I just got back from my 4th weekend in a row out of town; 4 down, 2 to go! Most recently, I was on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas with the Fastzskie Family. I will write more on that soon. I am still processing through the question: what does it mean to live missionally in my daily life?
All of this traveling has made me realize the incredible freedom that I have right now. If I want to be gone for 6 weekends in a row, I can. However, this past week I was challenged to think is that really the best use of my time? Am I being selfish in how I spend my time? Do I love waking up at 8 on a Saturday, going for a run, reading a book or studying my Bible and then meeting up with a friend for dinner? – of course! But all of those activities are about me, often even my Bible study. I frequently find myself motivated because my “day feels right” or “I like the mental challenge” when I read my Bible – pathetic, I know. Bible study is not a ritual to make my day go better or make me feel good, but is an act of worship and a privilege to be in a relationship with a holy, holy, holy God and yet I still make it all about me. I am daily reminded of Paul’s words in Romans:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25) (emphasis mine)
Does it get any clearer than that? I don’t think so. Paul clearly identifies the struggle I face daily. I can hardly resist (my 4th) Girl-Scout cookie on my own, much less follow the perfect, righteous standard of God. Even when my mind says “do this” or “don’t do that” something deeper inside of me draws me away from what I want.
Right now, time is one of my greatest assets and I want to use it wisely. I don’t want to create business for business sake, but I think I can be more intentional in my relationships. I have done a terrible job keeping up with friends from college and I have let down my 8th grade small group the past few months. I have not reached out to them like I should, not engaged them and tried to get to know them as individuals with unique struggles and joys. I let my own selfishness get the better of me.
I have become more of an introvert in recent years. In part, I think because I am no longer driven (as much) by people’s approval of me. However, I also think that I am becoming more selfish in my time simply because I can. Living on my own has blinded me to the daily reality of living in relationship and it is easy to avoid sacrifice if I don’t want to.
I guess all of this is to say, if you know me feel free to call me out on this and challenge me to live my life in intentional service to the One who died so that I can wage war on my inmost members, wretched man though I am.