A Deeper Awareness of the Larger Story
God is stirring in me a deeper awareness of the Larger story in which I live. Here is an excerpt from my journal entry a couple of Sundays ago:
It started in the shower this morning. I enjoy long, hot showers. They wake me up everymorning (the reason I don't need coffee before lunch) and sooth my aching joints and sore muscles after athletic events. For me hot showers are among life's little pleasures. I expressed to God my gratitude for hot running water.
Then I thought of the family I spent a night with in Honduras during a mission trip. Their shower was a hose from an external faucet stuck through a hole in the bathroom wall. Those people don't have hot running water. They have never experienced the bliss of a hot shower. I was struck by the realization that I have come to consider hot showers a basic necessity of life. They are not.
On my way to church I noticed that my car is only a few miles away from 100k. I reflected on how far I travel in a year's time and wondered what it would be like not to have a car. Many people in ATL don't have their own vehicles. Many cultures today still exist with few or no vehicles. People have lived throughout the ages without such modes of transportation just as they have survived without running water—much less hot showers.
At church we saw a presentation on Redeemer, Trinity's (my church’s) daughter church in Vine City, which is one of the five most dangerous zip codes in the US. A number of Trinity members moved there to become part of that neighborhood and show them that they are not simply a project to Trinity. They live among them and can now say, "Your dangerous schools and parks are our dangerous schools and parks. We are committed to you and invested in sharing the love of Christ with you." The story of Redeemer gripped my heart.
They have a monthly worship service in the neighborhood and plan to launch Redeemer with weekly services this spring. I am single with no kids and few responsibilities. It occurred to me that I could feasibly move there to become part of that mission. For me it would be a relatively small sacrifice, and I would take great joy in bringing the message of hope in Christ and a Larger Story in which to live to a group of people who desperately need more than this world to live for. And I now have more income that could be used for Kingdom purposes than I have had in the last five years. Who knows what God might do.
Before the speaker spoke a word of the sermon on resurrection, God was already deepening my conviction and awareness that my life is about much more than me. It is about much more than building a successful career doing what I love, preparing financially for retirement, finding a wife (for my own happiness) with whom I could start a family and raise children. My life is ultimately about the eternal ripples that result from the splash of my presence in this world. It is about Jesus revealing His heart through me, offering life and hope to a world that is dead and hopeless without Him.
The speaker challenged us at the end of his sermon to live in such a way that our transition into eternity is seamless because we have already been living in it. May my attachments to the things of this world grow dim and the light of Christ shine eternity into my heart with increasing brightness and brilliance. May it spill over into others in my life in a way that transforms them as well.