A Personal Reflection Prepared after a Day of Packing
I wonder if we don't expect enough of God? I wonder if we suffer from a failure of imagination.
These questions stem from a day spent navel-gazing (sorting through papers, organizing "stuff," and making decisions related to our upcoming move to Illinois - what to save, what to donate, what to pitch and what must absolutely be in the car with us and not in the moving truck). This sort of activity heightens my anxiety, sets every nerve in my body on high alert, and tricks my brain into full retreat mode. After a few short hours, I stop and wonder, "Wouldn't it just be easier, safer, more comfortable, more convenient to stay here?" And, of course, the rational answer is "Yes!" For most of us, most of the time, doing what we've always done is the easier, safer, comfortable, and convenient way to live - it's called routine (or tradition).
Jesus said to the eleven disciples, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
A reminder that God doesn't call us to get comfortable, to do the easy thing, to hold onto the known. Instead, God calls us to go into ALL the world and to proclaim the good news to the WHOLE CREATION. And we are called back by God, called to turn away from our own failed imaginations and return to the greatness of God - a greatness that dares us to expect more, to trust more, to follow more.
Turning back to God (repentance), away from the swirling chaos that only the unfettered human mind can cook up, I realize that God indeed is calling me out of my routines - comfortable though they are - so that I might once again be reminded of what God can accomplish in and through me. Tomorrow I will return to the sorting and the organizing. Tomorrow, my anxiety may once again lead me toward the temptation of accepting the status quo; but I can face that temptation with the confidence that God offers much more than comfort to those who believe.