Monday, September 12, 2011
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For here is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." - Paul in Romans.
I have such a skeptical attitude when Sunday rolls around and we begin all the rituals that surround going to church (like tucking in my shirt). But when I go, I'm almost always fed. I leave surprised and grateful.
Yesterday was no exception. In sunday school we talked about obedience to authorities and how authorities are instituted and appointed by God. Being the American individualist and natural rebel I am (I'm such a rebel, cool.), submission does not sit all that well with me.
But I think God has began to dig around in this cluttered soul-space of mine (I think of it as sort of a dusty attic, with all sorts of weird things stuffed in chests). He began to show me what a terrible attitude I had towards the authorities in my life.
Let me illustrate: the major authority for me and work is my support coach. My coach continues to push me to make support calls, look for referrals and just stay in the game that God's called me to.
And I chafe at this. I often just out and out refuse. I get depressed, I complain, I make excuses, I call the task "impossible", and I fill up my time with anything but support raising. And then when I can bear the burden of my irresponsibility no more, I either get authentically depressed or I put in a token day of support raising.
In a lot of ways I'm a terrible missionary. I groan and grumble when I should be thankful and grateful that God has asked me and is leading me into a task with him.
I was going to talk about obedience to authorities, and how the measure of our obedience to our human authorities equals the measure of our obedience to God. This flies in the face of American thinking.
But I think I'll go elsewhere. Why do I grumble about the task God's given me. Is anything too hard for God? No. Yet I think that little old me, dwelling in the universe of me, am just not up to it. So I grumble, rant and quit.
My universe has no real resolve. My universe has no determination. My universe has no real grit.
Thankfully my universe doesn't exist. Last I checked this whole "kitten-cabboodle" (how in the world are you supposed to spell that?) was God's. Difficulties don't exist for God. Obstacles don't exist either.
I'm growing to the scary, and humbling, realization that the only one standing in the way of God is me - his worker, his servant and his son. Ha, if Christ hadn't taken all of my spankings (worst illustration of what Christ did ever), I'd be needing a few!
Thankfully God still disciplines those he loves. I don't think he's satisfied to have us grumbling and aimlessly wittling away our days (unless we wittle wood by trade of course). I think he's more satisfied in seeing us trusting his process, believing in his abilities and living gratefully in hopes of seeing his kingdom right now in the middle of our lives.
After all God is a good king and people like my support coach are worth following, precisely because God is a good king. It is not my job to evaluate everything I'm asked to do (who do I think I am?). It's my job to look to the one who's asking me to do it.