lack of intentionality that pollutes the beauty that God desires to reveal in my life.

As a result of this realization I am recommitting my heart to God. I am committing that in all that I am and all I say that I would desire to be intentional. I will not waste opportunities any longer. God deserves the very best I have to give. After all, He did give us the very best he had, Jesus. I am overwhelmed with the thought that God would choose me. That the God who knows all that I am, all that I'm not, and all that I can be, but choose not to be, to be His servant, His messenger, His reflection. What an honor! I am truly blessed. I am blessed to work with the best people I know. A group of individuals who can all agree on one thing. We wake up every morning with one job, to spread the good news throughout our world. I am blessed to have a wife that understands all that I have just poured out, and shares the same feelings. I am blessed to have a family who supports my desire to seek God's will.

I guess where this is all going is this. I get it. I really get it. Even still, in this moment now, 48 hours later, I can still feel it in my stomach. I get it.

Do you get it? You will know when you do. It will scare you to death, rock your world, and capture your heart, but it is so worth it. The glory is in the grace. His glory is in His grace!

God,
I pray that you would implant your desires in our hearts. Help us to get it. Everyday. Help us to become ok with accepting whatever you have for us. Help us to trust and believe that you are who you say you are, and that your plans are so much bigger and more beautiful than any we could ever imagine. God, thank you for the stars in the heavens. Help us to remember that your creation will always be more beautiful than anything we could create with our filthy hands and rotten hearts. God, thank you for friends in trucks.

Peace

2 comments:

Britt said...

i get it. hold me to it when i forget. thank you..

tsanders said...

Good stuff. When I look back at that night in 20, 30, or 72 years I will be recalling the night Christ changed my life and eterniity. We'll have to share more later.