Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Please excuse the mess, I'm learning humility

Stories tell us that when the Apostle John was old, he was helped to the front of churches to speak. He would look around and tell people to love one another, and then go and sit down. Such a simple message... but do we do it? Can we do it?

What if the love isn't returned? What if we are loving people who will never accept God and give their lives? What if loving people costs us our savings, our future, our lives?

The answer to those questions are easy to discern, but hard to live out.

We are so consumed in our culture in getting what we want. Our wants become needs and our want to's become have to's. I have never "needed a haircut" in my life, but I've said I did. I've said other people did, but they didn't. We just enjoy and appreciate better manageable hair. I feed myself when I feel hungry, get a drink when I feel thirsty, sleep when I get tired. If I don't like something, I complain about it. I look for flaws in it so I can tell other people how I would do it right if I were in charge. I constantly step out in front of people to share intimate truths of God while keeping secret a few of my own.

I recently asked to stop teaching a service at church so I could take a Spanish class. (They said no)

Oh wretched man that I am, why do I have to keep focusing on me?

I've been wondering lately if there is anything that I am doing that God doesn't want me to do. Is there anything I need to stop doing? I love just about everything that I do. The part that stumbles me is feeling like I have to do it.

Here's the thing... and this could be pride, I'm not trying to say this is the way I should be or that this is right, but it's the way it is.

I feel like I am a spiritual superhero. My heart goes out to people and ministries that are struggling and I want to make it better. The superpowers I have are from God. I acknowledge that completely. I did not learn to teach or pray or listen on my own, but they are gifts that God has given me to equip me to do His work. When I see someone who needs help, I want to help him. When I see someone who is scared, I want to comfort her. When I see someone who wants to learn, I want to teach him. When I see someone who feels lost, I want to show her the way. And that goes for ministries too. When people are losing interest in a ministry, I want to jump in and remind them that the ministry needs to focus on Jesus and the moment it loses its focus is the moment it stops ministering. I want to revamp or change or organize that ministry to help the focus fall on Him whom it belongs. If a ministry is dead, and people are lost for what to do, I want to give it life and build it again from the ground up. I feel like I can do all of this.

But sometimes, and here's my struggle, I feel like I'm trapped in doing something that doesn't need me. I feel like Superman forced to be a security guard in a bank that never gets robbed or a SUV that only gets driven to soccer practice. I feel like I can do so much more, yet even as I seek to fill every free hour with service, it's not enough. I can love more, I say, This isn't all I can give... just all I have time to give. So I yearn for freedom. I want to stretch out these spiritual wings and make an impact. I moved to Chico expecting the whole town to be affected. I don't consider myself a super-Christian but I consider my God a Super God... not that I've ever met a regular god.

I expect God to move in me in big ways. I know He does. I feel horribly prideful thinking the way I do. I feel selfish wanting to do all the things I want to do and why cannot I not be satisfied with all the work I already do. People keep asking me to do things I can do and I keep saying yes... but even superheroes had to decide whether to spend their nights stopping muggings or fighting the super-villain. But I feel like I'm apart of something that already works. I want to go get something that doesn't and fix it.

Forgive me for spilling so much. I'm learning about humility and part of that is being open.

If I step out, will new people step up, or will other people who do so much take on my tasks on top of theirs?

My frustrations are shared with the other spiritual superheroes I work alongside.

When is enough enough?

Well... if I really am Christian, never.

If I really do follow Christ, my body will quit before I do, but the way I see it; short life now, long life later.

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