A friend and I are working our way slowly through Francis Chan's Crazy Love: overwhelmed by a relentless God. One of my pastor brothers reccommended it as a life-changer for him several years ago, and I finally bought it.
He was right. I should maybe listen to him more.
When your big brothers both become pastors, it's kind of cool but also more than a little weird, because you have to reconcile the Boy You Knew with the Man of God. Talk about worlds colliding. I guess I have to extend to them the same grace I want extended to me when I ask to be judged not based on who I was in the past, but what I am now and what I will be by His grace in the future.
I say Kristine and I are taking Crazy Love slowly, because we're both busy moms and businesswomen, but also because it's deep. Not deep in that there's big words or hard concepts, it's just that there's so much truth in there, and it's so convicting, that we can hardly get through two of three pages without having so much to talk about that it fills up the time we have for the week. That kind of DEEP.
The kind of book that changes you. The kind of book you maybe kind of privately really wish you hadn't read.
Because it makes you uncomfortable.
It let in a blast of cold air when you were all cozied up on your couch with a book and a mug of tea. It's the phone ringing to say your child needs to come home sick from school, when you had a busy day all planned out. It's the twinge when you pass the Salvation Army bucket and try to remind yourself you already tossed an extra twenty in the plate at the kids' Sunday School Christmas program. Surely that's enough.
It's uncomfortable because it takes a pointy stick and pokes at our zone.
It's all up in your face.
This is my personal space, dude. Back off.
Every once in a while I'll be singing along with the congregation and the words will stick in my throat. Because they're not true. I don't mean them. And I have the audacity to stand before a Holy God and lie through my teeth in clear bright soprano about how much I love Him and what I'm willing to sacrifice for Him.
Yeah... I know I'm not alone. I have a feeling if the church members were only allowed to sing the lines that they really honestly meant, our song services would resemble a karaoke sing-a-long where the words are coming up on the screen just a beat or two behind.
The best thing I can manage in that situation is a quick prayer that God will enable me to "want to want" what He desires in my life.
So Crazy Love has been a great journey for me, and I am getting the feeling that as soon as we finally finish it, I should probably open it back up to page one and start again.
The Bible is that kind of book, too, only we've allowed ourselves to become so familiar and lacksidaisical about it that we've effectively robbed it of power in our everyday lives.
We trot through our morning reading in the time it takes to brew our coffee (1 minute 14 seconds with my Keurig, if I don't have to (sigh--my life is SO ruff) fill the water tank again). Or better yet, we convince ourselves that the artfully designed Bible word art we saw in our newsfeed from someone's Facebook page is "my Scripture verse for the day." Our pretty floral Bible covers with the verse embroidered on the front get unzipped precisely twice a week.
It takes guts to pray that God will shake you up. It takes a little bit of crazy. Good thing my friends will testify that I am well-qualified, eh?
"Then Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!" The LORD opened the young man's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire." II Kings 6:17
Wanna join me in the deep end?
Father of Lights, Piercer of Darkness, I praise You for stirring up things I'd rather not deal with. I lie when I sing "I Surrender All," and You know it. I "want to want" to see what You see, to want what You want. Put that desire in my heart, because it won't exist any other way. I'm terrified and exhilarated all at once, but I want to come see the newborn Christ and "return another way." Thank You for the work You have done and are doing in my life. Perform it until the day of completion. Amen.