Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's all gonna burn...

I had this very gut wrenching moment recently that I have been quietly analyzing and pondering ever since.

I found myself sitting in a Hillsong United conference sitting amidst my husband's "people." It was a bit of a fluke with a backyard bbq drawing that had even placed me in my seat among a large group of "worship people."

Friday night while we were settling into our seats and getting ready for the evening's events, I looked directly across the aisle to the exact same row in the next section over to see the seats filled with people from my old church, people who used to be "my people," people I really now in essence "used to know."

Many of them were people I was very invested in at one point, loved on, prayed for, invested in. And then I was sitting among a new crowd - all lovely people, every one of them, but no one that I really know well (well one girlfriend who I am working on getting to know well) but for the most part these are casual friends/ acquaintances, and of course my hubby. I was there because he was my connection and because God decided I should be through a modern day casting of lots.

Both sides of the aisle were worship people, but across the other way were grown people who used to be "my youth kids." People who long ago etched their names on my hearts. They were the people that made leaving our old church hard. But sadly the response to our departure was everything from sadness to suspicion, to anger and offense. And I never know exactly what any is thinking. And if you know me, you know I spend a lot of time trying to figure that out.

I was in many ways an outsider and an onlooker looking in as the Hillsong music began. And I found myself once again envying those up in front playing their instruments and singing their songs. Not for any of the reasons you might imagine, but because when I see people living in a world where their calling, their talent, their vocation and their God all collide in doing what you were made for, I'm envious and I wonder if they realized how beyond blessed they are, but that's a subject for another blog.

I was overwhelmed as I was hyper-aware of my surroundings and even more the people in them. First this amazing group I was with that I feel no real connection to, and I feel like I am making no contribution toward and then there across the aisle a group of people who I once felt completely connected to, where I felt like what i did and said mattered and made a difference in their lives, but not the reduction to polite interaction and strange "let's catch up sometime" conversations that are never really going to happen. I had to sit down and I put my head in my hands and tried to block it all out.

There alone in an auditorium full of people the words in my head rang out loud and clear. "IT'S ALL GONNA BURN."

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

It's all gonna burn...

That's my biggest fear - that nothing I do, have done or will ever do is going to matter, is going to make a difference.

I know... believe... think... hope that's not true, but at the end of the day... at the end of a lot of days, that's how I feel.

Relationships end, impacts fade, words are forgotten (especially the good and kind ones) and I'm just not sure what I do really matters.

Oddly enough I find a little freedom in that. Because what I realize is, it's just not about me.

I have to love when the opportunity to love is there not for me, not for some payoff, not even for the sake of the person I'm loving, but because of the Lord. The reality is it's all about Jesus - and anything that isn't about Him doesn't matter, and it is going to burn.

Anything that IS about Jesus is His to do with what He will anyway. And whether it succeeds or fails is all going to come down to what He does, and not what I do.

I'm not sloughing off my responsibility to do or to love or to serve - but it has to be about Jesus, and it has to be about His purpose behind it. And I've got to let go of me.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galtians 2:20

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sense of Sadness

It's been around for days now. It's like a backdrop to life when it comes. It doesn't hinder moments of levity and life, a good giggle with a friend, or a smile at something one of my kids says that makes me proud.

Most of the time it's just inside me, heavy, weighting my heart down.

I'm coming to realize it's a part of my spiritual DNA - part of the prophetic/ discerning gift that many don't understand, or even believe exists.

I feel so very aware sometimes of the hurt in the world, inside church and out. I look around and always see the danger signs, the shortcomings, the injustice and hurt that fill the world.

I wish the role of intercessor was as ingrained in me as the awareness of the need, but alas, it is not. I want to do, to fix, to change - it's hard for me to keep silent. And it causes damage.

Sometimes the sadness is clear, and I know exactly what its source is, but more often, like this week, it's just there, in general and I end up making guesses about what it's about. I should never guess because when I do, I almost always make it about me. I feel disqualified, overlooked, I worry about my perceived injustice or rejection.

I spoke with a wise woman yesterday who is extremely discerning. She knows about and believes in all the gifts. The words "prophetic" and "discerning" don't intimidate her or baffle her.

"I've known people with those gifts," she said. "It takes its toll."

She used words like isolating and lonely - and she's right.

My heart grieves for the world around me. The lost, the hurting, the broken. Inside the church and out, they all exist. Often I am very aware that I am one of them.

Following Christ isn't all happiness and strength. On the contrary, suffering and weakness are a very real part of the walk with the Lord. How do I know? Because, His word tells us we are to REJOICE in our sufferings, and it is in our weakness that God's strength is made perfect.

But the sense of sadness never steals the joy - because joy is not emotional, it is deeper and it is abiding. Joy is in the very presence of God.

I am sad today - about a lot of things. But God is good and in Him both my joy and my hope can be found.