Thursday, June 25, 2015

Counting the Cost

Intentionally growing and developing skills means being pushed outside of your comfort zone.  I am being grown, stretched, and matured in a number of areas in my personal and professional life.  This is both equally exciting and nerve-wracking.  Allowing the Father so shape your heart to be more like His means that there will be pain and discomfort as the things of the flesh are cut away.  I know that it is ultimately worth it, but that does not mean the process is not difficult.

This week it became obvious that I am in an area of “upgrade” or growth.  A plan got changed (no big deal) but my response was out of proportion to the minor incident.  I could instantly tell that my reaction was not healthy and revealed something deeper about my heart.  When the plan for the day was changed on me, it moved me outside of my comfort zone and made me more reliant upon His Spirit to lead my actions that day. I could not control the situation and needed to accept that.  Being the sinful human that I am, it was hard to resign control even when I knew it was for the better.  
Processing my reaction with a friend, I was saying that part of my tension with the incident was because I ended up doing something I was not expecting.  I said something to the extent that “I did not sign up for what happened that day”, even though I knew it was not logically true.  My friend lovingly reminded me that I did, in fact, sign up for it.  I have dedicated my life to serve people, so whatever the people need on the day I see them I is what I need to respond to.  I signed up for doing whatever it takes to show His love to people. Often it will not be what I expected, but that is my reality.  She challenged me to count the cost of my service.  I could do something else that is predictable, measurable, safe, and keeps me in my comfort zone.  Or I would allow Him to develop me into my best self, be stretched, and learn how to serve other like He did.  There is a cost to service and I need to determine if it is worth it.

After much self-reflection and pr, I realized that my unhealthy response boiled down to fear of the unknown.  I was afraid of this new situation because I did not have the sharpened skill and I have in other areas.  I could not rely on my innate abilities but need to rely on Him for direction.  It is scary to live in the tension and step out in faith.  Counting the cost, it is worth it.  My momentary pain and discomfort is worth it to be transformed to look more like Him.  My own needs can (and should) be laid aside so that others can experience His abundant love.

Fear still creeps in but I know that it is a good sign because that means I am developing new skills.  I just need to keep reminding myself that the cost if worth it and that I have help along the way.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Today is a solemn day here. A day to reflect on those who bravely stood up for their beliefs. A time to celebrate how much progress has been made.  Today I have been thinking a lot about persecution. Every day people are persecuted for their political, social and religious beliefs.  I am inordinately lucky to have been born in a country that legally provides for the existence of multiple religions and political parties. Millions of people around the globe are not so fortunate.  As I reflect on my level of privilege, I am convicted by the infrequence of my thoughts towards those who are persecuted.  Right now there are people who are currently dying for their faith.  Right now there are people who are being excluded from society because they are “other”.   It is too easy for me to be focused on my own problems, to moan about the minor inconveniences of my life. There are people literally dying for their beliefs.  What right do I have to complain? What right do I have to be annoyed by all the choices in front of me? Having choice means I have the freedom to make my own decision.  It means that I have the right to act, with no limitations placed on me because of my religious classification.

I am convicted today to spend more time interceding for my sisters and brothers around the world who are persecuted.  I am convicted by my own selfishness.  I am too focused on myself to stand in solidarity with those who are risking it all for Him.  May He give me the words to say and a heart that is more broken for His suffering children.