Thursday, 10 March 2011

busy for God?

Do you worry about whether or not "God is using you" enough?  Are you busy, busy, busy for the Lord?  Trying to be a superwoman or superman for Jesus?  Or maybe busy, busy, busy just getting prepared?

If that's you (and for sure, too often it is me, too), take a listen to some good advice:

Alan Knox has been talking about trying to prepare yourself to live the superhero Christian life.  Doing everything just right, devotions, church meetings, education and training, to earn your supersuit so God can use you.  Working hard in your own strength.  Turns out that, as Alan says, "God is not waiting for us to find our “super suit.” Instead, he’s waiting for us to begin working to serve others so that he can then work through us."  His recommendation:  "So, start serving others ... and give God a chance to empower you as well."  What?  It's that easy?  Just start serving, and let God empower you?  Wow!

Tony Campolo has been talking about busyness too.  He says that we often think that if we are very busy for God (and everyone else), we'll achieve God's favor and will for us.  But he says Jesus presents another way:

Jesus, on the other hand, talks about a man who plants a seed and then goes to sleep and rests. While he is sleeping, corn begins to grow, “first the blade and then the ear, and eventually the full corn appears.” In short, we should not feel that everything is dependent on us when it comes to the work of the Kingdom of God. We should do what we are called to do, but not feel that we have to consume every moment in making things happen for God and for God’s Kingdom.
Well!  That appeals to me, alright.  I could use some rest.  How about you?  Seems that the Kingdom isn't totally dependant on me, after all.  That's a relief!  Turns out that even important people like Tony Campolo are allowed to take vacations.  Not to mention that it's good to take a moment to enjoy the creation of God, and be grateful for life.

Rachel Held Evans has been thinking about "how to avoid getting overwhelmed by kingdom work."  She quotes Marcus Borg, who sees kingdom work this way: “It’s like being part of a quilter’s group.... Don’t worry about the entire quilt; just focus on your square.” 

She's right, that is a great metaphor.  And she goes on to ask herself, "so what’s my square in the kingdom quilt?"  She lists things like "helping people through doubt" and "addressing the unique questions my generation is asking" and "finding better, more constructive ways to engage the Bible."

I have been going through a planning process of my own in the past days, and I think this question, "What's my square in the kingdom quilt" is something I need to consider.  Evans goes on to say that our upbringing, family, culture, and experiences all contribute to our little squares.  And that we can take that which we have inherited and turn it into something new, something our own.  When I focus on my square, she says, I thrive, and at the same time, "I can relax and enjoy the friendly chatter around the circle as others work diligently on their own." 

That's an awesome picture.  I'm not responsible for the whole quilt.  But my little square is still an integral part of the whole (can you picture a quilt with a square missing?).  And I'm part of a real community.  I've been to enough quilting bees in my past to understand the sense of community quilt-making engenders.  Hmmm... What does my square in the kingdom quilt look like?

1 comment:

Brother Frankie said...

great post sister..

Don’t worry about the entire quilt; just focus on your square.

i love it

Brother Frankie