February 15th, 2004

Victrola

Of service

Why has God left us on the earth? Is it simply to be saved and sanctified? No, it is to be at work in service to Him. Am I willing to be broken bread and poured-out wine for Him? Am I willing to be of no value to this age or this life except for one purpose and one alone—to be used to disciple men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. My life of service to God is the way I say "thank you" to Him for His inexpressibly wonderful salvation. Remember, it is quite possible for God to set any of us aside if we refuse to be of service to Him— "...lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" ( 1 Corinthians 9:27 ).

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (15 February, "'Am I My Brother's Keeper?'")


Fun potluck last night at the boys'. Brought the Crunch Berries. Showing of 20 or so, including John, Linn, and the kids. Good to see Nikki, besides the fact that she made the most delicious apple crisp. Ended up center stage with The Funny, not entirely intentionally. Unsure if I'm at ease and being appreciated for who I am in those moments or if I'm hiding. Probably fair measures of each. Quieting down around the fire was my favorite part.

Caught up on some unread Chambers on the bus last night. Great stuff about listening. I suspect that my journal makes it seem as if I'm more devotionally disciplined than I truly am. An honest assessment leaves me embarrassed and humbled, which can't be a bad thing moving forward. I long not only for discipline but also for passion in my pursuit of Him. It ebbs and flows, as is natural, but I want to become unflagging, dogged in that pursuit. I desire desire.

Dreamed that jasonmonster gave me a call to get together. That's pretty cool.

Whatever the reason, my latté is amazing today. Velvety.

Flesh is weak this morning— doesn't want to move and certainly want to serve through the early afternoon. Tired in the bones. No grumbling in my spirit, though; it is good to serve and worship. Will miss it while I'm away next weekend, I think.
  • Current Music
    Kate Bush
Desk

Hope, love, and stinking corpses

Strange day; can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe God is stirring up my insecurities and dealing with them. It's scary, honestly. There's stuff I'd rather He not touch, but really, is that love? This morning John preached on Christ's bold claim, "I am the resurrection." One of the implications of this is that He is invading my life with His.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

—John 11:1-6
Jesus waits, waits until Lazarus is clearly, hopelessly dead, rotting and stench-laden. He waits so that the glory of God may be displayed— that much is certain. Yet it can also be argued that He waits for a complementary reason— because He loves Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. He makes them need a miracle.

When Jesus asks Martha if she believes He is the resurrection, "She said to him, 'Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world'" (John 11:27). Her answer is safe and orthodox; it lacks nothing in truth and everything in hope. She can believe in Him for eternity, but not for her life or her losses. She doesn't dare let herself hope for His intervention in the here-and-now.

So too the stinking corpses of my own life, the things I've given up hope on. What does it mean for Him to call them forth, even and especially the small and mundane ones? What does it mean for me to stray from the safe "faith" that keeps Him away from those, placing His power and healing in the far future and trying to bite back my grief and ignore the stench? What does it mean to have faith that inspires hope?

I struggle with the ordinary things, to a sometimes embarrassing degree (odd how I find myself being embarrassed more and more often). For example, I'm coming to grips with the need to get healthier, yet something about that simple thing almost shuts me down. Considering some of the other things I'm willing to wrestle with, it seems silly the ways I get hung up on normal life.

Gattaca is on; maybe one of the perfect movies for my motivation and definitely one of my favorites.

I was never more certain of how far away I was from my goal than when I was standing right beside it.

...

You are the authority on what is not possible, aren't you Irene? They've got you looking for any flaw, that after a while that's all you see. For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible.

...

You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.

—Vincent Freeman, Gattaca
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful