Raised in Mississippi, I am quite familiar with the minuscule creature we call the ant. As far as I am concerned, there are two kinds of ants: those whose bed you step into when you are little and your mom dips you in rubbing alcohol (fire ants) and those black ones that invest your house and your car (sugar ants). I think Texas has some sort of hybrid mutant that lives in the wild but does not bite (straight from XMEN). Today was a perfectly beautiful day, and I decided to go find a park. I found this church in the middle of a subdivision that had a cute little playground and swing set.. After sitting in the grass and reading for a while, I noticed the swings. Girls love to swing (hint to guys- take them swinging– trust me). So as I was swinging , I stop to watch my feet dangle and looked at dozens of XMEN ants crawling on the ground. Unlike Mississippi ants, there was no army line or orderly structure to the ants. It looked like a diaspora of the little creatures– scattering everywhere, each looking for something to pick up. Some were carrying small pieces of wood chips on the ground; some were looking. Many outliers seemed to have lost their way in the wilderness, but they kept trucking, searching, searching. Some, I noticed, had found two small pieces of candy on the ground. This struck me. Many XMEN ants were huddled around the candy. It struck me how easily these ants were led astray by something, although sweet, was ultimately not beneficial to the task at hand. How much are we like ants? We have been sent, many as outliers far from home, on a Great Commission to collect and bring our offering back to our master. However, often we are hindered by the temptation of things, although sweet-tasting, hinder our mission and divert us from the path and task set before us. Then I think, what things in my life are hindering me. I often think that good things can’t be bad for me because they are good. But what happens when good things divert us from God. My friend and I were discussing the topic the other night, and how Satan uses good things in our life to lead us astray as they consume us, replacing our first love. I leave you with John’s response to the church at Ephesus:
"I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and hey are not, for you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that have left your first love." Revelation 2:2-4
I believe I have heard the phrase, "it's been a while" about 5 times in the last two days, so I refuse to say it again. However, much has happened since the last blog and I feel the need to update you in a little tidbit of info. I now have a job with the student services department of Lifeway Christian Resources that allows me to schedule and confirm ministry sites for the Nashville area during the MFUGE camp of summer 06 (a.k.a. Site Director). This means that I must plan and meet with the site contacts of around 70 sites, some having more than one contact. I live in Texas and I am setting up sites in Nashville. In other words, I am a little overwhelmed. So, as I have started calling all these folks, I have noticed that I actually speak to about 15%of the people I call. Therefore, I leave dozens of messages a day. Guess how many of these people call me back-- 4. I have had a total of FOUR people call me back. It is ok, but if they would only conform to MY schedule, then things would go smoothly (hehe). Suffice it to say that I do not feel like I am on schedule with this thing. And daylight runs out fast, my cell phone bill is outrageous, and I have not had an income for two months. So, things are starting to look a little slim my way and -- oh no-- I am starting to feel a little pessimistic about things lately. What happened to the shiny, smiley seminary girl that we once knew? Who knows? Not to mention heavy burdens on my heart, I felt like the weight of the world has broken my shoulders and laid in my lap. I could tell the weight of my inwardness and self-consummation take its toll when a dear friend was telling me about a major problem and I had no compassion or kind words for her. (Proof that when we sin, it definitely effects others-- don't let anyone tell you differently) So the other night, I returned from a friends house (which I have been frequenting lately ;) ) And shut the door to my house, realized that it was empty, for my roommate is gone for the week, and collapsed against the shut door and cried like a baby for about 30 minutes. It was one of those deep cries, you know-- the ones that actually make your chest hurt and abdomen swell. I made it to my bed, light off, and sat up in bed and spoke out loud everything that burdened me. Feelings of neglect, confusion, bitterness, betrayal, and many other just poured from my to the Father as Erik, unguarded, open and brutally honest, told God exactly how she felt, whether it was right or wrong. I felt I needed to tell God exactly how I feel. One, to express it to Him, for he wants to hear it. And two, to manifest thoughts into actually descriptions of what was going on inside of me. I think these are things that we deal with every day, but we hide them under a mask and are afraid to actually confront them. We are sinful. We feel pain. Why do we always act like we don't? Why don't we share the deepest darkest trials of our lives with the body in love? Derek Webb said the best things that could happen to us would be to expose our deepest darkest sin on the 5 o'clock news. I believe it. To take off the mask of hypocrisy would be, well, honest. So what does this have to do with the site stuff? Well, all the feelings were building up and making me into someone I didn't want to be-- someone totally full of ME! Last night in class, Dr. Ellis made an anecdote about the sufferings of Christ being shared with us, and as Christians when we suffer, we share in tea sufferings of Christ, thus partaking in Him. What a time for that to come up in class! Today, I went to a park and sat with the Lord for a while and listened. He led me to open his word to 2 Corinthians, and on these pages, the Word of God spoke to me in an amazing way. It spoke of our inadequacies in this life but our adequacy in Christ. In chapter 3 it goes on to correlate the glory of God being made manifest in the Christ in us, and we are being conformed GLORY to GLORY to his image. Our inadequacies yield a need for Christ to make us adequate. This goes hand-in-hand with glory. In Christ, we are not merely adequate, we are glorious to God. The words on the page were illuminated before my eyes, and as my friend Brian says, it became living and active. The Lord spoke directly through his Word to answer my prayer today, and it was simply great. Really Mr. Tomlin, How Great is Our God? A God that never ceases to amaze us and leave us in wonder, provides blessings beyond measure, and promises a life with Him-- wow.
Posted by erikascrimp at 18:04