Wednesday, February 22, 2012

with my Mexico team (at Christmas)...

When I was young, my brother and I loved to read 'Hardy Boys' mysteries.

Actually, my brother has quite a collection of them to this day. Many have the original (at least I think they are original) taupe colored covers.

Hours spent in those novels carried me away to a places I could only dream about.

Funny how it tended to jade my perspective of unfolding events and color them with conspiracy theories.

The places they frequented contribute (I believe) to Brad's love of water and beachfront escapes. [at this writing, he is beachfront in California]

I loved being transported to secret hiding places and trying my best to help solve the mystery before they did. I was seldom successful.

However, today, I do the same thing. I have gotten pretty good at figuring out plots to mysteries on television and in movies. Sometimes Deanna asks why I'm not writing the shows, since I usually seem to know how they will resolve.

Brad (my brother) likes beaches. I like mountains. I would prefer most days to be out in His creation, over being glued to an office chair. If only I could get paid to inspire others to love creation and disciple them simultaneously.

Anyway, when we were little, we would conspire on ways to build secret passageways through our home. If you visited that house, you'd realize it wasn't big enough for secret passageways.

It was large enough, however, to hold the dreams of two young men who often escaped perceived issues of life by retreating into places, where problem and predator couldn't penetrate.

Today, many try to escape the realities of life by investing in hobbies, activities or vacations that cannot elicit the desired outcome.

Yes, it's good to get away. It's good to take breaks. We all need a place to unwind and recharge. The Bible calls it "rest." We need rest.

I am praying my brother is getting it now!

Too often, many try to escape into parallel realities and spend great sums of time and/or money to do so.

These are not just places of escape, rather alternative ways of existing. Ways of coping with life that are really more about denial than embracing our journeys.

In His Word, he laid out specific plans for He wanted each of us as believers to do with our lives. He calls us to share His love with others and disciple them, when they surrender their lives to Him.

What I find interesting (and He must find appalling), is how we openly embrace the idea that to go and share His love, we need a specific call. Yet, we entangle our lives in schemes of amassing wealth, property, and the like by virtue of pursuing jobs that will bring us the most resources, without ever letting Him in on the decision making.

He tells us to "Go ye therefore...", but we stay without any direction from Him, and then turn around and expect a specific call to do His will, when it is already spelled out for us in Scripture.

Robert E Speer wrote extensively on this topic.

So we don't need His input on the things we will pursue with our entire beings, while surrendering our lives to "the grind" and sacrificing our families in process, then turn around and expect Him to give us a specific call IF He wants us to do something for Him.

This is completely convoluted and backwards, yet it is the way of the American Christian.

He has already clarified His desire for each of us in His Word. We do not get to 'choose which parts of it we follow because it fits our way of comfortable living.'

"Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Mtw 7:21

It's not too late to begin living the way He calls us to. But, it will require repentance, focus, hard work and a willingness to surrender to His ways.

Though I don't always understand them, His ways bring more joy than mine ever could.



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