Friday, August 27, 2010

As I sit here chowing down on my fresh homemade salsa and tortilla chips, I can't help but think about something I said earlier today. To my surprise, when talking to a friend from church, I blurted out,"We've just been so busy living life." It's true. That doesn't seem immediately odd as we all lead busy lives, but when I thought about it more deeply, I began to wonder how much of that busyness is necessary, beneficial and good? Part of His will for our lives? Advancing God's kingdom? Eternally minded?
And what part of that busyness is just empty noise...

There is a fine line between living eternally minded yet still maintaining the flesh and living solely by and for our flesh, striving for selfish earthly pleasures.  I don't think we need to get caught up in legalistic practices such as {example}us all becoming monks and nuns but I do believe we should all take a good look at even tiny daily habitual activities in our lives and ask,"Is this pleasing to the Lord?"  "Would I be doing this if Jesus was here with me in person now?" "Am I just wasting time or living life with a purpose?"

So, it's true, we are ALL busy living life. What I said wasn't shocking to my friend, in fact she won't even think twice about it... but I have because as a Christian woman, there needs to be a balance. I need to continually take stock of the content with which my finite life here on earth is being used up. Listening to the Holy Spirit, finding that tailored balance between being pulled and tugged by the world and being Spirit led and heavenly minded, then letting God's grace cover the rest sounds good to me!

I was sent this interview today and I found it thought provoking, encouraging and definately worth reading. I hope it will inspire you as well!

Interview with Rick Warren by Paul Bradshaw

By Rajwin Singh Published 03/28/2005

I found the following rather inspiring. In an interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren said:

"People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond, In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body - but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act, the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life: The goal is to grow in character, In Christ-likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you got to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain."
But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people...You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.
I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for you to own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan - to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better...God didn't put me on earth just to fulfil a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings."

Cautious Curiousity

Only moments to spare
for each exciting find.
Seen and conquered.
Off and running toddling,
a purposed explorer, 
determined to unearth
that new adventure
waiting to be discovered.