Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shopping = numbing myself to God's heart

Okay, I have many things swimming in my head right now, and just had to get them on paper, er, computer screen. Yeah, I pretty much put this blog to bed, but I felt like pounding some things out here anyway.

Brief, brief, brief update: L'll B has her first day of preschool today, thus, the opportunity to be at the computer uninterrupted. Since we brought her home last November, things have been amazing, awful, hopeful, despairing, chaotic, hilarious, full of self-sacrifice, full of self-absorption. And lessons from the Lord.

Today, one lesson hit home. For the past several weeks I have felt God teaching us more about His heart. He is ALL about teaching us how to live so we bring life into this world. To live lives that point people to Jesus. To be SERVANTS. I have been hit with Isaiah 58:6-12 many times in the past few weeks. God wants me to GET this. The fasting that passage talks about is fasting from ME, from my own self-absorption. So I can reach out to others. OTHERS. My healing, my wholeness can only truly come when I pour myself into others. And not just others in my home. I can often use my family as an excuse. Hey, we are a large family, a lot on our plate, blah, blah, blah. We are exempt from serving outside of our family. What????? LIES, lies, lies to feed my self-absorption.

So, anyways, I have been praying that God give me His passion, to really care about the hurting, the poor, the oppressed. And I sense this passion flaring up in me. Right now I can best describe it as a passion for JUSTICE in this world. But I have to know what to do with it. I am impatient and it is hard to wait on God, but what else can I do?

David Platt's book, Radical, is currently one of the catalysts to all the thoughts swimming in my head. CHALLENGING. Challenging us to look closely at what we believe, what we follow. Are we really following Jesus, the Jesus of Scripture, who calls us to live radically, to live to pursue bringing glory to God and justice in this world. To be missional. ALL OF US. All of us - not just the few who are "called" to missions. Or are we following the "American" Jesus, taking all the good stuff we like about Jesus, and holding tightly to that while dismissing some of the more startling, difficult truths Jesus taught and lived? Ouch!

So what about shopping?

Today, as I was processing some of these thoughts and praying about what God is preparing us for, I decided to go shopping. First day without L'l B, a great chance to shop alone. But I found that shopping can work in me to be a sort of instant gratification that temporarily fills my longings, the passion God is brewing in me. I went shopping, and I DON'T NEED ANYTHING. How many of us in America really do? Sure, I like to "update" my wardrobe, but I am not walking around shirtless or anything. Hey, I went to thrift stores and found some cheap stuff, so it wasn't a money issue. But it was just a lesson to me that as God wants us to GET what He cares about, to follow Him down roads He knows are best for us, I can get SO sidetracked. I can become numb to the voice SO EASILY. Something as ridiculous as shopping can work its magic (evil) to dull my senses toward God. I want to fight for God, be one of His warriors, not fight for the best bargain. I want to feel joy from pouring out the overflow of what Jesus has poured in me, NOT the fleeting happiness that comes from the perfect pair of jeans.