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{January 5, 2011}   Almost a religious basket-case

Loving God.  I’m trying to figure that one out.

I am a planner.  I refused to admit that until just recently.  I did not like being labeled a planner by others.  I correlated it as being someone who was high-strung, no fun, and incapable of spontaneity.  But, for all my purposeful denial of the fact, I am a planner and extremely task oriented.

And I’m ok with that.  I enjoy a list and watching a plan come together or a goal achieved.

However, it does have me a little stuck at the moment.

It is my heart’s desire to please God, to show love to Him, and to bring Him glory through what I do.

The problem is, besides having a sinful nature, I need a plan!  I need a check list!  But, a check list checked off is not what God wants.  He wants my heart and my actions to be driven by that heart, not a compulsory lust to see some task completed.  I can easily get suckered into a religiosity here and totally lose the heart of why I do any good at all.

So, there’s that.

Then, there’s part two.  To do the most or best I can for God, it has to be BIG!  Well, in my mind anyway.  He’s got to be able to see it, right?  And it has to be obvious to other people so that I can have a influence for Christ, right?  I’m talking going out among a multitude and speaking boldly, martyrdom, and the like.  A real loud, sold-out-for-Jesus-and-everyone-knows-it BANG!  God will see that for sure, and surely He’ll be pleased by my desire to go out and tell the world about Him.

But, I need to come to grips with the fact that God sees the small things too and maybe, just maybe, it’s the small things He’s given me to work with for His glory.

A great friend reminded me of this little fact today.  I can please God by being a loving mother and being good to the husband He gave me.  She reminded me about 1 Corinthians 10:31  which says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.  So, the small stuff please Him too.  It also shows my love for Him.  I can be just as close to God doing the laundry as I am reading His word.  I can give His name glory by modeling patience instead of wrath.  I can glorify Him just as well in my quiet and small capacity as I could if given a huge ministry.

And how hypocritical would it be if I did all this “big” stuff in the name of God but neglected my God-given family or failed to extend them the same grace I would to the strangers I’d be involved with?

I’ve just started re-reading the book “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas.  His theme is that perhaps marriage is more for our holiness rather than our happiness.  He talks about marriage being a ministry in and of itself.  What other life context is there that challenges our selfish desires so acutely?  Where else is the practice of forgiveness such a necessity? Where else is all the Jesus spoke about so clearly challenged or demonstrated than in the picture of what a godly marriage is?  His opinion is that enduring hardship, overcoming temptation, loving the at-times unlovely in marriage may be the most spiritual thing you’ll ever do.

It’s ok that I’m not part of some big, organized outreach that meets 7 days a week or that I don’t venture out by myself at 6 am every morning to do ministry elsewhere, or that I don’t read my bible 3 times a year, or that sometimes I actually do miss church.

And I’m just going to have to accept that.

Thanks, Salome.  I’d have fallen into the trap of religion had it not been for you today, friend  ^_^

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