I would rather take a walk on the wild side for Him and be known a fool, than spend my whole life sitting in the pews.
Or would I?
My heroes in high school were Jim and Elizabeth Elliot. After reading Passion and Purity – I was hooked. (Thank you, Nancy Jackson.) For some their life would seem radical. For me, it was just plain exciting.
I remember one of the last talks I had with a close friend (who is singing with the Lord).
Me: What is your greatest fear?
Friend: That people won’t like me. (There were over 1300 people at his funeral, btw. I think we can say he knocked that one out of the park)
Friend: What’s yours?
Me: That I will get to the end of my life having done nothing really big for God.
Really big. Who defines that? I don’t know…but most days, I try to.
I’ve been asking Him for a passion that makes my heart beat like His.
At our district church meeting, we heard a woman share her heart about this tiny church in a rural town she was trying to save. To most in the room, it may have been just another talk about another ministry.
I was jealous. Because I knew she found her heartbeat in ministry. God called. She answered…and it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought. His call kept her excited. Her faithfulness fueled the flame. And everyone saw the light in her eyes. She knew she was doing something big for God because it was her baby.
So lately I read about Kristen Welch and her call to start Mercy House in Nairobi. And again, jealous. (I know – jealous does not equal spiritual)
For most of my early faith walk – and maybe for most it all together, I’ve focused on myself.
How can I grow?
What needs to be chiseled away in me?
I can probably say I excelled in the study of Scripture. He kept feeding…and I kept feasting.
On the Walk to Emmaus retreat, I began to just get that discipleship itself is actually more about other people. Following Him has to be more than knowledge and inner growth.
I’ve spent so long feeding myself. And that’s not bad.
But what if we get to the end of this thing called life…and we knew a whole lot – but did very little.
And I’m hungry. Hungry for more.
Activist no longer sounds extreme to me. The poor are beginning to have a face. And my compassion child – she seems too far away.
I want to be in the inner circle, getting my hands dirty. Real ministry is messy, but I get tired of trying to keep things neat and tidy anyway.
So, here’s the deal, Lord. You know my heart, and you probably gave me this hunger. And if my call is within the church walls for my whole life – then let me give you all I have. And slay me more. Because this life is easy. I may say it’s hard…and so many days it just plain is. But we are so blessed we don’t even know what that word means. I’ve been blessed all my life.
And if…or when …you bring a call so daring, so radical that it seems inconvenient and inexplainable – let my Yes be Yes.
I want a shared passion with David that we can’t run from even if we wanted to.
I want this life to count for others.
Dare I say, I’m ready to leave the pew. Send me.