It’s moving day…
This move does not require a U-Haul truck rental. You don’t have to call a moving company. You don’t even have to load up your car.
Like a physical move, it requires a commitment. The idea is that you need to be somewhere else, so it does require some commitment and dedication to being somewhere else. The problem with this move is that it is not to a place where you may want to be but it is to a place where maybe you know you need to be.
It is a move within the Kingdom of God. It is a move that refocuses our hearts and minds.
Like most of life for the Christian, we hardly ever move in a straight line. Pastor Labberton says the move he is calling for “undulates, wobbles and slips.”
Yesterday my pastor spoke of her struggles; we all have them, times when we are excited about God and times when we are not excited at all. We have times when we feel He is close and then there are those times when we have moved away and He does not seem close anymore. Mountaintop experiences are wonderful but guess what, we don’t stay on that mountaintop forever. We all have our times in the valley.
We are finishing a book that urges us on every page to help our neighbor; locally, regionally, world-wide. We are finishing a book that urges us to examine our internal thoughts about people and take stock of our external actions. The book I have been blogging on since December 2017 has urged me to quit thinking so much about me and start paying attention to others; the needy, the displaced, the hurting, my neighbors.
This moving day is a move from isolation to involvement. It is so tempting to remain in isolation, to close the doors to the world, limit watching television and ignore social media. That allows us to kid ourselves that things are ok with the world. Poverty does not exist, trafficking is not real and drug addiction is just a fantasy. But all these things are real and isolation will do nothing to stop them. Even when we see evidence of people in dire need we may mentally protect ourselves by choosing to ignore others’ troubles. Many of us have grown very good at compartmentalizing our lives. We can attend to the “good stuff” and ignore the bad.
This move may mean pain because if we move, we are going to see people who are desperate, maybe victims of violence and maybe suffering from neglect. We may find out that they experience this daily, but this type of person may also have a chance to experience great joy. Labberton says the needy may suffer but they also may be rescued and healed by God. “Grace always gives in the midst of need” . So maybe the move will not be totally dire.
From the beginning of the Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor, Labberton has tried to get the Christian to see that moving into the world of the needy is a move into the heart of God: “Any who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ…this is not an optional side tour, a temporary distraction. It’s a move that the Bible depicts as a move toward home. It’s where we were all meant to live, where we are no longer fooled into thinking that the divisions we are so accustomed to are final or true” [209-10].
I sit here trying to get my thoughts together in the midst of a remodeled home. It is in the 90’s outside and I am cool from the air conditioner and ceiling fan. I know how much money was expended to get my wife and I to a level of stylish comfort that we wanted. Just a few months ago, we were all about the countertops, the cabinet finish and the matching flooring. Right in the middle of all this, I was blogging on a book that encouraged me to let go of my small-heartedness.
All that concern for our creature comforts seems so silly and so wasteful.
Let’s hope that The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor will help me to meet some needs. Maybe God will unveil opportunities for me to act to help the less fortunate. I already have had opportunities, things that I have done to help some people who are struggling, but I know I could do more.
It’s moving day.
Yes, we are moving to a new book. My next post will be from Billy Graham’s book, The Holy Spirit, but maybe it is moving day for me in other ways too. Maybe I can grow to love the Lord our God with more of my heart, more of my mind, more of my soul and more of my strength. Maybe I will grow to love my neighbor more and love them as I love myself.
“This is why we are.”
“This is how we are to live—seeking a just hope”
Today—everyday—is moving day.