Wednesday, June 18, 2008


once again i find that i am bothered for no apparent reason. i believe 'brooding' is the correct term.

we've been studying Jonah in church and something about it upset me tonight. well, in general i can say that i have had a difficult time paying attention lately, i'm easily distracted by anything and everything. every now and again i'll realize i wasn't paying attention and then i wonder 'what on earth did i miss?' and what the heck am i thinking about while being distracted? anyway - beside the point right? so back to the lesson. here's the skinny:

jonah represents the church. when called by God to bring his light to a metropolitan area full of sinners, he becomes upset at the prospect of the people actually repenting and God showing mercy upon them instead of giving them what they deserve. so what does he do? he turns and runs in the opposite direction, to the farthest known point on the map from where God is calling him. one of the points the pastor is making is that the church runs and hides from where it is truly needed. we leave people to their own defenses. (ouch)

so jonah gets on the boat, goes below deck and falls asleep. meanwhile a storm ensues. the people on the boat use every possible means known to them to escape the storm, but to no avail. point: when we disobey, the world suffers for it. point: the world is seeking a solution to its own demise, but cannot find that solution on its own.

so the men on the boat ask jonah for help. and he tells them, 'yes, it is because of me. i serve the God of the universe and i am running from him and the only way to stop this storm is to throw me overboard.' and yet he is unwilling to do this. if he really feared the Lord, then he should have taken that step himself, but instead he tells them that they will have to do it, and they do the one thing he cannot do: they have compassion on him and seek another way out...which of course fails. eventually, after crying out to God they throw him overboard and the storm subsides and they decide to honor this God they have just met.

so jonah is like us. running away. unable to have compassion. caught up in our own lives. ignoring the chaos around us. seeking solace in church instead of being the church to those who are really in need. (ouch) withholding talents, time, and resources from people who are truly lost.

so what do we do about it? we go into the world as we are commanded and begin meeting people where they are, loving them, having compassion on them, and bringing them news of a savior.

so whats my problem? man, i don't know. it is easy for me to want to do everything and yet do nothing. confused as to where i should spend my time, i remain idle. why does this bother me so much when i have taken such huge steps (in my mind) to fulfill that calling? maybe its because i'm not there yet, and i still feel idle. maybe its because i feel selfish. there are things i don't want to give up. i think its impossible to stretch myself so far and there is no way i am smart enough, strong enough, wise enough, or kind enough to actually carry out what it is i am called to do. and why can't i really realize that of course that is all true, but it should not deter me because it is Christ within me who will give me what i need to do His will.

I think it was Aldous Huxley who once said "there is all the difference in the world between believing academically, with the intellect, and believing personally, intimately, with the whole living self." this is where i get hung up. how do i cross that line from head to heart?

a song we sang had the line "ruin my life, the plans I have made. ruin desires for my own selfish gain. destroy the idols that have taken Your place 'till its You alone i live for, You alone i live for." man i want this to be true for me. and yet it is still so hard.

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