I LOVE this quote that Chan gives: Christians are like manure... spread them out and they help everything grow better, but keep them in one big pile and they stink horribly. I can't help chuckling, even now. The visual imagery is humorous, but the implication is disarming, sad... and likely true at times. The point here is that Christians aren't meant to simply hang out with one another. Believe me... I know it's tempting. I mean, think about how much easier it is to turn your back on sin when surrounded by other believers, constantly encouraging you. But, the point here is that we're meant to be the encouragers... to those lost in this broken world. So, why aren't more of us living up to that responsibility?
In an attempt to answer that question, Chan poses an interesting theory: "Most of us use 'I'm waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life' as a means of avoiding action." p. 169. Did any of you break out into a momentary sweat when reading that? I did... for the simple fact that I have said this exact thing... out of sheer frustration. I "wanted" to serve God, but was "unable" to do so because He hadn't revealed His calling for my life. Oh my... how ridiculous that sounds now... I'm almost too embarrassed to write it down. By saying this, I'm essentially blaming God for my unwillingness to serve Him! But, it's extremely crucial that you don't miss the bigger picture (problem) here. While I've been"waiting" for God to fill me in on the whole calling thing, I have been serving Him... but not out of love. It's been out of duty... out of obligation. But, worst of all, I've done it in hopes that my service would speed up the process... if I work hard enough to prove my worthiness, then God would reveal my calling. But it doesn't really work that way, does it?
I've spent a lot of time these past two weeks reflecting on this year-long journey. When I decided to start this blog a year ago, I could never have imagined where God would lead me. I naively thought this was simply an exercise in learning how to love God more... sounds relatively painless, right? Well, in all honesty, it was anything but painless. God lead me down some rather dark and winding roads... roads I tried to demolish on my own a long time ago .. roads that lead to vanity, pride, bitterness, inadequacies. You name it, He took me there... sometimes head on... almost always without my approval.(Not that He needs it anyway!) The only difference in the journey this time, was that I didn't run away. I came close a few times... and there were a few instances when I did nothing for weeks. I refused to move forward because I didn't want to go where God was taking me... more importantly, I didn't want to let go of certain things in my life... things that God wanted me to let go of. But, I also refused to run away. I did nothing, because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do... That's a hard thing to admit: I wasn't sure if I really wanted to let go of my sin. I had grown comfortable with it (there's that horrible word again!) My sin was consistent. I knew what to expect. I could function... pretty well actually. But, I was still shackled. I've constantly been told that following Christ brings liberation... freedom. And that's what I wanted. I finally realized the only way I could achieve that freedom I so desperately wanted was to trust God. So, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and took a step in faith.
My next blog will be my last. I will share with you what I've learned from this experience, what I'm still struggling with and if God has revealed that elusive "calling."