Sunday, August 11, 2013

Things I came away with from New Mexico . . .

I did a lot of thinking during the 60-90 seconds the hummingbird sat on my finger at Philmont in July.

I've done a lot of thinking afterwards about all that I thought about.

First . . .

I am not the center of the universe.   The world does not revolve around me.  My many attempts to make the world where it does revolve around me have failed miserably over the years.

What I was humbled by most in this was coming to understand the level of arrogance that people have who live like they are the center of the world.   I know this, in part, from a lot of first hand experience being the one who was acting arrogant.   My family and friends can all remember those days.  In the past 9-10 years, I have moved away from living like that a majority of the time.

At least I hope I have.

Second . . .

I believe that God is FOR everyone.   The more I read, re-read and re-read John 3:16, the more I understand that God is FOR everyone . . . something that doesn't often get shared enough.

Actually, I think some people have never heard this in their entire lives.  God is FOR them.

Part of this is related to my first point.  When I have lived life fully focused on believing that the world revolved around me . . . it seems I was always trying to point out similarities and differences . . . to my advantage and to other people's detriment.  And . . . I figured I did so because I felt like I was always having to prove myself.   I think people who believe that the world revolves around them do spend a lot of time in their lives trying to prove themselves, that they are worthy of love, to other people and to God.

I believe that God loves all of us . . . desires a relationship with all of us . . . and will meet all of us within the dirtiest contexts of the real lives we live through Jesus Christ.

Third . . .

The opposite of living like the world revolves around you is choosing to live everyday with a servant-spirit.   Having a servant-spirit is the "180" of living life like you have to have everything going your way.

This 3rd point is the one I have spent the most time thinking about.  One goal I set in going to Philmont was to "clarify" if what I am doing now in ministry "matched" what I felt I was called to do back when I was in my teens, when I first felt a call to ministry in my heart.

What I have been able to clarify, is that my calling was "to serve others."  It seems I am happiest, content, and feel closest to God when I am serving others . . . as a pastor, as a counselor, as a singer and musician, serving as a community chaplain, or calling bingo.  As a servant, I personally enjoy ministry on the "the fringe."  I don't have to be the front person.  I enjoy working in gray areas of ministry . . . with the people who live in the gray areas.   My personal and spiritual strengths are very suited for this type of service.

More to come . . .

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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