The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:2 The MessageI don't typically read from The Message but this rendering of Romans 12:2 hits the nail on the head. I will not become so well-adjusted to the culture by prizing dishes, houses, cars, safety and rationality and children above the Ultimate Treasure...Jesus Christ. Radical living...not always easy...but who said anything about following Jesus being easy?
Many years ago I filled out my wedding registry. Pots, pans, silverware and special dishes were on the list. I was looking forward to being married and filling our house to make it a home. I was sure they( the dishes) would outlive me and I would pass them on to future generations. That dream was not to be. Over the weekend the shelves in this china cabinet broke in half crushing gifts of crystal, Christmas dishes from my husband and some of my 28 year old dishes. Some of the treasures were saved, but most of it ended up in the box that still sits in the dining room. Earlier in the week I had a Coke(Coke Zero is a favorite) with a friend. I was listening to her stories of being trained for a Rapid Response Team with Samaritan's Purse and she was telling me of a woman she met who lived so frugally by having only three outfits. This three outfit lady and her husband travel to Africa every year filling their luggage with water filters instead of clothes. As I was conveying this conversation to my husband I said "I want to be a three outfit woman" not knowing by the end of the week I would be letting go of treasure of my own. (Luke 12:34) Twenty-five years ago our second child made her entrance into the world. Born three weeks before Christmas we did not have her baby dedication until after the holidays. As with her and all the children God saw fit to give us we willingly surrendered them to the Lord.(1 Samuel 1-2) That was the easy part. We did not know what the future held for our gifts. And that is exactly what our children are. They are not ours to keep or fit them into our preconceived molds. Children are presents from God. (Psalm 127:3) But a little over a week ago I had to practice what I so often preach Hannah and her best friend who is also named Hannah left for Southeast Asia. With counsel from us and ceaseless prayers they are making their way in the world, following their dreams and the path God has set before them. God has already seen fit to keep this praying mother a little less nervous as He has put friends in their path from Syracuse. Small world. And God in His mercy and goodness continues to remind me that He is good and does good, providing me with peace. (Matthew 6:21) Following Jesus is not rational, it is radical. The following quote is by Anne Lamott who I read for writing encouragement and challenge, but I think it applies to all of life. I don't agree with everything Anne Lamott has to say but she does help me think outside the box.