Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Be careful what you search for

From a very thoughtful article by my friend Lori:

"Many of us don’t allow our faith to challenge these deeply held assumptions. So we end up with a Christianity in which we are the center, in which the ultimate aim is not holiness but fulfillment. And perhaps we judge each other this way. If you are happy, then, therefore, you are blessed and God must be pleased with you.
We turn God into a fairy godmother who exists to grant our wishes. We devise extra-biblical formulas for having our prayers answered, our dreams fulfilled. We focus on the verses we like and ignore others.
Perhaps we generate the same plastic, high-strung happiness Disney offers. We’re looking for magic. And in the quest, we lose out on richer, truer things."

This is part of my beef with the whole "quick, get married!" message that is touted by the good folks at Boundless, among others. There's another infuriating article over there today. Apparently, now I'm not only a witch, I'm a victim of waning beauty. Then again, whose definition of beauty are we using here -- the world's or God's? According to God's definition, beauty doesn't fade. In fact, I'm willing to venture a guess that God's definition of beauty is the kind of beauty that actually grows with age.

Marriage is a great thing and I hope someday to experience it firsthand. If I don't, that's okay. I'm willing to trust that God has good things in store for me, even if those good things don't match up with your good things or even if they look from the outside like really bad things. This is the kind of Christianity I cut my teeth on: the Christianity of Jim and Elisabeth Eliot, of Chet Bitterman, of Amy Carmichael, and of Corrie Ten Boom. These were people who were willing to search, not for the outward trappings that we call blessing in western Christianity, but for the things that Scripture tells us to seek for and set our hearts on--things like wisdom and the kingdom of God and God Himself. These are the "richer, truer things" Lori refers to in her article. This is where I want my search to be focused. I want a faith and a God I would die for; it only seems fair, considering He died for me.

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