Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Have Thine Own Way

This past Sunday I attended the service for the "young adults" at the church I currently attend. I hadn't been in awhile (it never felt like the right place for me), but I got an email saying..."huge announcement this Sunday" so I was curious and decided to see what was going on.

The pastor of young adults began the evening talking about Abraham (one of my favorite stories) how he left a place of comfort to go to a strange land. About how much faith he had to have, how we need to have that same level of trust with God when we feel Him leading us to places we don't understand, places that don't make sense, that aren't comfortable or familiar.

In the past, I have often thought of this story in very physical terms. Because God has created a cross-cultural heart within me, I have never felt destined to live long term in the country of my origin. Despite my sincere love for all peoples of the world, it is still difficult to leave behind that which is familiar and my loved ones, to pursue the call I have felt placed on my life since a young age. And though the vision of what my overseas life will look like has changed, the knowledge that I am not meant to stay in this country has never dimmed. So I have always clung to the story of Abraham as an example of both trust in God, and God's faithfulness to deliver on what He has promised.

Recently, I have been challenged to see this in an entirely different way. In the past year or so, I have been challenged on a very deep and personal level by other believers and by the Holy Spirit himself, about certain ways in which I have framed my thinking, things I have always held to be true, without really seeking out the truth for myself. There is a part of me that loves this process, a part of me that hates it. It always involves a level of exhilaration (the introduction of new ideas and knowledge) and some times of despair (as I experiment rejecting my present worldview and all of the consequences that entails), the adjustment period to a set of different lenses, and yes, finally, blessedly, peace. I'm not saying I always change my mind..I just think that this is part of the process of becoming oneself....and of always seeking to have the mind of Christ in all things.

There are times when things just ring true. As Andrew Peterson says, "a thing resounds when it rings true....ringing all the bells inside of you." I love that line because it paints an accurate picture of how I feel when I experience revelation. And sometimes that revelation is a very difficult thing indeed. It does require changing previous ways of thinking about various aspects of life. And sometimes that feels difficult. It's not familiar. It's not comfortable. I don't always know how to make it work. But do I trust God to take me to these new places? To take me to patterns of thought that will lead to new systems of behavior and obedience in my life?

When I say, "Have Thine Own Way, Lord" I am inviting God to come and shape my life as He sees fit. To change me from the inside out. To take me to dangerous and unfamiliar ways of seeing this world through His eyes.

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