Open Wide My Door

In Uncategorized on 02/27/2012 at 9:08 am

It’s lent season, and Danielle wrote about it here. I’ve been ruminating on how to make this a personal experience, and not just do whatever my small group/family is doing. So, I’ve taken on a motto for this season, “Open wide my door, my Lord, to whatever makes me love you more,” a line from a Mewithoutyou song called C-Minor .

So I went to the Justice Conference with this phrase in mind. This is primarily because unlike some folks, I actually tend to shut down when I am presented with a new way of living life – instead of being inspired. So I assumed I would leave the Justice Conference feeling guilty because I don’t always (or often) eat free range chicken, or spend enough time with poor people. But this time around, I decided that instead of feeling guilty, and allowing my defense mechanisms to automatically arise, I would – to the best of my ability –  try to be open to whatever would allow me to be close to Jesus, and if it meant changing the meat I buy, then so be it.

Actually, this whole lent thing has really got me thinking. Danielle and I have done diets, cleanses, etc, before. And her intention is to be healthier. My intention tends to be to appreciate food more. So, I primarily focus on, “By the end of this month, I am going to love being reintroduced to a chicken quesadilla and fiesta potatoes.” Or, it tends to be a challenge – “So how long can I go without watching TV, really?”

But this line has really opened my eyes to the purpose behind giving things up — we give it up simply because it gets in the way of following Jesus into the Kingdom of God. So instead of coming up with a million thinking errors about why I can still avoid talking to my neighbors, I simply accept – whatever will help me love Jesus more.

And I’ve been inspired by other normal people like me, or even people who are more caught up in the system who are making these changes. Shane Claiborne is amazing and all, but it’s a little difficult to relate to a guy who goes from serving with Mother Theresa in Calcutta to protesting the war on Iraq while in Iraq , to playing a big part in community development in Philadelphia.

Strangely, as of recent, I’ve been more inspired by others like Jen Hatmaker, Francis Chan and David Platt, all formerly megachurch pastors (or wives) at one point making a decent amount of money when they understood the gospel in a new way, and ended up giving so many of their things away, and changing their entire lifestyle. If these folks can move out of their huge houses, out of their suburban churches and move in among the poor, I believe the Holy Spirit can empower me to simply be more present where I live.

And what I’ve learned from these folks is that I’ve seen it all backwards. I think that I am missing out to seem more spiritual. When really, if I give in to my American dreams, I am the one missing out on the Kingdom of God. I don’t want to split hairs about whether it makes me unsaved or sinful, because when it comes down to it, if I hoard my possessions and overprotect my privacy at the expense of truly connecting with others and experiencing relationships the way they are supposed to be experienced, it’s me who is getting the short end of the stick, not God.


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