We like to be needed. Some of us need to be needed. Many of us believe that God needs us.
I like to be productive. I come by it naturally. Yet in this first month of 2008 I have found my productivity to be driven by guilt. Most of you are familiar with this low grade guilt when you haven't done enough, said enough, produced enough, learned enough. I understand that we were created to do work, serve and learn and that these are good things in balance, yet we were also created to eat, to sleep, to have fun and have reltionships. These are all wonderful yet I have a bent to go to the extreme with all of them. Some is not enough until I find I am swinging way to the left or right on any one of these good things. Extremes come naturally to all of us in our quest to fill ourselves up with anything other than the Lord.
God came to me in the attic of an old rental house in Decatur Georga. It was there that I was saved. I went to the nearest church and told the pastor and for the next few years attended that little church. And though there were wonderful things about it I still struggle with the echos of the "main theme" of that denomination: getting busy for God. I moved on to another denomination whose main them is having God all figured out. Both of these themes are like a feast to the my flesh and they all serve to distract me from our relationship with Jesus on subtle ways. Notice how much more spiritual we think people are who do a lot for God and know a lot about God. It is an illusion. In our over extended, over informed western church our relationships with God are quite shallow. I am not saying that service and theology are not important, yet I should ask myself if these are quietly replacing intimacy with God.
I have been praying about what God wants me to do in 2008. Agonizing over it, really. I realized I have been responding to the two messages planted in me by well meaning organizations, even traditions of man. How much is enough? How much prayer and bible study is enough? How many good works are enough? How much service is enough? How much theology is enough?When am I so bloated from the information and activities that I have gained and checked off that I have forgotten what it means to love God. To love others. I heard someone say that looking like the world used to be about drinking, dancing and swearing. These days the way the church looks like the world is by being busy. I absolutely agree.
I am once again looking very closely at 1 corinthinans 13, as it God brings it to my attention repeatedly. Once again looking at the greatest commandment and seeing again my lack of love for God and for others. Back to the beginning I return to start over. And the words of Rich Mullins speak so clearly to me: "Be God's."