Sunday, February 3, 2008

Where is your boat?

As I said a few weeks ago, I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be in the world and not of it. It seems that many other people are on the same wavelength.

Via a link from Justin Taylor's blog Between two Worlds, I found a thoughtful and gracious perspective given by Tullian Tchividjian as he expounded here and here on D.L. Moody's exceptional response when questioned on the subject:

“The place for the ship is in the sea; but God help the ship if the sea gets into it.”

I love life on board the ship, but I like the ship safely upon the shore, far above the tide line. There is no chance of drowning or the need to bail because there is no water. I've found the peaceful sail in dry-dock delightful but this tranquility has somehow transformed the drowning world's cry for redemption into an obnoxious din to be shut out instead of answered. I am that person who's been too occupied with church busyness to "go into all the world and make disciples".

In my attempt to push the boat toward the shore I'm looking for some thoughtful lady-bloggers who take the great commission seriously. I believe God has given me my family and home as my primary occupation, but it can't end there. So how do we who spend most of our time making lunches and doing laundry preach the gospel as we go along the way? I need some help here.

Two theologically minded women I've recently discovered are Lydia Brownback at The Purple Cellar and Carolyn McCulley at Radical Womanhood. They both offer thoughtful insights into living before the face of God and a critically observant godless society. I believe that these two ladies are not yet employed in the business of housewifery and childrearing, and I'd be interested to hear some more salty tales of homes despots who are hearkening to the call of the sea. Any leads?


Rebecca said...

You have such a gift for writing! I loved when you wrote: I'd be interested to hear some more salty tales of homes despots who are hearkening to the call of the sea. My tales probably aren't very salty, but I just try and look for opportunities wherever I can. My unsaved neighbors. My lost family members. The other moms at my daughter's dance class. Bloggers who stumble across my blog. There are more opportunities for us home despots than you might think. I really, really enjoyed the quote you referenced, that "The place for the ship is in the sea; but God help the ship if the sea gets into it." I think if you pray for Him to "increase your borders", He will give the chance to save those that are drowning.

Monica said...

This is a discussion I'd love to enter into. In my early 20s I heard God's call to full time missions. I went to nursing, did a 3 month internship in South America and had all intentions of being a single missionary delivering babies and leading Bible studies.

While in serving in Mexico I got to know Sean. We were married 11 months later. Now we have been married nearly 13 years and have seven children. Not exactly what I had in mind.

There are times when I ask myself, "Lord, is this it?" Did I do the right thing?

I had to come to the realization that faith/faithfulness is like you said, "Being in the world and not of it."

God calls us to "take dominion" over the earth- that is, be the best at what we do, claim it for Christ. I believe that is being salt. This will bring me into relationships that God desires to use. And these relationships will likely fall to be primarily with nonbelievers.

For Sean this means being the best:husband, dad, church member, coworker, , Christian teacher, physicist, mathematician, lecturer, NASA student sponsor, Texas Instruments instructor he can be...

For me? Being the best wife, mom, church member, mentor, homeschooler, RN, coworker, lactation consultant, teacher, friend, neighbor....

Of course there is no way to separate all of these relationships. As Christians our lives are very complex and require integrity beyond reproach. But in God's strength we are able.

There's a lot more I could say, but I"ll stop there (this is getting long). But this is what I've been thinking about at this point.

I'm learning that God's work for me is not in some particular destination, but rather in the journey. This is where He is able to teach and use me.

As my sister says, "Life happens in the daily." In the same way I know that the gospel goes forth in the daily. May He alone be glorified.

Monica said...

I thought I'd say more(can you believe it?).

Being intentional is hard and there are only so many things a busy mom can do and not be ignoring her family for ministry's sake.

There is an older woman in my life who is constantly reaching out. She inspires me. Here are some examples:

She has a monthly lunch at her home for the neighborhood ladies and always shares her testimony or what she is learning from the Bible. She hires a sitter for the kids upstairs. It is a relaxed atmosphere and which sometimes opens deeper discussions.

Her and her husband constantly invite people to go out as couples and invite them to church as the relationship grows.

They head up a yearly neighborhood party and always greet new neighbors.

They host a Good News club for the kids in their neighborhood each month.

Everyone knows they are Christians. They are the first ones called when someone is in crisis or sick. I'd say 10% of these people are believers. But they have seen several hearts softened and others come to faith through years of this kind of ministry.

I'm not where she is, but I want to be.

For now, I'm meeting bi-weekly with a young lady who is in nursing school. She is a Christian and her parents recently moved. We are reading through a book together and my role for her is accountability and prayer.

anika said...

In this season of life, just being salty is more than enough for me. Does that sound ridiculous? Apparently, God does not think it is my job to find ways or places to "go out" to. He is taking care of that. I just need to be salty. Some days that is a struggle.
God has me in many places, none of my own choosing. Right now I am sick in a hotel hundreds of miles from my comfort zone. And in the midst of being here, in my attempt to just be salty, and give my kids a sea salt scrub, somehow, God is using us. I know it. I believe it. I got to even see it today, when the staff at the hotel, sent up breakfast to my room, because they found out I was ill. I did not order room service, I did not pay for the breakfast. But it came, my children pushing the cart, eyes gleeming with joy! They came bearing the french toast and belgium waffles, fresh pineapple and strawberries. They came with OJ in a pitcher and coffee with fancy creamer. They came with all the delights the Kitchen staff could think of. WHY would the staff be so gracious, so thoughtful?
Maybe our saltyness is rubbing off on them.
Maybe me just being simple little ol' me, trying to love the Lord, with ALL, and love my neighbor is something God wants to use here or there, or where ever He wants to put me.
I see this as a season. I don't know always whom I might touch. I trust that God is doing the touching, and that I am merely an instrument in the hands of my Redeemer.
Could you pass the salt?
you are loved!