Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Life in Christ

A year ago I signed my name to the yellow card Greg gave me at the start of Mosaic's "Life in Christ" class. I wrote the date I'd given my life to Jesus, and the approximate date I was baptized. It took three months for me to accept those 1971 acts as real; I'd been thinking I'd have to do it all over again.

Now, well, where am I? I belong to God. What are we doing? Life looks pretty ordinary right now.

There have been many upsets in the last year, as God's fingers worked their way more deeply into my shattered soul. He'd touch a piece and it would HURT! Everything in there was arranged just so, in the only pattern I could live with, and to change anything was to bring on all kinds of problems that, if I'd wanted them, I'd have asked for them.

Now I'm more used to it, but I still fail. Notably, I fail with people. When I visited Mauricio and his family I basically turned off my own direction and followed what they did. I simply don't know how to behave in these conditions, so I suggested no games, no activities, but just sort of followed along like a big dumb lunk.

Part of the problem was unfamiliarity. I hadn't been there in a year because Mauricio has been busy. His children have changed a lot in that year, becoming more independent, and I've changed, becoming more shy as my enforced overlay of bravery has come apart. That's one of the pieces that God touched, and it doesn't work any more.

When I'm really connected with God, bravery isn't a problem. I can put myself forward and be sensitive to the situation I'm in. I still tend to abandon Him when a situation presents more stress, and I fall back into old protective habits.

But, you know what? God just showered me with His blessing when I got home from Lancaster. I thought I didn't do well, and was already sinking my claws into the new flesh, but God wouldn't let me. He rained His love on me, and thanked me for being His emissary.

A lot of life is ordinary. Visiting, helping get the bikes ready for a ride, watching movies. I don't understand most of this; I still have a lot of the old ideas that if one isn't acting directly for God then it doesn't count. But God, in His kindness, counts everything. How do I know what's effective?

What is being a friend all about? Certainly not to take every opportunity to pound the Bible into someone else. Friends enjoy each other and if there's light to be shared, it goes both ways. Mauricio and his family have most certainly been a source of light in my life, and I hope that I've given them some also. God is generous enough to me. There is light to share.

Ordinary life. Imbued with light, like those glowing grasses on the loping hillsides above Lancaster. I don't need to squeeze God any more. His generosity takes care of that. I just need to keep following and let Him take care of where we are. And I still use, every day, things I learned from Greg and Norman in the Life in Christ class. Thank you, both.

Hi Larry,

I'm sorry I've been a way for so long... just have not had a lot of time lately! :( I enjoy reading your various blogs though...

I had to comment on this one... because 1) I liked your ability to be thankful to other people for something you learned from them (Greg & Norm)... people don't do that you know! and 2) I really agree with you here about ordinary life. Elizabeth Elliott (EE) who I like to quote a lot... talks about how ordinary life is part of the "spiritual life" that God has for us. You look at several verses: 1) He who is faithful in little... (isn't ordinary sometimes little things?) and my favoirte the do the next thing verse in Genesis...4:something.. that says if you do what's right will not your countenance be lifted up? Doing what's right is often just the thing that is before us that day... Ugly things... like dishes, paperwork, cleaning... etc. In those things God somehow I think organizes... changes our minds... hearts... it's weird how it happens but it does. Do you have any thoughts about that?

I identify with your thoughts about protective habits too Larry... it's so easy to do that..when if we sit back and realize God is our defender... we can openly minister... be willing to take risks.. letting God be our answer in the end... and He does... sometimes our defense may take a long time in coming (because He wants us to trust Him through it maybe?) but it does inevitably come. Another verse I like - "All that I long for is know to you... my sighing is no secret from you... I give it up Lord give it all to you and leave you to answer for me.."

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