Eye of the Storm
April 28, 2012 @ 2:25 pm
I was encouraged to reflect upon where I was before TWC, what happened to me here, and where I am going afterwards.
Now this seems a bit overambitious for one single blog post. Especially because the last four years have brought so much transformation with them that I can hardly remember them all right now. In short, my life has been a storm of events. My work has been as different at starting out as an accountant but ending up as a fire fighter, then going on to working two part time jobs and being self-employed, and then going on to studying full time. And on top of that I have volunteered countless hours on scout work, doing everything from small weekly meetings to orchestra events with up to a few hundred people attending.
But in the middle of this storm I found myself writing a project about the meaning of life, at a secular university, and before my exam I came to the eye of that storm – and what I found there was Jesus! And for a brief moment I experienced an unexplainable Peace…
And then the storm continued! And I have been blown far away from home. In fact several thousand miles away, all the way to Vancouver’s DTES, where so many things have happened that I doubt that I really will grasp the true impact of it until many years to come.
If I were to only pick one thing I had picked up in my time here, it would be that I have learned to love. To some this might sound odd, but for me it makes all the difference. Why? Because we can do all the right things, but if we do them without love we are nothing and it is worth nothing (cf. 1. Cor. 13). And this is easy enough to understand with our heads, but to let it sink down to the heart and practice it is a whole other story.
So here is my encouragement – I have slowly learned to do things from my heart which I would normally never had done if only my brain were to vote. And my brain kept reminding me how much I didn’t want to do the right things, and how much I would rather grab the first excuse to escape doing what my heart said was the right thing. In other words, I felt horrible as I did acts out of love, and I just want to encourage you by saying that it is okay.
It is okay! Long lasting change does not manifest itself by doing things once. So stick with it although you might feel like a bag of potatoes and really don’t want to do the right things. And slowly you will notice a change – all of a sudden you start doing the right things, not because you know it is the right thing you ought to do, or because you want to make the right impression, or what not, but because you love. And because you love, you do.
Warning – don’t be discouraged if you get this feeling for a shorter or longer time, and then seem to go back to the old pattern of feeling like you really don’t want to do it. There will be ups and downs! Another way of putting it would be that authenticity comes when you do what you said you would do, long after the feeling or mood in which you said it, has worn off. And if you think about it – really think about it right now – isn’t an authentic character what you want to model? Or do you somehow believe (or want to believe) that Jesus was inauthentic?
Big words… Let me assure you that I don’t just write them without having struggled with them first. And let me encourage you further by saying that I struggle with this daily. Or more precisely, I struggle with it from moment to moment. And I expect that it would continue to be a fight, which leads me to my final point – where will I be after TWC?
I will be wherever Jesus sends me! And I will do my best to love those around me – even those who are hard to love and keep on loving. Why? Because I believe that Jesus’ love for us is authentic and real! Thus, I want to be authentic in my love for Jesus too.
God bless you!