my determination and my submission
My life is so interesting I can't stand it sometimes. I'm sure that's what drives me to retreat into solitude daily and weekly . . . . I just have to, in order to sort and recover. I have input from my own 4 boys and from my husband and two stepsons and from friends and from work and from church and from the world that throbs with life around me -- and it is very full of different ways of looking at reality and very full of different values about what really matters and what really satisfies. I live in the midst of people who see life very differently from each other.
My desire 3 years ago was to go to seminary and be ordained in the PCUSA, and to use my gifts in writing and teaching to lead others to begin to view life through new eyes and to begin to experience life as the Triune God would want them to experience it in this day and age. These last 3 years have not detracted from my desire to do that . . . but they have changed the way I think that needs to happen to be what God is after for me and for those I impact.
I am a baby-boomer, but I live and work with many from the younger generations. They see the world through new eyes. Some baby-boomers get some of the younger perspective, but many really don't. And the parents of the baby-boomers mostly don't get any of us, it seems.
And God gets us all. The Triune God is at work with each person and each culture to accomplish God's purposes, and God is not surprised by this new world that my kids were born into. He led us right here.
Each of us, in each generation alive today, is called to radical obedience to the God Who is at work. Each of us is called to sort out all the input. Each of us is called to community. And each of us is called to learn to hear and obey the voice of our Shepherd from the midst of a tangled mess of sheep who respond to other voices.
The CHURCH is called to find unity in our diversity because we all respond to that same voice. That truly takes the power of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the generational and cultural differences in our church-around-the-world right now. But is that new?
So . . .
I am part of a local congregation that is being as faithful as a bunch of sinners can be to the calls to us today: living out the old message in ways that don't miss the point of that old message in our new generation(s), and staying in community with the larger church-around-the-world.
And I am committed to putting daily obedience to the Triune God above any other ministry goal .
And I am in accountable relationships with others who are committed to the same things.
And I am in dialogue with the wider church as an individual, not just relying on my local community to be in that dialogue.
It seems to me that a big part of my personal obedience is that I will not become a teacher who doesn't live in the same world as those she teaches, but that I will stay in secular employment and in a "dumbed-down" ability to do teaching and ministry because I will be more useful to God from the midst of "real life" than from a "vocational ministry" position. I feel very called to teach and model radical obedience to the real God from the position of real life in which He has placed me. I feel very called to challenge every other follower to the same kind of commitment. We don't get to see ministry and obedience as the providence of "professional Christians" anymore.
What I have found -- out of it all -- is that there is indeed a VOICE that is being heard by others and that we are responding to together.
So, despite all the input and all the competing demands upon me for attention and commitment and action, there is clarity and peace.
The same God that created and sustained creation and brought Jesus among us . . . the same Spirit that has been at work for 2000 years to accomplish God's purposes in the new covenant community . . . that Triune God is doing a new thing today. Creation continues, and displays the character and glory of the God who created me and you to know God and enjoy God forever.
Today the Kingdom is here.