Monday, April 28, 2008

Pulled Muscles

My doctrinal muscles have been experiencing a lot of stretching lately, and frankly, I'm rather sore, discouraged with my progress, and ready to quit working out.

Our church is currently redefining our mission as a body and as individual believers, focusing on the redemptive work of God through Jesus and His assignment to His followers to carry on that work until He returns. The whole idea of living a life glorifying to God and going and making disciples is nothing new to me: I grew up in the church. But I've gotten really comfortable in my definition of what these things entail and am starting to wonder if they really revolve around making myself comfortable rather than pleasing the Lord.

I am very comfortable being a homemaker and only setting foot off my property twice a week for Sunday morning worship and a very busy errand day. I've been patting myself on the back for fulfilling God's call to be "busy at home" and "looking to the ways of my household." But what I'm starting to see is that this, in part, is an excuse to avoid part of my calling as a believer. While it appears godly on the outside, truthfully I'd rather not be bothered with my neighbors, or the check-out girl, or the library volunteer. I don't see them as people in need of kindness and grace, let alone the gospel. Instead of seeing myself as a minister of God's good news to a dying world, I've sought to run from its sinfulness, hiding within the walls of my self-sustaining Christian culture with its own music, kids' clubs, exercise groups, and coffee houses. I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong with this picture. And that is very uncomfortable.

4 comments:

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

Wonderful post. Very thought provoking. I know many have walked this path before you. I'm praying.

Monica said...

I've thought much the same- if I am a follower of Christ then I should be living my life in front of and in the midst of those who have no hope (yet). That's where our Lord lived His life.

eureka said...

Amen!

In our city, it's easy to feel uncomfortable because we are going to church with such a radical cross-section of society. We are clearly among the most-laundered and regularly-employed parishoners. God must be preparing us for a very diverse heaven. It's humbling to be reminded each week that we too are included in this hodge-podge of humanity, we are all equal, and we all will stand before God without the comfort or protection of our earthly accomplishments or possessions or healthy bodies... those things will vanish and not matter anymore, leaving only the soul.

Our church is currently wrestling with finding the appropriate Christian response about the NYC homeless who sleep in the pews, especially because they are sleeping through services and taking up multiple seats (laying down, bringing their stuff). Maybe it's the only place they feel safe enough to fall asleep. How to provide real help and serve their immediate and long-term needs?

So maybe there's no comfort whether we are inside or outside our comfort zone? There's always more that needs to be done. Maybe it's about finding peace that we are doing the part we are called to do?

anika said...

I love knowing all the cashiers, the deli guys, the optical gals at my local Costco. I enjoy knowing the jaintors and talking with the maids at hotels we stay at. I find being a homemaker a great opportunity to meet so many people in my community. Like having the optical manager over for lunch, and praying for her too. It is important to me, to always, when possible, to look at the name tags, and call them by name. From the bus boys, to the waitress, to the Librarian, or the nurse at the doctors office, or the postal worker looking so done in. They all have names, I think your are right though, it is easy to get trapped inside of me.
great post!
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