I was reading Gary Haugen this morning, from his book Just Courage, and he was describing the general listlessness that he sees in much of what passes for Christian practice. He’s not condemning or saying that it’s bad, he instead argues that most of it feels like the movie Groundhog Day, where Christians are stuck living out the same inconsequential day and boredom is really what saps life. The big unspoken question is, NOW WHAT?
Haugen writes, “This is, I believe, a voice of divine restlessness. This is a voice of sacred discontent. This is the voice of a holy yearning for more. This is the moment in which we can see that all the work that God has been doing in our lives and in the life of the church is not an end in itself; rather, the work he has been doing in us is a powerful means to a grander purpose beyond ourselves.”
I am simultaneously stirred by these thoughts, and proud of my church. Not proud in an arrogant way; proud like a parent is pleased over a child who displays compassion. One immediate example: Our Women of Purpose group has organized a Charity Golf Tournament that takes place tomorrow. My friend Marisa has been one of the chief movers behind this thing. All of the proceeds of this event go directly toward the issue of human trafficking, specifically in the South East Asia region where the sex industry is the biggest culprit, enslaving hundreds of thousands of young girls.
Here’s why I’m so proud.
Marisa went to Thailand last year, saw the need, interacted with women who were in the industry, who were being saved from the industry, women who were in the half-way house learning a trade and being taught the life-skills to be able to take care of themselves and not re-enter a horrid cycle. As Marisa prayed and served in Thailand, God broke her heart. Now she’s come home, and stirring up a hornet’s nest of activity to make a difference. It took her hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears to pull this Tournament off, thousands of prayers, and at the end of it all, God receives His glory, and girls will be changed for eternity. And I would argue that as Marisa has allowed her life to be impacted by this issue close to God’s heart, that Marisa herself has lived more fully, more abundantly, because she has followed God on this adventure.
That’s the loving call on all of us.
It is the gentle call of a graceful Father to really LIVE.