Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's NOT About Me

In the middle of everything else going on right now, I'm stealing sweet minutes to read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Some folks have warned me that this book will challenge me, and I'm excited to see what the Lord would like me to see through this book.

Last night I completed Chapter 2 of Crazy Love, which is called "You Might Not Finish This Chapter". I underlined my share of quotes and want to share a couple with you. The focus of this chapter is simple yet profound - IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!

I hope to meditate on some of these thoughts/ideas and better grasp the truths within them and how I might apply them TODAY. Hope you can do the same by the little morsel I share with you.

On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don't consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that life truly is a vapor.
I was convicted quickly of this one - so true. I sadly fall into this category at times. I say that I love the Lord and desire to live for Him - but how much of my average day consists of Him?!
Frederick Buechner writes, "Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever."
Love this - I read it and said AMEN out loud last night. I don't want to be this way. I want to work to live a life that is focused on NOW and focused on the eternal. Nothing else matters, why do we waste our time on it?!
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4). You'll notice that it doesn't end with "...unless you're doing something extremely important." No, it's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, "Do not be anxious about anything" (v. 6).

That came as a pretty staggering realization. But what I realized next was even more staggering.

When I am consumed by my problems-stressed out about my life, my family, and my job- I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.

Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is be enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.

Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control.

Basically these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is some how exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.
Yeah! So for a "pack too much into your life" kind of person like me, and a "to do list" person at that - this slapped me in the face. Literally. I need to hear the bluntness of Chan's wording. What stress and worry REALLY ARE! I pray that I can stay cognizant of this so that when worry and/or stress sneak in, I can proclaim my faith in God and His control, not my own. This one will take constant practice!
Friends, we need to stop living selfish lives, forgetful of God. Our lives here are short, often unexpectedly so, and we can all stand to be reminded of it from time to time. ... nothing matters except our King and God.

Don't let yourself forget. Soak it in and keep remembering that it is true. He is everything.

My friends were right - - - I'm going to be challenged by some of the things in this book. I pray that I am open to what I need to hear. Today I'm reminded - IT IS NOT ABOUT ME! And thank goodness for that, really, if it was about me, we'd be in trouble.

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