I’m a perfectionist. I like being right. When I’m not, I have a hard time facing it, so I hide. I hide behind nice, neat little blog posts that fit into nice, neat little Christian boxes. Blog posts like the Real Life Heroes series. Yes, I’ve been hiding. I like the idea of Real Life Heroes and it’s something that I want to return to at some point, but right now, it’s getting in the way and it needs to go. I’m finally ready to talk about what’s really going on. Until now, I just haven’t known where to begin.
So many things are turning me upside down and inside out in the most beautiful of ways. Things that have revolutionized my understanding of the Gospel, challenged my views on charity, and broken down so much of my pride, self-sufficiency, and arrogance, especially when it comes to helping others.
Hey, I didn’t say anything about it being comfortable.
Earlier this month, I started listening to Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. I dare you to read it and not walk away challenged. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s already changed my perspective of when, how, and where I spend my time and money. I’m discovering just how much of a selfish, mindless consumer I still am.
But that’s just one piece of the puzzle. There are so many other books, blogs, conversations, songs and whispers from the Spirit that are swirling around me and causing a massive paradigm shift.
Last week, I went to camp (which is why there were no blog posts). It was my ninth year at this camp (the first five as a camper, the next four helping out), so when I go, it feels more like a family reunion and less like, well, camp.
On Sunday night, before the campers descended on the property, I walked to my room. I was alone. As I moved along the second floor balcony that overlooks the hotel lobby, I thought about everything God had been stirring in me and I whispered a scary prayer.
God, if you want to keep challenging my perspectives and messing up what I thought I knew this week, that’s okay with me.
All week, He did just that. He reminded me over and over and over again that to live this life He’s called me to, I need to be in His presence. He is the source of everything I will need, and without Him, I am incapable.
It was on Thursday, though, that I came face-to-face with my arrogance. Our breakout session that morning was about justice and poverty. A friend of mine taught, and much of her material came from the book When Helping Hurts. I read it last year, so I was expecting to sit on the front row, nod, and take a few notes. What I didn’t expect was, once again, a new bit of perspective.
I saw my hero mentality for the pride that it is, and began again to understand how much poverty isn’t about a lack of possessions, but broken relationships. It’s something that, as humans, all of us have in common. When I forget that, or I choose to ignore it, I can’t do anything with humility. Ouch. (Like I said, this hasn’t been comfortable.)
This whole business of being wrong has been so messy, but I’m starting to glimpse what it means to live as citizens of a different kingdom, and it is beautiful. That’s what I want to learn. I want to learn to let go of what I think I know and live like Jesus.
I have so many more perspectives that need to be shattered and so much more being wrong to do, but I think I’m ready. And since that’s what’s going on, that’s what I’m going to be writing about. Because my best guess is that you know there’s more, too. We belong to a different kingdom. Let’s learn to live like it.