Thursday, June 26, 2014

Share a Coke with Me.

Someone left a mostly empty bottle of Coke on my desk. As I got closer, I noticed what it said, though. So, I decided to sit down a share a Coke with all of you (since whomever left it chose to remain anonymous--don't worry, I didn't drink it)... and because it's time.

It's been a while.

Last week, during a few hours off in the morning, I thought about blogging. I thought about it and then showering, drinking coffee, and journaling became more of a priority.

Because I'm tired.
Tired and selfish.
Did you know?

A year ago I had enlisted myself in my very own personal "Book-It" program, reading books in hammocks by the ocean, rewarding myself with pizza when I reached my goals. A year ago I was taking weekly outings to hike up in the mountains of New Hampshire. A year ago I was preparing to go on a trip to learn how to surf in Nicaragua.

And now, a year later, I'm working 15-hour days, answering questions I don't actually know the answers to, and praying fervently that this place we've developed over the last nine months is actually doing something good (don't worry, it is).

It's kind of crazy how quickly one's life can radically change.
And kind of crazy how, even in the midst of all the drastic differences, I can still be the same and have the same tendencies. Part of it's my human condition and part of it is just me....skeptical and people-pleasing me.

If there's one thing I continue to realize about myself in the last few weeks, it's how I deeply desire for others to like me, understand me, understand why I do the things I do (there's always a rational explanation, I assure you). I want them to enjoy the program I designed, to see the goodness in it. I want them to love the place that I call home, the ministry that I've devoted my life to. I want them to buy in, to partner with us, to join us, to believe that all the hard work, the long hours, the tedious tasks... that they're worth it. I want them to see the million other factors that play into decisions and to believe in the Lord's sovereignty despite our imperfections.

Because I'm imperfect.
We're imperfect.
And sometimes I think it's too easy to forget that.
It's too easy to blame.
Too easy to expect people to read your mind.
Too easy to allow for expectations to define our assumptions for how all things ought to be.

But friends, things are good.
Really good.
I don't ever want the long hours, the minute sacrifices, the dirty feet, the miscommunications to take away from what the Lord is doing in this place. I don't ever want my desire to please people to come before pleasing the Lord. I don't ever want my high expectations of others to interfere with also loving them well.

Because things are good.
The Lord is moving. He's changing lives. He's calling people back to Himself. And He's continually asking us to pick up our cross and follow Him. He's continually reminding us that Jesus came to serve, not be served....and He's asking us to follow suit. He's assuring us that while it may not be easy, convenient, or comfortable.... it's entirely worth it. He is worth it. Advancing His kingdom, raising up disciples, dwelling in His presence. Worth it.

He asks us to zoom out of our limited perspective and consider the all the unknowns of the bigger picture. And He asks us to trust Him in the midst of the unknowns.

This summer had "unknown" stamped all over it.
But the Lord knew. He knows.
And He is good.

I need His grace daily... both in my life and as I interact with others.
Because I'm perfect.
We're imperfect.

But His grace is sufficient.
He is the goal.

Sometimes we just have to stop, share a Coke (or a Dr. Pepper...), and remember.

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