Sunday, July 12, 2009
White Picket Fences...
Hewwo! :) I'm back! The past few weeks have been slightly crazy, but definitely awesome! 10 days ago I left for the gorgeousness of Southern Cal. It was great to see my brother and spend time with the rest of my fam. We made some great memories and had some awesome conversations... but enough with the small details already!
Every year, since I was little, my family has vacationed at a place called Hume Lake. Hume is my happy place. It is most definitely my favorite spot in the whole wide world (I'm not even kidding!). For the past 4 years, I've had the privilege of attending a leadership camp at the top of Hume called Wildwood. Year after year, Wildwood has acted as a catalyst in my relationship with Jesus. This year has been no exception! A few weeks before Wildwood, I felt the spirit of God impress on my heart that I am called to so much more. For the past few weeks, I kept asking the question "God what do you mean?" I'm called to so much more than what? This week, He answered me! I'm still not exactly sure what he has called me to, but I know what he hasn't called me to... Let me explain :)
During my time at Wildwood, I met a guy by the name of Gerhard. Gerhard is from South Africa, and loves Jesus. He is a man that has devoted His entire life to Jesus, and his life depicts servant leadership. Gerhard started an organization called Jabulani Africa Ministries (also known as JAM), a ministry that is devoted to sharing the love of Jesus with those who don't yet know Him. It is a ministry that strives to see the African Nation rise up and worship our Savior and Redeemer. This ministry goes out into local villages and shows compassion and generosity to less fortunate people. Gerhard and his team tenderly care for the broken and hurting people of his nation. After hearing Gerhard talk with such passion about what God is doing through him in Africa, and after having the opportunity to talk and pray with Gerhard, I realized that I am called to so much more than this. I am called to so much more than the "American Dream".
As a follower of Jesus, I believe that I am called to more than financial security, and my dream house -- white picket fence included. I believe that I am called to more than my dream job, with my dream salary -- called to more than a luxurious life filled with frivolous things. I don't wish to live life for myself. Sure, God isn't calling everyone to go to a different continent and do His work there, but as Americans, I really believe that we are so caught up in our own personal comfort that we overlook the needs of our brother and sisters in different countries.
In Matthew 22, A lawyer and Pharisee asks Jesus "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Speaking from my own life, I live in abundance, and in doing so, I'm not really a living testimony of loving my less-fortunate neighbor as myself. So, I'm not exactly sure what God is calling me to do, but I truly feel like he's calling me to more than a white picket fence existence. I so desire to give up my own complacency and to truly pick up my cross and follow Jesus -- to sacrifice my physical body, my socioeconomic status, my comfort and security to see the love of Jesus spread to those who have yet to be effected by it. My challenge to you would be this: Are you confusing the "American Dream" with God's best for your life?
I adore you. I offer you my life. Here am I, Lord send me! Would I not be content with living for myself, may you stretch me and use me to bring you glory. Father, may I do hard things for you, and may I love others as much as I love myself. May I be generous with what I have, and even more generous with the joy and compassion you have placed in me. May I be wholly surrendered to You, and may you use me in powerful ways. May I be a mighty woman full of You, defined by You, and dependant on You.
I adore You.