Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Love For Him Is...

The other difficult part about coming back from a trip is NOT making any HUGE life-altering decisions as soon as you return. Face it, after a great trip (heck even after a bad one) there’s this emotional high (or low) that cries to be fed. Sometimes that manifests itself in doing something REALLY dumb; other times, not. Back when I was the short-term missions coordinator for Northland, I remember consistently telling teams, “DO NOT make any MAJOR decisions for at least 30 days after you get back.” I have 20 days to go.

Of course, if memory serves me, the 1st time I went to Belize (back in 1998?) resulted in me making a huge, major, life-changing decision. But I’m fairly certain I waited 30 days. I wonder if it was as difficult then as it is now.

So when I was down in Belize, I read (devoured is more like it) Crazy Love by Frances Chan. This book challenges us be more like Christ, to take God at His Word and to live out what Christ calls us to live. Sounds simple, eh? Why then, did I find myself having to reread sentences and sometimes entire paragraphs just to make sure I was grasping what was just said? Other parts made me, no forced me is more like it, to put down the book, get up and walk away. Sometimes I think I was running away from what God was saying to me through this book. Other times I just needed to talk it all out with Him.

Here’s where I’ve landed. I’ve become complacent with my faith. I’m like this lukewarm pool of goo with no purpose, stagnant muck – ok, I’m feeling the need for a shower now. How did this happen? When did I lose sight of the fact that God’s love for me is crazy? At what point did just existing become ok? Where did I get the idea that God can love me the way He does and I don’t even have to try to love Him back with the same crazy, reckless abandon? (Please note the word TRY – I know I will NEVER get close to loving Him with the same type of love.)

This book managed to take everything I was already beginning to think and feel and bring it all out into the open water and force me to start wading through it. I do not want to just live, I want to radically live. I will never claim to be a leader, teacher, and heaven knows, a writer, but I want to make a difference. I want to make a radical difference. And I most certainly don’t want it to be said of me, “Wow, that Alice, she’s amazing. Look at what she’s done.” I only want people to see Christ in me and I only want people to see and talk about what He’s doing.

Here’s my fear (and I think what Chan fears for all of us who read his book): am I going to walk away from what I’m just now starting to understand and realize, and do absolutely nothing to change my life? Or will I act on what I’ve been challenged to change. My sometimes impulsive, often overly emotion- driven self wants to leap with reckless abandon to where I think God is leading. But I’m taking the next 20 days and praying and seeking and talking to people I who think can help and guide (or slap me back to reality).

My dream is really, REALLY big. My God is bigger. His love for me is crazy. My love for Him is….

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