Sunday, October 13, 2019 - The Uncommon
It is not at all uncommon for people to spend their whole lives just waiting to live. Someday, I'll be able to this or that. Someday is always just outside of our reach. So often, we just look for someday to arrive.
God is calling us to live a different life. One of the biggest challenges for the church is taking what we know in our heads and move it to our hearts so that what is happening on Sunday morning (that sacred space--the belief that God knows who we are) and let it carry us through the rest of the week. the challenge is to learn how to move into the future with God telling a different kind of story.
So often, it is easier to live just like everyone else--to fall into the expectations of others--to be put into a box where we do not belong. It is easy to live there. It is easier to go with the flow than
to stand and be who we really are.
We are living in an age of burnout. We are able to do more things faster, get more accomplished, send messages faster than the speed of light, receive information just as fast, and we get bombarded every single day. We're moving at a faster pace but we're not sure why.
We have stories to tell--this is what I'm doing and where I've been but we're not sure what it means. People are spending their energy and creativity on these things and they don't know why. After a while, it just seems like background noise. Then we fall into the category of a hamster. We're on that wheel and it keeps getting faster and faster but guess what? We're still on the wheel. Some are looking of an alternative. They may be on the edge of burnout. Or, they could just be bored.
Already, the new iPhone 11 is out. You know there are people out there who were waiting in line. Maybe that will be the answer. Maybe that will fix things. Maybe that's the key. We're doing a job or activities or building equity that is not that important or significant. You're looking for something that will give you that moment of clarity saying that my life really matters.
Have you been around someone who brags about what they've done? Right now, we're in an age where the popularity, crazy, and celebrity status dominates. The crazy behavior of some people makes the news because we just want noticed. We want people to just see us. When we're listening to people telling us the things they've done, what they're
really saying is, "Look at me. I want you to know my life matters. I want someone to affirm that my life matters.
We tell a different story--a story that says God has a plan for us. There is a story in the Bible about Abraham. Abraham's story began when he was 75 years old. God asked Abraham to pick up and move he and his family. God promised Abraham that he would make a great nation from him. God had a plan and purpose for Abraham's life. How many people would start all over again at 75 years old? Most people retire at 65 or 70 years old. Not many of us would make a drastic career change at that age, unless the career change was retirement. How do we respond when called to the greatest adventure of our lives? Is there something holding us back? Abram was giving a whole bunch of blessings. But with these blessings is going to come a lot of hard work.
And, what we have to remember is that this was something that was not just for Abraham, but also for future generations. So often, when we look at our lives and the impact we are making on the future, the future we think maybe days or weeks in advance. We are all here because God has called us to a special place in God's Kingdom--a special place in changing the world.
If we've been in church all our lives, most likely, we can all rattle off the story of salvation. The problem is that we haven't been able to make the transition from what we know in our heads to what we feel in our hearts. The problem is deeply personal.
For Abraham, God was specifically calling him to do something special. In chapter 17, Abram has a name change. When someone changes your name, it changes your identity. It changes where you belong. God changed Abram's name to Abraham, Simon's name to Peter, and Saul's name to Paul. It changes your identity--it makes it personal. Your life matters. Most of us really at our deepest part don't really believe our lives matter. We try to surround ourselves with telling other stories. We have this narcissism that is saying, "What's in it for me?" The thing we don't realize is that we have an enormous opportunity to participate in what God is doing around the world. We are called to something more than ourselves.
Abram had to be aware that God was doing something; God was on the move. He also had to recognize that he had a vital part in making that happen. Then, finally, he had to come alive.
Are you ready to come alive and take your place in the Kingdom?