Sunday, April 1, 2012

love bears and eclipses

Next week is Spring Break which is great for the kids, but it's one of the busiest weeks I have all year as a pastor.  Which means I really can't afford to take any time off from work. I'm just glad that I will have Thursday and Friday off with them.  Thursday is Gracie's 5th birthday and we're having a small party for her on Saturday.

I have a couple conferences coming up that take me out of town later this month, which gives me anxiety, so I have to choose not to think about it this week, at least until my days off. I rarely have to be gone extra and yet I still have major mommy guilt.  Not just about being gone from the kids, but about the extra load it puts on Bean since I'm the dropper-offer and picker-upper for the kids each day.

I just need to keep breathing.  It will work out fine.

I was challenged with a couple thoughts this weekend that I want to briefly share and also process more as I write.  These are the babblings of my soul. They could be much better composed and edited, but if I waited for that, it would never get written.

You know how you know the Bible and all the "famous" passages and yet sometimes seeing a phrase or a few words out of their normal context can rock you? That's what happened when I read this blog entry a few days ago.  I thought Rachel did an incredible job of capturing what it's like in these years of little children when she said this:

Never have I carried such a burden, and never has a burden been so beautiful. It is an honor to love in a way that bears all things.

She was referring to the carrying of her infant twins and her toddling son.

But I started to think about the phrase "love bears all things."  Sometimes love is a burden.  Because it's not always reciprocated in the way you want it to be. We love because Christ first loved us and because he tells us to love one another. But that doesn't always mean we get warm fuzzies in return.

Loving can be messy.  Loving can hurt. Loving can mean brokeness.  It means bearing things we'd rather not.  Because the only perfect love is Christ's.

But it's love. It's what Christ asked. It's what feels right and what we know is right.  Yes, this applies to marriage of course. But my thoughts are beyond that, to loving the others that are placed in our path, those we are close to and those who are in our lives for a season or those who we cross paths with briefly.

The burden of love can be hard to bear. But it's helped me these past few days to be reminded that God's word tells us it's okay to feel that way, that sometimes love will feel that way.

On a completely different topic, my pastor challenged us this morning to watch out for "eclipses."

It is very easy, especially if you've been in a season of waiting and praying, to see a glimpse of God's answer and grab on to it and go forward, claiming it as your answer.  But, what if God's BEST is still out there? What if that was good, but God has something even better and what we've grabbed on to, what is GOOD, eclipses our view of God's best and we miss out.

I don't know that I'm doing the best job of explaining this, but I hope a picture is forming in your mind. It's not to say that what we grab onto is bad or wrong--it just may not be the BEST.

I will add that the best takes risk and faith and stepping into the unknown.  I think this is why I/we tend to latch onto the good and tell ourselves it's the best. Reaching out for the best is risky and scary and not necessarily safe.

But I know that I want God's best. When faced with decisions, with forks in the road, times that I doubt myself--from now on I will be asking myself if I'm taking the good or if I'm letting it eclipse the best.