Saturday, September 22, 2007

Beyond Predictability

What is about the changing of a season that suddenly makes a person so frightfully aware of the changes occurring in their own life? What is it about looking outside your window, and at the glimpse of a blazing red autumn leaf, suddenly finding yourself lost in a whirlwind of memory, laughter and even regret? What is it about the days between the season's change that leave us in negligence of the frightening realities of our evolving lives? As I surveyed the first tell-tale signs of a New England autumn today, I realized how my life--in many ways--is reflected in those changing colors. Day to day my life changes and my dreams turn, but day to day my passions remain the same; constant like dull bark of a tree that remains the same--existing almost unnoticed beneath the flaming colors of the changing leaves it bears.

My soul is aching. I long to do something; to stand up and to fight. But I remain dull, unnoticed and yet strikingly unmoved. When will my release come? When will my sun crest the horizon? Must I keep waiting constantly for my liberty? I see in movies the popular storyline where changing the world happens unexpectedly; and commonplace circumstances come together by chance to create earth-shaking events that shift our lives forever. I read about men and women in the Bible who live until the age of 90 or so before their aspirations for greatness come to fruition. Is this to be my tale? A willing heart that waits for seemingly ever until at the last moment, opportunity knocks? Or is my lament a cop-out and am I simply looking the other way?

Man can spend a lifetime studying God and never really understand the ways in which He moves. Unexpected and unpredicted despite the prophecy of man. Subtle yet monumental despite the theology of His character. Abraham was told to look to the skies. Abraham was told that his descendants would be as many as the stars. Abraham was promised the future of mankind and the legacy that would shake history. Abraham was handed his dreams by an Almighty God. Then God was silent. All Abraham was left with was a barren, scoffing wife; a shocked expression and an inky black sky filled with millions of stars representing an impossible promise.

And in His own timing, in His own way, God moved.

There are passions in my heart which have shifted me. There are things in this world that tempt me to wonder at times if God is heartless. But there are things in this world that have shown me the face of God. And I have seen God move. I have known His heart of compassion. I know God, yet I do not know Him through and through.

All we can do is live this life passionately for Him and continue to yearn for the day when we will see our Savior face to face and everything else will fade in light of His glory.

Friday, August 17, 2007

how to save a life

I cannot speak of my heart burning and not speak of the passion within it for South Africa. As I am faced with the problem of AIDS in that nation, my heart aches for her.

What can I do for Africa? How can I love her when my heart is so broken for her? How can I dream for her future, when all I can see ahead is her death? In her despair, I must be strong for Africa. I must know that in the midst of all this tragedy and despair--there is hope.

What can I, as a stranger, really do for South Africa? Her blood runs in my veins; the same blood that has become infected with a disease that threatens the lives of so many in that beloved country. I cannot heal her medically. I cannot ease her pain. I cannot erase the problem of AIDS from her continent. I cannot tell the suffering child that he can have tomorrow. I cannot promise the dying mother that her children will not follow her to her grave. I cannot assure the diseased working man that his strength will return. I cannot tell Africa that her people will again live without the presence of death. But what I can do for Africa, is restore her dignity. I can revive her pride. Together, we can return her humanity to her. As millions of Africans daily face death, we can give them back their life.

It's easy to feel as though we cannot help Africa because we have no basis with which to comprehend her pain; but we must remind ourselves that what we can understand is her humanity. Alec Brooks, professor at
Bethany College of Missions spoke these words: "I know that when people are joyful, they laugh because I have laughed. I know that when people are sorrowful, they cry because I have cried. I know that when you are sick, you want to be cared for because I want to be cared for. I know these things because I am human. When you cut them, they bleed; when you beat them, they hurt; when you slight them, they feel the sting of that. I recognize these feelings because they are common to me--I am human, as they are, and I have been created by God just as they have been. These people share my longings, my yearnings and my dreams. I will treat them as such."

There is hope for Africa. By loving her and by caring for her people, we can restore Africa's dignity, her honor and her life. You have a voice. Give her hope.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

the end of apathy.

There is a burning in my heart. There is an ache in my soul that groans. There is a weeping in my spirit that longs to be quenched.

What worries me most about my own generation is the rampant disease of complacency infecting our hearts. Post-modernism and relativism have crept in and taught my generation that there is no truth, no absolutes, no right or wrong. This ideology has left us surrendered, passive and defeated.

The more I talk to other millennials, the more concerned I become about the direction of our world. Are these the men and women to whom this earth's dominion will be entrusted? These defeated, pathetic warriors too afraid and confused to stand up and fight?

I am sick of attempting to place the blame. I am frustrated with pushing the weight of this issue from foot to foot. It is time for my generation to stand up and fight. Step up and change the world because you can.

What worries me more is what I see in Christian youth. Apathy like crazy! I see so many Christian teenagers resigned to live the common life; stuck in the norm without any desire to step out and live a called out life.

We lose touch with reality. Especially when it comes to Christ. We say the name of Jesus and speak of a man we've been passively taught about through a flannel graph board or a defeated youth pastor. Imagine what revolution would take place if we knew Jesus for who He is?! Imagine the fire that could sweep our churches if we prayed to the real God instead of the psuedo-Christ we set up in His place?! How often do we sing, "I could sing of your love forever" and impatiently wait for the last chord? How often do we hear the pastor say, "Jesus died for us" and neglect to be overwhelmed with passionate emotion?

If only we knew Christ. If only we attempted to grasp the depth of His love. "God gave His life to put motion inside my soul." And yet we remain stagnant. Woe to us.

...there is a burning in my heart.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

here we go.

Hey blogging world! I've officially arrived.