Sojourner (Un)selfish

Bear with me as I indulge in a Big Bang Theory analogy. It’s not long, I promise.

In this story (life) we are more like Leonard than Sheldon. Everything Leonard does contributes to Sheldon’s joke. It’s not about Leonard. No one wants it to be about Leonard. Sheldon is funnier, so he gets the grand punch line and credit for the joke.

I try and take credit for the exceptional things the Lord does in my life. He gives me strength, and fills my life with blessings. In return, I pat myself on the back and start to think the Christian life is not so challenging after all. To put it simply: I am foolish. Nobody wants this to be about me. That would be one miserable, twisted story!

Praise Him; it is not about me! None of this is thanks to me. Were I to start believing it is so and act accordingly, God would no doubt remove His hand from under me. I would free-fall into despair.

Ever since I rededicated myself to Christ (February 23, 2010,) my life has been characterized by searching. I have looked and sought the ministry God would have me sink my hands into. For so long, everyone around me seemed fine and taken care of: not in need of help (keep in mind, I live among the wealthiest 2% of people in the world!) I felt unnecessary without work to do, listless. As I transitioned out of childhood and into the company of people who did not have such privilege, I felt my life begin to fall into place.

I am finding my place in the company of the marginalized. Children with dyslexia and ADHD and bad behavior need a servant of God to come alongside them and teach them about responsibility and walking with Jesus Christ. Their parents often need a friend. People who are barely making it financially (if your children go to a private school and/or you have never been on food stamps, do not even consider putting yourself in this category) need friends who have access to a network of human resources. I had the access, now I have the friends with tangible needs. Every relationship is a work in progress. Generally I am in the background working, thankful to be among diverse people. (By diverse I mean to hit all the bases: fiscally, ethnically, geographically, religiously, and generationally.)

It is not our fault that people are poor, but it is our responsibility to do something about it. ~Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel

Now that I have been here, on the front line of the battle for souls in America, I am appreciative, at peace, and tired. This journey on earth is a long, hard one. I say that like I am old. I am young (in age and in Christ), but I have gotten a glimpse into the Christian life as a mission, and it has given me a deep perspective. I cannot say that my response to this perspective has been righteous or mature (“I’m just going to stop right here and do my own thing, OK, God? This is too much for me.” “No, Lydia, follow me.” Something along those lines.) but I am learning.

There are multitudes of needy souls here (as everywhere.) The work is plentiful; the fields are white (ready) for harvest.

It is not at all perfect and joyful working with poor, Bible-illiterate people. Unrestrained bad attitudes and grudges are rampant. Sexual preoccupations are entertained and discussed, making it difficult to keep my own mind and body pure. Finances are tight because I am constantly driving across town (Don’t get me wrong, I love knowing both sides of my city, there is just that whole gasoline nonsense to be dealt with.) Children distract me during church. I don’t get a moment to sing or lift my hands or listen to the voice of the local body, or look up verses in my Bible.

This is service and love: sacrifice.

Missing out on all those things is fine because–guess what–it’s not about me! This is a story about a great God who is filling up Eternity with souls. My ministry is not only how I obey God’s commandments, it is how I declare that there is a divine purpose. I work hard for others to no personal gain because there is a greater cause. Doing ministry is how I make my unsteady faith known. The best part is that He does not ask me to overcome these struggles by my own strength. God invites me to rely on Him totally (how radical!) He lets me know that I am not in this alone. He is my Comforter, King, Savior, Buddy, and Accomplice in this transcendent scheme of love. It is His show, His stage, and I am delighted to play my part (trips on stairs, poorly recited lines, smudged makeup, and all!)

Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If the yoke you are carrying is heavy, then it is not His yoke you are carrying, but the yoke of someone else. ~Jen Hatmaker

It’s not about me=friendship with people who have nothing to offer you.
It’s not about me=long-term evangelism.
It’s not about me=working for literacy.
It’s not about me=recycling.
It’s not about me=donating to end poverty.
It’s not about me=spending more of your excess resources on others than you spend on yourself.
It’s not about me=donate your time to someone who needs a friend.
It’s not about me=participating in activities you do not necessarily enjoy in an attempt to bless other people.

It’s not about me is a concept that everyone would be better for putting into practice. Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, Consumerist, Catholic; the earth will become a more friendly place if we live for something–or someone–greater than ourselves. There is no formula for living this way, just a profound God who calls you to sojourn with Him. Enjoy today, soak in the beauty of today, but question yourself; hurt is brought about by what we don’t do as much as by what we do. Riddled with doubts, let us press on towards something higher and brighter than ourselves.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. ~Colossians 1:9-10

Father be with:

Rickaundia
Ricky Lewis
Malik
Aaliyah
DeeDee
Kiyah

…all of these kids whose lives You have given me a brief window into. Allow me to give them just a taste, just a hint, just a nudge towards You. Please, God, use me that they may know and worship the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.

I do not know where I am headed
I do not know what countries I will live in
I do not know what languages I will learn to speak
I do not know exactly how much I will be called to give up (Luke 12:15)
I do know that He desires all of me.

It is a joy and privilege to give Him my everything.

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. ~Luke 14:33

Slowly, shakily, I follow You.

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3 thoughts on “Sojourner (Un)selfish

  1. Nice blog,….I see that you are really desperately looking for Him.I do not know if my dropping by your site, is accidental or intentional . But I’ll find it out somehow, later on. Now, I don’t know if you are that interested in knowing the truth, or if you are really a child of God .
    You may wonder who I am? My answer is , I’m just a guy who happen to be standing in the crossroad, and was told by the Spirit of God to help you in knowing the truth. You may say a point man.
    So I’m about to start showing you another path which is recommended by God. I pray that you harden not your heart.

    # God LOOKED DOWN FROM HEAVEN upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that seek God (Psalms 53:2)
    # And ye SHALL SEEK ME , and FIND ME , when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13)
    # Ask, and it shall be given you, SEEK , and ye shall find, KNOCK , and it shall be opened you.
    For every one that asked receiveth ; and he THAT SEEKETH findeth , and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7-8)
    # Whereunto HE CALLED YOU by our gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
    # I will cause him to DRAW NEAR…(JEREMIAH 30:21)
    # FAITHFUL is HE THAT CALLETH YOU ,……(1 Thessalonians 5:24)

    Thus saith THE LORD, STAND YE IN THE WAYS, and SEE, and ASK for the old paths, where is THE GOOD WAY, and WALK THEREIN , and ye SHALL FIND REST for your soul .(Jeremiah 6:16)

    Shall I continue, are you still interested?

    Consider this verse:
    They also THAT ERRED IN SPIRIT shall come to understanding , and THEY THAT MURMURED shall learn doctrines. (Isaiah 29:24)

    I will wait for your reply.

    TO GOD BE THE GLORY

    Like

  2. Thanks for the reply: First of all, I always knew that you always felt that you are a Christian, and that you believed in the Father and in the Son . But what I am doing is just trying to POINT YOU , that is if you are interested, to a rightful path where you should walk. And correction please, I was not trying to evangelize you , cause I am not a pastor, nor a minister, nor an evangelist. I’m just a point man.

    And , YES ! You are sending a message, unknowingly !

    The last comment is very disturbing “this is how Jesus did it” , this is a comment of a person who has not understand of what he/she read. I think you should read again your bible. And since you are not interested in knowing the truth, I felt relieved. You see, just typing to you the word of God ,and spending a time with you, is a heavy burden on my side, but what can I do , something pushed me or ordering me to inform you. So He may know what’s on your mind, and now He already know it.

    So, I will not bother you again ! And thanks for your time spent.

    TO GOD BE THE GLORY

    Like

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