Some of you who read this blog know that the summer of 2015 has been the summer of the sick mothers for David and Susan Carter.
The beginning of this summer saw my mother confronted with a breast cancer diagnosis. The news about that was as good as it could be. Her cancer was low grade and after it was removed, she was so well that she did not have to endure other follow-up treatments.
The middle of this summer saw my mother-in-law suffer heart problems. She had what she thought was persistent indigestion and that resulted in a diagnosis of artery blockage leading to two heart bypasses.
Why am I telling you this?
There is a lesson here.
This will be my last entry about Pastor Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. As I think about the book, I can relate it to seeing elderly relatives recover or not recover from illness.
I have written about my Dad before. He passed in 2011 of several problems related to his heart. I saw Dad give up.
His passing was not fast. He struggled daily but put forth little effort to keep himself alive. I wanted him to get up and be the active Dad I always knew.
He lived for television.
I kid about it now, but his only exercise was using his thumb on the remote control.
I wanted him to want life.
I wanted him to walk and get better.
But Dad did not want it.
My wife is faced with a similar situation now. She is trying to get her mother to do the basic things a person has to do to recover from heart bypass. Eat, walk, get busy with life.
Susan wants her mother to want to live. But the big question is, does she want life?
The title of the last chapter is “The Crux of the Matter.” Crux means the decisive or most important point at issue.
The crux of Crazy Love has been for me, do I want more God?
God wants me, but do I want Him?
Am I determined to work out my salvation with fear and trembling or am I going to be distracted by worldly concerns? Do I want to commit or am I going to give in to fear? Am I going to have as a life goal, a life of comfort instead of a life of sacrifice? Am I going to hoard my resources instead of give them away? Will I shrink the next time I see someone in need and not offer help?
Do I want God?
God can’t want me to want Him. My wife can’t want me to want Him.
I have to want Him.
The world is filled with Christians who “talk a good game.” People who are not Christians see that and realize that it is just that, a game. These talkers are not doers and their lack of doing is what is sending out the strongest message. As a person who has studied communication the largest part of my adult life, I realize the power of body language. People believe what you do more than what you say.
To make others believe you, you have to take action.
I have written about this repeatedly in relation to the Holy Spirit. It is there in all of us, to guide us to do the right things in life.
But we have to listen.
We have to act.
God can send us messages but are we receiving them?
The last years of Dad’s life, I was encouraging him to walk, eat well and just get up out of his recliner. That’s where he lived. It got to the point where he would not walk anywhere after he knew he would get a motorized chair.
Is it a stretch to say that Dad was not receiving my messages or if he was, he disregarded them.
He did not want to walk, eat well or get out of his recliner. He wanted to live for his television set.
What would it take for him to take action?
Dad had to decide he wanted to live.
He never got to that point.
What do we need to do as Christians?
Crazy Love is a book that tries to get us to care about God, to take action, to want to live in Christ.
Pastor Francis Chan can write a thousand books and we can read them. Pastor Chan can deliver a thousand sermons on You tube and we can listen to them.
None of his thoughts about God will really relate to me until I want to have a stronger relationship with Him.
When I want it, change will happen.