Saturday, January 27, 2007

hope week

I'm sensing that change is in the wind.

Last semester, I felt slumped over. I think a lot of people felt that way. I wasn't praying very much, and I know that didn't set any sort of good example for the people I was leading. To be honest, I didn't want to work hard, and then I felt bad about myself for not wanting to work hard, and then that de-motivated me even more. I struggled to connect with God consistently and emotionally.

This week made me sit up and take notice. God is moving. I know my heart is returning to the bottom line about why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Monday was Kyle C's birthday, and we welcomed him to staff meeting with a tunnel and cheers. We love each other. A lot. Then we worshiped together. Then Shah gave us some thoughts he's had lately about the culture of American college life. All of us, including him, saw ourselves in what he described--the self-absorbed performance mentality, materialism and drive to be entertained. It was humbling and insightful, and I felt convicted. But I didn't feel alone. We're broken, but we're in this together.

Tuesday afternoon, Melissa and I went to Caribou and talked about how life changes so quickly in campus ministry and how "the shuffle" is hard. People we love are gone in four years. Everybody's busy and it's hard to keep in touch. Deep relationships tend to be very seasonal. Later we met up with Chris, Kyle and Shah to talk about the two North Campus New Life Teams (one led by Chris and me, the other by Kyle and Melissa). Chris really encouraged me after I talked about how part of me is still wondering if what I'm doing is "worth it." He pointed out where I've made a difference--mostly places that I didn't ever notice. Then the five of us watched footage from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2006 of a line of people holding up cards. On the front, each person had written what their life was like before Christ had transformed it. Then as they walked to the front of the stage, they flipped their card to show what their life is like now that they know Jesus. I cried. We're talking about doing something similar at our building dedication service.

Tuesday night I had lifegroup with Carly, and we talked about how Jesus "set out resolutely" for Jerusalem to accomplish His main goal on the earth, to die for us. I was wondering what the five of us were going to set out resolutely to do this semester as a lifegroup. As we talked, it became clear that all three of the younger girls are struggling with deep questions about the trustworthiness of God. Why do Christians suffer? One of the girls lost nine family members over a period of four months. Why do bad things happen to morally good people? The bottom line: is God good? Is He just?

He is so good. He is the God of justice.

Tuesday night there were around thirty of us in a room in Bursley, calling out to God and praising Him like I haven't heard in a long time. There is a song on the newest Hillsong album "Mighty to Save" called "Higher." There is a bridge where all the men sing: "He is so great and waiting to be praised by you." This is what I want for the people on North Campus--the ability to worship the God of the universe.

Wednesday I allot four hours to spend time with God. Usually it's a rough time for me. I always get intensely drowsy, perhaps because it's the only time during the day that I'm not really DOING something. I struggle with staying attentive in prayer or whatever it is I'm attempting to do. I feel weak. This time I fell asleep for one of the four hours, but then I woke up and read Romans 8-11. After reading the part about God foreknowing me, predestining me, calling me, justifying me and glorifying me, I started to ask the question: is God good? Is He just? Why are some chosen and others not?

You know how Paul always reads your mind? Romans 9:19-21 "One of you will still say to me: 'Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?' But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?"' Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" and Romans 11:33-36 "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?' 'Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." I'm becoming more and more convinced that belief in God and His goodness is my only option. Not because I can't bear the thought of anything else, but because I am the creation. I know nothing. Am I too simplistic? Is my faith unreasonable?

The girls in my lifegroup need to worship the God of the universe.

Thursday I went to BSF with Gaia, and we studied Romans 9:1-5. The only thing I can say is that I marvel at God's commitment to the Jews, and I cannot fathom the day when the deliverer will turn godlessness away from Zion.

Friday morning, Kevin, Hilary and I brainstormed and prayed about something that's been on Kevin's heart for a long time. Street kids in Africa (and elsewhere, I'm guessing) are constantly hungry, so they steal or trade for cobbler's glue, which they sniff to get a high that will stem the hunger pangs. After awhile, many of them choose glue over food, and their brains, due to the chemicals they're taking in, lose much of their function. They're lives are over by their teen years. The question on the table is: could this become a cause for New Life Church? So many now know about Darfur, child soldiers, and conflict diamonds. Those issues are perhaps bigger. But could we find an activist niche for our church? Could we work with Elmers and other glue companies to work against this problem? We're naive, and really, it's just the three of us. But I'm learning to love more and more the simple posture of prayer at the foot of the sheer rock face of injustice. We'll see what happens. Perhaps LIFE will happen.

Last night, Kevin and I got Vietnamese food, and we talked, and I feel stunned by how good he is to me.

This morning, Saturday, there's a lot to do, but I finally made my bed and watered my plants, and I feel hopeful.


Ari said...

Hey Megs,
Thanks for your post! It's so neat to read what's really going on in and around you.
1st of all I want to say that I have seen you grow SO much in Christ this last year that you've been working for New Life. He shines through you.
Secondly, I think it's really exciting that you and Kevin are praying about/for street children in Africa. Keep us updated!
And I'm very glad Kevin so so good to you - you deserve it!

Carlee Rene said...

Hey Meghan. I know that this post was a while ago, but I just read it for the first time. I just wanted to say HI and also to tell you that my mom was at that Willow Creek Leadership you were talking about (they are our sister church, well my church at home), and they brought back that drama to CrossRoads and it was AMAZING!! If you guys are looking to do it let me know and I can get you in touch with my mom if you need some help.