Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yesterday I found myself 20+ feet up a ladder tucked under the overhanging roof of our old barn here at camp. I was using a power washer to try and remove as much of the dirt, paint and insect nests as possible in preparation for painting by a group of volunteers next week.

This is about as extreme a sport as I am in to, if you want to call it that. I am not big on bungi jumping, skydiving, mountain or rock climbing - or even rollercoasters for that matter. I find a lot of truth in the worn out line about "jumping out of a perfectly good airplane...." I have a baffled interest in the people who do like to do these things, I wouldn't call it admiration, more a quizzical puzzlement as to why they find things that defy common sense and the natural order of things "fun". I can admire thier athleticism and sense of adventure (sometimes), but I still must admit that I don't understand them. I'm more of a good book and a quiet setting kind of guy if I don't have tools and a project.

The extremists that I do admire are those who are willing to live by extreme faith. These are the people who, like Paul writes in Philippians 3, are willing to tear up all of the earthly accomplishments, labels and expectations - anything they might be able to take credit for - and trust Christ for their provisions for each day. "I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ -- God's righteousness." (Philippians 3:8-9 from The Message)

I know some people who are living this way - I have cousins in California, a brother and sister-in-law, a friend in France...but it is the exception, not the rule. Few of us are willing to set aside what we know for what we do not. I don't mean set aside our Faith, I mean set aside our ties to tradition and commonly accepted ways of life to live uncommonly, boldly for Him, not always knowing where our next dollar or medical insurance payment will come from but knowing that He will be there to provide for us. I'm not there yet but I know He is working in me and on me to be willing to trust Him with an extreme faith. Pray with me today that we can both be this type of Christian; pray that He will let us know what we need to be praying for because I think to do this type of radical surgery on our lives we don't truly know where to start, but He does.

"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me."
(Matthew 10:38-39 from The Message)



At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a grerat translation of the scripture, very powerful. Thanks for the post and the challenge.


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