Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
“Make me a powerful multiplier of groups who live Christ’s life together.” – What I want God to do for me.
I have a life that I want others to have.
I don’t mean that I think I have “arrived” at some pinnacle of perfection.
I don’t mean that I want others to do what I am externally doing with my life.
I don’t mean that my life is easy. Or without temptation. Or absent of difficulty.
But I have a life that I want others to have.
It is deep in my heart, and I long for others to experience it. It can (inadequately) be described as a peacefully intense love for God and an intensely peaceful love for people. It is so much more than that, but words escape me.
It’s an ironic life, too. Because it allows for my imperfections, for me to be an unfinished man, without my using them as an excuse to do nothing, or feel hopeless, unworthy or unqualified. Since it is primarily inward, it provides an experience of joy no matter what I choose to do externally with my life. And best of all, it provides a peace (that passes understanding, maybe?) no matter what temptations or difficulties come my way.
It is a life of love.
And I love this life.
And I want it for every other human being on the planet.
And I labor to give it away daily. It costs me everything, and it pays me back in everything that matters.
It gives me a deeply personal relationship with God that, even when I exert all the energy of my heart, soul, mind, and strength, its riches are not depleted. What’s more, it gives me deeply personal relationships with people around me who I would die for and who would die for me (Jesus says there is no love greater than this…no wonder it is so satisfying). Better yet, I have people that I would live for and who would live for me (which is really what Paul means by “dying daily”).
I can safely say that know people, and I am fully known.
The freedom and security in such depth of relationship, both with God and with people, is staggering.
And I want it for everyone.
I live for God and with God. And I live for people and with people.
I am daily being impacted for good and daily making an impact for good.
It is quite simply, in my humble opinion, the best possible life.
It is the life of Christ.
And I shamelessly want to be a powerful multiplier of fellowships who live it, are learning to live it better, and giving it away to others.
For a long time I’ve asked God “how?” How do I best pass this way of life on to the multitudes that need it?
But when Jesus asked me this what I wanted from him, I didn’t ask how. I just asked him to do it.
So I’m listening and working for this, and full of faith that it will happen...and excited to see what happens.
When I came home Sunday night, my kids were sleeping soundly, and my wife was in the living room with her intimate sisterhood…girls who are becoming more like Christ together. She greeted me sweetly and with a very knowing look told me a brief story about how my oldest son (8 years old) decided to pick up a piece of paper and write down a bunch of his favorite things. She handed this too me…
Of course, my face beamed at the whole thing, but my heart gently leapt inside my chest when I read the bottom about his hero. It was a mixture of deep satisfaction and hope, but also of sobering responsibility and fear.
My wife then said, “After he wrote that and was going to bed, he said, ‘I want to write one more thing, then I’ll go to bed, I promise.’ You have to go check it out…he left it on the desk next to his bed.”
Excited, I made my way to his dimly lit bedroom where he was peacefully sleeping, and I grabbed the little slip of paper he left under his pencil on his little desk. I choked up as I read…
“The life,” he said. Not life…but “the life”.
Now I know he’s 8. There will be a season, if not longer, where he won’t feel this way. Not looking forward to it, but eager to persevere through it and learn from it. But for now, in the quiet of my son-turning-young-man, I fall on my knees in gratitude and hope that Carrie and I live “the life” in a way that this note captures my kids’ hearts now and when they are old…come what may.
I prayed… “Please, Father, let this be so…in my wife and kids first, and then through our family to the world…show me how to stay in, teach, and multiply “the life.”