Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Questions On The Journey

I love that the Christian life is such a journey. I know that no matter how much God teaches me here on this planet it will only scratch the surface of His truth. Recently my internal thought processes have focused on the perceived dilemma between "doing" and "grace". There seems to be this rift between the two in the church today. Some are saying we have to do more. It is our responsibility to _________. Fill in the blank with whatever makes you feel most guilty. The other side says there is nothing we can do to add or subtract. We have freedom in Christ. If you feel so led to do________. Go right ahead, but for goodness sakes don't feel guilty. I don't know what the answer is. I do know that ultimately these are two sides of the same coin. We are called AND we are free. So where does freedom end and sin begin? I am free to live in a house with 4 bathrooms while others in the world have no running water. But is it sinful? I am free to have a pantry with food always in it, and put more food in the trash in a week than some people eat in a month. But is it sinful? I am free to send a check to the direct tv people every month so that I can be entertained while mothers sell their children into slavery so that they can feed their families. But is it sinful? Tara recently linked an article on her blog that gave me some chunky food for thought. You know - the soup that eats like a meal kind of thought. You can read it here:http://www.globalcompassion.com/2009/01/05/love-justice-compassion-ego/. So, here I am living in the USA. By some standards I live extravagantly. By others I am pretty frugal. Where does my life become sinful?

Let me sort of switch gears for a minute. I've been praying about something for a while. It's one of those step out sort of things. I can't say that I have gotten the, "Yes, Heather I want you to do this right now!" from God. It is on my heart. That's all. So I asked Jason to be praying about it. So far he says he isn't feeling led. Here's my question. If there is a need, and if you are physically, emotionally, practically able to meet that need is "not feeling led" enough reason to not do it? Don't get me wrong - the ability would come from God. Humanly speaking it would be hard, very hard. And please don't misunderstand. I have the utmost respect for Jason's ability to hear from the Lord. He has proven himself to be an amazing spiritual leader in our family. I'm just throwing out the idea that maybe sometimes, instead of hearing a big ole yes from God, not hearing a no might be enough to move forward. I don't know. Maybe I need to sit tight and keep praying for a big yes. Maybe I need to move forward until a door shuts.

So, back to discussion A. When Jesus says to look after the orphan and widow or to help the poor, what does that look like in real life. Should we all trim our lives down to the absolute essentials. And what would those be? Really. And if you see a need, could fill it, but it would be a huge huge sacrifice should you do it simply and solely on the basis that the need exists? Should you not do it based solely on the fact that you haven't gotten a direct and specific call from the Lord?


Lindsay said...

Hi Heather... Interesting questions and I'll join you in praying for peace about God's answer Praying that perhaps instead of a big yes from God that both you and Jason will get a sense of His will together. Curious re: the issue... Adopt another child from overseas? Another trip to Haiti? Guess I'll have to wait and see.

Heather said...

Nope, mums the word! (: Thanks for the prayers though!

Amy said...

These are the EXACT thoughts I struggle with. every. single. day. I could have written this post (although not as eloquently).
My thoughts always migrate toward adoption. Most days I feel overwhelmed with our 3 bio kids, and like we have outgrown our 1400 square ft house. But then I think about how ridiculous of an excuse that sounds when we are talking about ORPHANS who don't have a family, and don't have a home of their own. I can't imagine being at the heavenly gates one day and telling God that I just "couldn't handle" one more child, and that our house was too small.
And I too wonder if I need to receive a great big loud YES, or if His commandment to care for the orphans is not YES enough.
Thanks for posting this. I often feel alone in these thoughts.

kdetter said...

wonderful post.....i have the same thoughts....and yes i think as a whole society we have way much more than we need....i was just at a retreat with 8th grade girls and they covered the entire huge sink with a couple of hundred dollars worth of beauty products...and i thought what is going on and how am i a part of this?.......keep moving forward....if it is already in your heart....someone put it there for a reason......


Heather said...

I just went and tried to catch up on your justice blog. AMAZING! I put you in my blog roll. And I can't wait to see where God leads you on your journey(:

Emily said...

I personally believe that if there is a need and we are able to meet it and no one else is then we have our calling already. We are already called to meet the needs of others in Scripture. Now, that doesn't mean that I always do it, or even usually do it for that matter. It's a lot easier to state what you believe theologically than to live it and make it a regular part of your spiritual journey. We do have freedom, even to freedom to sin, does that mean we choose to sin because we are "allowed" to? Absolutely not. (Romans 6:1-2) I believe this is a comparable understanding of our freedom versus our duty as Christians. Just because we are free to do something doesn't mean it is the right thing for us to do. (1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23) If our heart desires our own freedom over the well-being of others then there is a real problem in our understanding of Scripture and, frankly, our relationship with Christ. These are just some of my thoughts on the subject. I love you & Jason & your hearts, and I know God will guide you.

Some other good verses on the subject are: 1 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16