Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Extending my Comfort Zones

Last September at Lifeway's Dot Mom conference, Amy and I walked into a breakout session led by a loud and funny speaker named Jen Hatmaker, and expecting- well, honestly not much. Especially nothing that would turn our lives upside down.

 Jen asked if we were raising our children to say no to drugs, hang out with Christian Awana friends, and not say the F word. (All well and good by the way. I abhor drug use, love Awana, and definitely don't want my kids to use the F word.) But if one day my kids heard Jesus call them to a Third World country away from my safety net, would they be pulled to tell Him no, because their mom would just freak out?  Well, considering the current parenting path I was on, I felt really uncomfortable answering that question.

There is a whole world out there waiting to know Jesus' love in a tangible way. I had to ask myself where I spent more of my time: angry about politics and Supreme Court rulings, or out there demonstrating the love of Christ to people on the other side of my conservative agenda. When was the last time I looked beyond my church walls to find someone in need of Jesus' message on the cross? How can I show my children the way to live like Jesus if I don't even know how to start a conversation with a homeless person? Ouch.

Spending more of my time in the Gospels, I hear Jesus pleading, commanding, demanding that I love the least of these. That I love my neighbor as myself. Maybe I've assumed I could slide by and only reach those that didn't make me feel uncomfortable. It's easy to serve sweet, clean people in the middle of my path. It's another thing to go out of my way, search out those in need, and not know if they will even be nice to me or appreciate it. But then, like a smack in the face, the Holy Spirit told me- It's not about what I want to do within my comfort zone. Waiting for people in need to show up in my Sunday School class isn't cutting it. Using the excuse that I'm a shy, busy mom of four isn't a reason. I have no excuses, and I will give an account one day of what I did with my life. He's called me to so much more while on this earth. Because if I really love Him- and oh Jesus how I LOVE You- then I will humbly show it in increasing obedience.

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" Then Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:36-40