I’m weary of my good intentions. I’m tired of wondering “What if I took this stuff seriously?” I’m thinking that almost 50 years of life, 36 of them as a person oriented towards the claims of Jesus Christ, is time enough to get myself organized, eat some Biblical baby food, and prepare to grow up. It’s time for launching from the nest.
Raised in a privileged family, with luxury trips and occasional brushes with royalty, I thought the world as I knew it was the whole world. Tim Keller, in a sermon that I’ll have to dig up, talked about his shock when an African-American friend told him that white people don’t think that they have a culture. Instead, this person said to Keller (and I am paraphrasing until I find the sermon), white people simply think that their world is just the way things are. Guilty!; that’s me.
More travel (to less privileged parts of the world), a deeper engagement with Scripture, the chance to worship and converse with other people oriented towards asking God what He really wants us to do about His teachings, reading more widely, observing the major city I live in… these have been gifts that have opened my eyes to the fact that there is more out there than what I know as well as a call to live into the faith I talk about and listen to the God I relate to.
How obvious. Yet I may not be entirely atypical in my cluelessness and in getting to age 50 (in August, 2010) without much more knowledge than of pop culture or more experience than ethnocentric Americanism affords. People skewered country singer Alan Jackson when he admitted in a song that he didn’t know the difference in Iraq and Iran. He merely said what many of us won’t admit.
I’m a wife and mother. I’m a Christian. I serve in my church and occasionally serve my neighbors (but honestly, not very often). I have enough trouble serving those in my house. I try to give money to causes that need it. I sometimes give money to people that need it. But I’m much quicker to give money than myself, to talk a good game but eschew sacrifice.
I went to a good college, I got a Masters degree as an adult, I’ve worked in several different realms, but always with a theme of looking for the nugget of gold in a pile of crap and working to clean it off, make something of it, and show it off. I like it most when I can talk with others to explore how we experience God (differently or similarly), and I love imagining that I can occasionally help others see more of Him in a way that is attractive and surprising.
Details of my writing and career paths are available to anyone who can google. Yet the details never matter as much as the heart issues. Let’s stop asking people “What do you do?” and ask them “What excites you?” or “What are you learning?” or “How will you respond to what you already know?”
Those are the real questions, aren’t they?