The bible provides us stories of God calling his people to do extraordinary things. Who doesn’t want to be extraordinary? I do! I want to be courageous and a full on follower of God. Because these stories (which we emphasize and challenge ourselves to live up to) feed our own egos and desires for significance, I think it has caused us to miss the obvious.
It is true that some people are called to do extraordinary things as an expression of their faith. But those are actually the exceptions. Mostly, I believe, we are provided a vision for living an ordinary day-to-day life with extraordinary vision for its sacredness. The longest book in the bible is the book of Jeremiah. In it we find an unflinching portrayal of a people who have forgotten who they are because they have lost touch with what they once knew of God and his relationship to them. This is our eternal dilemma it appears. Maintaining conscious contact with God and his inspired way of seeing is for whatever reason, I do not know it, a constant challenge.
Jeremiah is tasked with trying to wake up his sleepy tribe and help them remember in a vain attempt to avoid the 70 year banishment. He’s a gloomy guy and not very popular (the truth rarely is well-received). But he combines his doom and gloom prophesy with the promise of restoration - if his people would just wake up and return to God. There are three things that plagued the Israelites and I suspect continue to plague us - all of which distort our capacity to give and receive love:
False strategies for abundant living
Straight up confusion
I hope to break these down and explain them further in the next blog post but just to be clear - these three problems impact our capacity to give and receive love. And love, in the kingdom of God is a big freaking deal.
Today, take some time to assess your own love potential and practices. Do you ever get confused about how to express love in a challenging relationship?