it is quite a Thing
to know something is
and yet go anyway
onward with it
In 2019 my friend shared with me how self-discipline is a form of self-love.
It has rattled around in my mind since then and recently shook its way to the top.
Two days ago, I ran. Today, I ran.
There's something I've put off learning because, frankly, I've chosen to be lazy.
"I wanna be lazy!"
Pastor Michael Yearly jokingly declares
in a string of examples,
"I wanna stay a couch potato,"
I laugh as I catch up
on the other sermons
in this series I stepped into
while visiting in California,
"I don't wanna change,
I don't wanna die to myself,
but I wanna make a difference."
I pause and see a message from my friend, talking about truffula trees and the Lorax who speaks for these...
And I'm reminded of a person.
And I'm reminded of a quote.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
My friend Rachel shared that she is reading about a woman who lived a life of obedience - radical obedience - like a lot of folks would probably call her a tad crazy for taking obedience so dang seriously. Who went through years of waiting, of not knowing, but simply being obedient. Obedience. Obedient. Obey.
Anyway, Rachel in her typical wisdom and quotability also shared,
"God knows more than me," YES.
"When we stop worrying about ourselves...our life becomes a beautiful mission for others." Yes.
No amount of my caring - no amount of my knowing - can ever exceed God who, "is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than all we can ask or imagine." If He's beyond the scope of my imagination...dang.
And yet He also invites me into this wild dance - a relationship? whaaa? - of participating with Him. So suddenly it matters if I care. Suddenly, it becomes true that unless I care, nothing will get better.
The futility and cynicism
of a bitter world
I've let my heart grow hard to
melts at the meaning
of some God who dares
to invite me into co-creating
Everyone wants to have an impact,
"But impact is value-neutral. It's a concept based on degree of influence rather than quality. If I make an impact on something, all I've done is hit it really hard - with no guarantee that it's better for the collision." ~Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, The World is Not Ours to Save
Everyone wants to make a difference, but few people are willing to become different.
Could it be that we need to change, to grow, to learn, to fail, to try, to be humiliated, to be humbled, to actually make a positive impact in the ways we hope?
Hebrews 5:7-9 "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him."
Obedience can look like crying in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing that death is imminent. Obedience can look like saying yes when you have absolutely no idea how to explain it to anyone else. Obedience can look like running. Obedience can look like laying down and seeming to be doing nothing of use.
There is another post to be written about discipline, love, and rebuke.
But here I am just telling you - whoever reading - that we really cannot be in the business of impacting until we are in the business of becoming.
We all do a hundred things a day that we KNOW are NOT the THING. We know it - how? How do we know it?
I've found my answer to how. Frickin' Holy Spirit is bugging me constantly... :)
And I want to thank you for reading. In case you haven't noticed, I've allowed Incandescent posts to become more of a thought-cloud without focusing very much on the clarity of communication. Often these thought-clouds come to a clear call-to-action in my own life, and they might spur a call-to-action in your own, but I don't currently feel the need to unpack it - to write it out - so exactly.
I'm grateful this is a space I can play, express, and hopefully give a glint of insight into bits of what Jesus is up to (even when I'm virtually clueless).
With many thanks and much love,
- praise because being with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece at this time is a massive blessing. Prayers that I would love them all well and cherish the time.
- I made a very big decision last week - which I will announce more formally soon - but I've been a bit shocked/distracted since then - but now coming out of the fog - please pray I'd be focused on the present and that no doubt, fear, worry would have control.
- That I would keep running (metaphorically and literally).
As always, please send me any prayer requests you would like me to pray for.