Thursday, November 12, 2009

all here

Probably after the "He is no fool..." quotation, Jim Elliot's next most famous quotation is "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."

This quotation is an old, heavy, wooden piece of furniture in the sitting room of my mind. It's always there. And, just when I get too distracted to remember it, I run into it at full speed and get an ugly bruise on my shin.

So it's been on my mind.

And I have two things to say about it.

One is that there are some things I HATE about modern technology. I hate it when people are too distracted being somewhere else with the aid of a gadget to look a companion in the eye. (I do it too, and I need to stop.) I hate it when I get the nagging feeling that I need to check my e-mail or cell phone or Facebook, even when I'm not waiting to be called about anything in particular. What is really that important? What are we so afraid of missing by shutting off the iPhone/iTouch/Blackberry/cell phone/laptop/netbook? If what I'm doing or the person I'm with isn't worth 100% of my attention, then why am I here?

Maybe attention really is a zero sum game. And we're all losing.

Two is that it's taken me this long (almost three months now) to realize that I need to be "all there" at church. Even if I am not going to be here next year or next month or next week, my church is where I'm at right now, and it's the body where God has put me.

The summer was a great experience, and I'm grateful for it and for the friends I spent time with while I was in Jordan. But I think that while I was away I picked up a case of spiritual scurvy, a Vitamin C[hurch] deficiency. Much as I missed everybody, church was one of the last places I wanted to be when I got home. And I really couldn't tell you why. Add to that that I came home thinking that maybe I would be moving somewhere else at some point (if I get a job somewhere else), so it would be "wise" not to jump back in at MidCities with both feet.

Sometime in the last two weeks, I realized (for the millionth time?) that God is in charge, not me. And He does far more abundantly than all that we could ask or think. So I can go right on ahead and jump in with both feet and swim around, and if I need to go He will pick me up and move me.

So I can stop being silly sitting on the side of the pool getting cold.


Anonymous said...

Emilius, This is a lesson very similar to what I've had to learn in my 3 years here in a military town. Friends come and go in one year rotations and there is a point during which I am tempted to say, "Get close to no one; they will soon be moving" but when I finally came to the point where I "jump in with both feet" I am so much happier and blessed with the friendships and ministry opportunities God does provide. (Was that a long run-on or what?) Anyway, your post hit home for me. Thanks for sharing friend! Press on.

don said...


"And whatever you do, do it, heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." Col 3:23-24

"According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you." Phil 1:20-24

Our hearty service for the Lord, wherever we are, proves to be beneficial to others. As long as you are here, your life is a service to others who need God's grace given to them by Him through you.

Thank you for the post Emily. God bless you richly.

Uncle Don

Bui :) said...

Hey Emily :) this was really encouraging to me. I've been feeling similar feelings. Thanks for sharing yours.