Saturday, May 7, 2011
I NEED, I NEED, I NEED = I WANT, I WANT, I WANT.
Last year, I went around campus asking people if they would be interested in joining me downtown next year (currently this year) to serve the homeless there. I remember one of the responses in particular. After I had explained why I felt we should serve these people, this person told me that serving the homeless was "Just not one of my passions." Well, I think it's time we start making God's passions our passions. We sing "Break my heart for what breaks yours," but do we really live that out? In order for us to serve effectively, doesn't God's passions have to align with our passions? If we only take one of God's passions and decide to be passionate about that one and not the other, then we are simply picking and choosing, telling God we know what's best and we know what we ought to be passionate about. This whole picking and choosing idea came up, but in a completely different way, on Thursday in my Intellectual History course. This writer, Sam Harris, apart of a group known as 'The New Atheist Movement,' wrote an entire book called "The End of Faith." So far I've only read a chapter from his book, but it got me fired up. Not because I completely disagreed with him, but because there is obviously a problem with the way we, as God's people, are acting in this world that give people this idea that our God is not real and His people do not act in accordance with His will. In his essay, he clumps all religious people into two groups, which I don't think is at all valid but it's what he does anyway. He says you are either a religious moderate or a religious extremist. Moderates live peacefully and they allow others to have their own religion. They are generally passive and tolerant. Extremists are those that are supposedly adhering to the will of God because in the Qur'an and the O.T. God calls His people to kill others. However, if you are an extremist you are killing people, and because God states in the 10 commandments that one should not kill, you are disobeying His commandments and are thus going to hell. He says the same thing about moderates - we are disobeying the will of our Contradictory God. Undoubtedly, I fired back in class and stated all the reasons why this was not the case, but it still left me with the problem of why we as Christians have such difficulty following His heart. Our passion ought to be TO LOVE. We are called to love. The two greatest commandments, LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS. Everything else flows from that. When are passionate about loving God and loving others, then we would never want to kill, hate, worship other Gods, or disobey His commands in any form. And, I don't want to be clumped into a group where I am either a moderate or an extremist, I want to be a Lover. Not a lover of Religion, but a Lover of Jesus! It's not about me. I was talking to my friend the other day and he was deciding what he should do for the summer. Go home and lifeguard near home or work at Mt. Hermon. He was leaning toward wanting to work at home. I said, don't use the word 'want.' What do you NEED to do? And not NEED in the sense of NEED because I NEED money to pay for school or to buy that whatchamacallit. But, NEED in the eyes of Christ. What do you NEED to do to serve Christ? What is Christ calling you to do? We spend nine months of the year, most of us, studying and going to class and attending lectures and interning, and although we say we are doing this because this is what we feel called to do. We are not at that point of SERVICE yet. We are still serving ourselves in a way. We are studying so we can get good grades and feel good about the good grades we got. We stress when we have a lot to do. We worry that we won't get the grades we 'need.' But, isn't God going to work through us anyway? Can't we serve Him while going to school anyway? If we're spending the majority of our time throughout the year serving ourselves, the least we could do is start by giving our summers' to God. Start there, then learn to serve Him while going to school. One more thing about this 'NEED' idea. People will often tell me that they NEED to do something. What do you really NEED, but the Lord? Of course you need water and food every once in awhile, but Christ shows us that for 40 days and 40 nights, all he needed was God. When we think about the things we need, we realize we don't need much. We need God and we need to love and be loved. That's about it. When we put things into perspective that way, we realize that we have a lot more time to spend time with and serve our Dad. We get to be passionate about what He is passionate about, not what we're passionate about.