Monday, May 2, 2011

A Ram on Mount Moriah

My experience last summer as Barney Coordinator can be largely described by Thursday's devotional paragraph:

When a leader moves through the stages of 'this is tough' to 'this is exceedingly difficult' to 'this is impossible,' the leader is sensing the commitment that Christ expects. Christ demands everything. He also supplies more than everything. The leader who maintains absolute resolve to commit to Christ's call mystically find profound renewal. The one who absolutely commits surprisingly finds in each moment a lifestyle of eternal rest. Labor in vain creates more labor in vain. This vicious, exhausting cycle of vanity results in either self-destruction, demoralization, and/or self discovery in the light of Christ's presence and call.

I spent much of last summer feeling that progression from tough --> exceedingly difficult --> impossible, for a whole of different and interrelated reasons. And in that process, I learned in a big way that Christ demands everything. I also learned that I'm not always up for giving him all that he demands. I often find myself feeling like it's just "too much" to give. But the anguish of those stages is also incredibly hopeless unless it's couched by the realization that he also supplies more than everything. This, too, was part of my summer experience, though I couldn't fully see it until I had a few months' hindsight. The image I got as I read Thursday's devotional was of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. Yahweh catches Abraham (and us) right on the brink of "It's too much, Lord... I can't... but okay, I will..." and provides in that instance all he (we) need and more: a ram to sacrifice on the altar, genuine love for a difficult camper, strength to drive in one more stake, patience with a teammate, grace towards ourselves...

So if/when you find yourself at that familiar brink, I challenge you to hold fast (in strength and firmness... more on that in a couple weeks...) to what you know is true: Christ does demand everything, but not without first supplying all we need, and more!

Praying for us all as a team for self-discovery in the light of Christ's presence and call as we individually commit to giving Jesus all that he demands - "my soul, my life, my all"

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