Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Time Has Come....Go!

I grew up watching old reruns of "I Love Lucy" on Nick at Nite. One of my favorite episodes was the one where Lucy is due to give birth to Little Ricky and while she resting in her room not yet ready to go to the hospital, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel are in the living room practicing what they will each do when she announces that she is ready to leave. Ricky starts every practice sequence with, "The time has come...go!" and then each of them calmly proceeds with their part of seeing her off to the hospital. Of course, when Lucy waddles into the room and says "This is it!", everything turns into chaos and they all rush out of the apartment without Lucy. It's a great scene.

I kind of feel like my life is like that scene right now. Kind of like all of my years have been building up to this moment, and God is saying "This is it!" and I am sort of freaking out.

These past few months, God has been revealing so much to me about what is really important, showing me changes I need to make in my life, and replacing my version of what a godly woman looks like with his much more beautiful and complex picture.

Yet I feel chaotic inside. Scattered. My mind is running non-stop with so many thoughts, ideas, prayers, and convictions. I am so excited and hungry for change, but sometimes I want to just lay on the couch and hide under an old quilt. You see, He is asking me to step out of my comfort zone in pretty much every area of my life, and sometimes it feels overwhelming.

But He is saying, "The time has come...go!"

I feel such an urgency. I don't know what it is, but I feel like I have just been told that I only have 3 years to live and I have to make every second count and completely surrender every area of my life to His Kingdom.

No more of this sitting around and talking about all of the problems....with the world....with the church...with our culture.... etc, etc, etc.

Or as Dave Matthews says..."making plans to change the world, while the world is changing us..."

I feel like that's where I have been for a long time. I've been joining my generation in endless discussions of what is wrong with everything, not realizing the whole time, that I am just as much the problem as the answer.

Because the world is made of people. The church is made up of people. Our culture is made up of people. And I am one of those people. And so are you. And every time I act like my voice and my choices are too small and too insignificant to make a difference, I am part of the problem.

And that is what God has been revealing to me since the beginning of Lent. That my life matters. My decisions matter. My stewardship matters. My attitude matters. Every small, seemingly insignificant choice I make matters to Him.

And no, this change I am seeking is not about me doing great, big things for God that will bring me earthly glory and recognition. I think I am finally over my own Evangelical Hero Complex.

The only thing this is about for me right now is that moment when I stand before God in heaven, and give an account for my life and the way I chose to live it. I have to once again quote Jen Hatmaker, where she wrote...
"Stewardship is like that. I won't answer for the way another Christian mismanaged money. I won't be charged with another person's irresponsible consumption. Nor will I get credit for how another faith community shared or sacrificed luxuries for the marginalized. I'll answer for my choices. It won't work to say, 'But the church...' or 'But they...' or 'What about them...' for how we managed our money, our share of the earth. The 'my vote doesn't really count so why bother?' attitude our generation loves won't fly when it's all said and done."
I will answer for myself, and only myself. And I don't know how much longer I have because the Bible says...
"No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows."        Matthew 24:36
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this city or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."         James 4:13-14

So that is the reason for the urgency I feel. I have one life to live and already 31 years have passed. I don't know how much longer I have and I want to make every moment count for His Kingdom.

There are changes on the immediate horizon. Some big and some small. All important. Some I can and will share here on the blog, some that must wait to be shared at some point in the future. Some that are completely up to me and my will and personal discipline, and some that I must wait for God to move as I await with much faith.

As the dust from this chaos in my mind settles, I will be sharing more with you on some of the areas of my life that God is asking me to bring into complete submission and surrender, as well as the new vision He is shaping within me.

I know that I will need to take it one step at a time. Change doesn't always happen in an instant. Many times it is us moving forward in discipline and faith, and God meets us on our journey to carry us forward. But taking the first steps are up to us.

Over the next weeks and months, I will be sharing many of the steps I will be taking as well as the reasons and convictions behind them. If God has been speaking to you in a similar way, I would like to ask you to join me in this journey. I am thinking of creating a weekly linkup where we could all share small changes that we are making as we strive to live in such a way that our entire lives glorify God and His Kingdom, no matter how counter-cultural or even counter-Christian-cultural those changes may be. Because when you are getting ready to do a few things that will raise a lot of eyebrows, it is encouraging to have a community of like-minded people.

I'd like to leave you with this very challenging question by Mary Oliver, beautifully illustrated by Katie Daisy...