Saturday, January 16, 2010

Please Help Haiti

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

Even if you go with a different organization, do something! Time is critical.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adventure In My Bonesies

I just recently went to see the movie Avatar. I for one, liked it. Not that it has a new story to tell, but nonetheless a powerful one, and so beautifully presented.

But one thing that struck me after watching Avatar (which perhaps had little to do with the movie itself) was that I am not ok with not having adventure in my life. There's something in me, and maybe it's in you too, that aches to be part of something big, important, and dangerous. I think adventure is in my bones, and somewhere coursing through my veins is a certain fearlessness that has been reawakened. For that matter, 'fearless' is a word that I really want to define me. Life offers so many things to be afraid of, tiny threads that together become a rope, and a rope a chain. I want none of them.

And as to the adventure, what does that even look like in our office-working culture? I'm not talking about thrill-seeking - that takes guts perhaps, but not courage. I want to live a life defined by true courage, obstacles overcome by graceful and relentless perseverence...I guess I just don't want life watered down. Sign me up or sign me out. I'm not ok with half-truths or half-lives.

Maybe I don't know what this looks like yet, but you can bet I'm just saddling up. I feel as if the sleeping giant underneath has been awakened, but with passion, not fury. Sometimes I feel like the most poisonous atmosphere I can possibly find myself in is an overly-easy one. It lulls you to sleep and tells you to forget what ought not be forgotten. So bring it on. What can man do to me?

2010 and maybe a couple other not-so-itsy-bitsy thoughts

Happy New Year! For that matter, happy new decade. I have a very good feeling about both. Maybe I'm not alone when I say that 2009 was a bit of a doozy. I'm not so sheepishly happy that it's over. But I see a lot of renewal on the horizon in 2010. I see strength, hope, and focus. I think 2010 and the years to come will have a lot of new and exciting dawns in them, and will hopefully see the conclusion of some of the harder obstacles of their predecessors. Now that I can handle :) Not to say they won't be well-stocked with challenges of their own, but something in my chest tells me that these years will be good years.

It's been kind of a hard decade, to be honest. Not like you want my sob story, and I'm not really offering it, but there are times when life throws you some hard balls and doesn't seem to care how many times you've struck out. I guess those are the times that make you a better athlete. We're just getting started here.

But on to different things, I think I am perhaps ready to offer you some of the stuff I've been processing through. Maybe just a little. :) I feel recently as if my whole focus has been fixed, as if everything else on the planet that might try to drag me down, and has succeeded in doing so formerly, has fallen away. Now they hit me like gnats. I was writing to a friend and described it like suddenly realizing that the irons that have clasped your wrists and ankles are really made of cheap plastic. It's like the difference between Johnny Depp's chains in Pirates of the Caribbean and the $2 plastic "bling" you buy in the toy section at Target.

I came to this focus by realizing a series of things, not the least of which is that my identity hinges on nothing in the world but God. Second, by realizing that the only thing that matters is His mission. I have long tried to gather pieces of fulfillment - atta-girl's and the like - from my earthly dad, and from relationships. But these things, for better or worse, will only string me out. I will never be enough for them. I'll never be "enough" for my dad. I'll never be "enough" for a boyfriend, because ultimately I can't fulfill him. Either of them. And they will never be enough for me, because they can't fulfill me either.

If I gain them both, or lose them both, either way God is sovereign and He is good. No matter what happens in my life, my God is God and His mission stands. I pick those two examples because they hit close to home for my woman's heart. Those things might be different for you, but the principle is the same. Even trying to get some of my fulfillment from those things is too much. They will disappoint. In a sense, they matter very much. But in another, completely different sense, they have no lasting value at all.

Because who am I? Does it matter? Yes and no. I am God's. I, as a person, as an individual, as God's creation, am irreplaceable. But as far as my role, what I can "do" for God, my usefulness, it's irrelevant. I can do a great many unique and beautiful things for the work of Christ, but God does not "need" me. What can man do to me? Kill me? Ah, but man cannot kill my soul. And anyway, stopping me does not stop the movement of the Lord. He can and will raise up someone new to take my place. In a sense, I am absolutely irrevocably vulnerable as soon as I am untouchable. I can be defeated, but God cannot.

I speak of this in battle terms, but I think it applies spiritually and emotionally as well. In realizing that the only reality in this world that matters is Christ - I mean truly realizing that - suddenly the things that were such puppet-masters over me are like discarded gloves. Not that I don't deeply love them and care for them, it's just, I can't let my worth come from them. My identity doesn't belong to either of those situations, but to God. So what next?

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."
-Philippians 3:12