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February 18, 2008

My Place in This World

Churches I grew up in were pretty conservative. I'm not sure that my family would say we were conservative because they are still part of it - more likely, I would be considered the liberal "outcast" in my family. I go to a church that plays the drums and has electric guitar. We are working hard to make sure there is no official lead pastor who is solely responsible for the entire functioning of the church and trying to really live out a "missional" life. Since you probably haven't read a lot of stuff about that word, it just means that our life is a mission field and that our faith is not something we need to separate out for Sunday morning meetings and stuff. It's the idea of breaking down the compartments that we build up and realize that Christians and non-Christians are all on the same journey through life. It is just that we are walking that journey with Jesus and they are not.

Sometimes it really bothers me to hear the thoughts my family has about my church. We are simply trying to do things by studying and steering our ship in what we believe is the healthiest and most Biblically sound direction. This is probably true of Mormons or Buddhists or the people who choose to live in the commune outside Waco, so how is it different? Hence you see my inner struggle. Right now feels like such a dry spiritual time for me. I am studying scripture and spending time with other believers as well as non-believers, I pray regularly and feel like I am encouraged by all the people around me, but I feel alone so much. Louie Giglio spoke in a conference I was at once and said that people have such a hard time believing in God because "this world hurts so much."

That idea resonated with me so much once I'd had time to really think it. I know God is there. I can see the work He is doing in the people around me and through our church here in Laramie. How much harder would it be for me to walk this journey alone? I feel dry...I feel like God is choosing not to answer my prayers right now, but I think that is an incredible thing!!! I can't emphasize that enough. God chooses to answer my prayers in His time and in His way and perhaps I'll never understand it. Right now, I feel like God is really pushing me into a deeper walk with Him, and at the same time I still feel distant. I feel like I've been pursuing Him in different ways in my near past. It is a shift in mindset from seeking after answers in scripture, seeking after blessing in my life and instead saying that I'd like to seek a closer relationship with the person of Jesus. If the blessings come, great! If the answers come, great! If they don't, I pray that I still find that satisfaction in my relationship with Christ. I have to find peace in that. I have to experience that contentment before God is going to move me out of this place.

Emmaus continues to challenge my thinking in so many areas. I can honestly say I've never been a part of any group of people who more earnestly seeks to see Jesus change lives. We are ready and willing to try and do whatever it takes for that to happen. I'd love to see that translate itself into my own life. I sang the hymn my whole life that said, "This world is not my home, I'm just passin' through," and while that may be true - I am ready for the next world where I'll spend an eternity with Jesus, please pray for me that I keep my focus enough on this world that I still make a difference on my way to the next. I don't want to be so busy "doing church" that I stop doing the things Jesus asks me to do.


shellycoulter said...

I'm really tracking with your thoughts here and have had very similar thoughts about my relationship with Christ during this season of life. love you man...and Matt and I are so thankful for you and Sandra. Not only because you're cool and pretty much our family...but because of your faith in Jesus and desire to know him more!