“If you have come to help me, then you’re wasting your time.
But if you have come because your liberty is bound up with mine, then walk with me.”
– Lillia Watson
I’ve been home from Uganda for almost 5 days now, and I have to be honest and say that I feel like some part of me is dying. I feel frustrated with myself…with the privilege that I have taken for granted… the excess I’ve allowed to feel normal to my existence…necessary even. I feel a little bit like I’m drowning in a pool that is full of my own depraved doing.
I’m frustrated with my kids…with the selfishness and entitlement that I know we have inadvertently cultivated. I’m frustrated with our society who stops maybe for a couple of hours a month (and that’s often even the generous ones) to do something for someone else. I’m frustrated that I’ve allowed it all to become normal and accepted in my life.
I’m frustrated that I’m as much a part of the problem as anyone else.
And if I’m being honest…I feel angry too. Angry because of hurts I’ve experienced. Angry at myself…my selfishness… my way of living so often. I feel so ugly when I take a tour around the inside of the heart that I’ve allowed to often rule my living. I wish the generosity of my heart that overflowed in Uganda found its way to the outside of my body as easily here… sadly, it doesn’t.
Part of me feels like it’d be easier to pick up and move across the globe… where my own selfishness is more readily met with an inability to satiate it with superficiality.
But here’s the thing… I don’t have the permission of the Lord to move to Africa, or Bangladesh, or whatever other 3rd world country he allows me to visit. I know that my calling is here…to figure out what it looks like to curiously follow Jesus into the things of His Kingdom and to invite whoever wants to read, to live, and to follow along with me. To figure out how to do it here…in the midst of excess and a cycle of much that threatens to suck us in and suck us dry. To take the wild lessons God teaches me in those places and make them real and daily here.
Another celebrity killed herself this week. The glamour of the outside can eat one alive on the inside. I don’t want to fall victim to the false satisfaction of this world instead of the true and full satisfaction of really knowing my Savior.
I don’t know what it looks like to work this all out here…on privileged American soil. I honestly don’t. And please don’t accuse me of being on some sort of post-mission trip high right now either. This frustration is the outpouring of a thing that has been brewing in me for awhile now. I don’t know how to do it…. to undo the patterns of this world that I’ve conformed to, that I’ve disappointingly taught my children to conform to. But I know that this undoing is the very thing that God is calling me into working out.
I confess that I have to stop being angry. I grab hard onto the Jesus-grace that has been poured out for my life and over it…and I need to extend it first to the people in my house…to continuously renew my mind on the things of my good and generous Father.
In realizing so much of this undoing that lies before me…of the freedom that I have yet to grasp… honestly…I am just un-done.
Walk with me? Journey to explore and open up the true liberty that is found not just on foreign soil, but in the heart of God for us? I don’t know what it looks like, but I’m going to figure it out.
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Rom 12:2