Friday, April 22, 2005

Romance Transcends Logic

I was riding the shuttle bus from terminal one to terminal two for the second time. The first time around, I had missed my stop by not realizing that the bus stopped once for multiple gates. The lady sitting next to me was complaining about the hard time she and her party were having figuring out where they should get off. She leaned to me and said with her thick Italian accent, "There is no logic in France." A simple comment, but it struck me in a funny way. I began to think that here in Paris, they don't want to be known for logic. This is the city of romance. At Charles DeGaule Airport this attitude is evident. The main terminal is very stylistic. Moving walkways go up and down at odd angles through glass tubes in the center of the building. It all looks beautiful but makes no sense. Just to get from the 2nd floor to the 1st I had to ride the walkway to the 3rd floor and then take the elevator to the 1st floor. Romance over Logic, Form over Function, Frustration for weary travelers.

I thought about the lady's comment and immediately found an application for my life. When it comes to my relationship with my Lord, romance should transcend logic. I have spent too much time in my life trying to understand the technical details of the Christian faith. Trying to "get it right". Oh, if I had spent a bit more time learning how much He loves me and in turn, loving the people in my life! I'm sure there would have been less frustration and more peace.

After I found my way to the right gate and boarded the plane, I sat next to a beautiful girl who was returning home to Romania after running a marathon in France. We got to talking about life in Romania versus life in America. She had traveled the US and was very impressed with how good we have it. She said life in Romania was "...just different. You'll see." I told her that I had heard that Romanian families were very close and depend on one another. She agreed. I told her that that was one thing America lacked. She said she had noticed and asked me why that was. I told her that life was indeed good in America -- too good. Our lifestyle allows us to be individuals. We don't need each other to get by. My new friend nodded her agreement and said that now it made sense to her. She told me about living with her extended family and how they had come through hard times together. She said that the only thing keeping her in Romania was her family. She would not be willing to move away from those she loved no matter how much better life may be in another part of the world.

The way she feels about her family is the way I feel about my church. The difference is that if I move away, I can find my family wherever I go. "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Just What I Needed to Hear

I'm trying to figure out my role here in this new and different world. So, I went back to one of my mentors and read the following:

"The trouble with many Christians today is that they have an insufficient idea of what God is asking of them. How glibly they say: "Lord, I am willing for anything." Do you know that God is asking of you your very life? There are cherished ideals, strong wills, precious relationships, much-loved work, that will have to go; so do not give yourself to God unless you mean it. God will take you seriously, even if you did not mean it seriously.

When the Galilean boy brought his bread to the Lord, what did the Lord do with it? He broke it. God will always break what is offered to Him. He breaks what He takes, but after breaking it He blesses and uses it to meet the needs of others. After you give yourself to the Lord, He begins to break what was offered to Him. Everything seems to go wrong, and you protest and find fault with the ways of God. But to stay there is to be no more than just a broken vessel--no good for the world because you have gone too far for the world to use you, and no good for God either because you have not gone far enough for Him to use you. You are out of gear with the world, and you have a controversy with God. This is the tragedy of many a Christian.

I am the Lord's and now no longer reckon myself to be my own but acknowledge in everything His ownership and authority. That is the attitude God delights in, and to maintain it is true consecration. I do not consecrate myself to be a missionary or a preacher; I consecrate myself to God to do His will where I am, be it in school, office or kitchen or wherever He may, in His wisdom, send me. Whatever He ordains for me is sure to be the very best, for nothing but good can come to those who are wholly His.

May we always be possessed by the consciousness that we are not our own."
--Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, Angus I. Kinnear, 1961, pp. 80-81

I must bloom where I am planted.