I’m quite excited about this weekend. 56 women from Centenary are heading out of town for a Women’s Retreat together. We are looking at Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianly. It’s a great read about how God interrupted Jen’s life and sent her family down a completly different trajectory. Has that ever happened to you? Your life ever get interrupted?
As I’ve been reflecting on this topic I have been thinking about my original call into ministry. I think God was trying to interrupt my life for about 8 years but I didn’t know it. I couldn’t see it. And it wasn’t because God wasn’t trying! Now as I look back on my life, I can name several moments in time when God “interrupted” my plans and my hopes and sent me down a different path. One tender moment for me was when I did not receive a Moorhead Scholarship after becoming a finalist. I was so disappointed. Soon afterwards I found out about another summer opportunity I would not have been able to do if I had received the Morehead. Instead I went on the Scandidanivan Caravan Tour and visited United Methodist Churches in Norway, Sweeden, Denmark. Finland and Estonia and began to recognize my call into ministry for the first time. I realized I was exactly where I needed to be, on the path that God had intended for me.
So many of us Chistians are so comfortable in our faith. In fact, our faith is not “needed” for much more than comfort. It’s veiwed as something to make us feel good. And it does do that, for sure. And there are times in our lives when we need nothing more than God’s comforting presence (grieving the loss of a loved one, facing terminal illness or medical diagnosis.) But comfort is not the only aspect of our faith. Sometimes, Jen and Brandon Hatmaker discovered, it becomes more about service to others than it does serving self.
God disrupts our comfortable prayers and gratitude and opens our eyes to real needs and people who no one is paying attention to. And to our sin. God reminds us of our common humanity. Jesus models for us over and over again to pay attention to the people on the margins. The blind person people just walked by. The older bent over woman no one realized was in the crowd. The lepers no one was supposed to touch. Children. Women. The foreigner.
“All of a sudden, I saw my exact reflection in Peter: devoted but selfish, committed but misguided. And that is not going be enough. It won’t suffice to claim good intentions. Saying “I meant well” is not going to cut it. Not with God screaming, begging, pleading, urging us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned, to care for the last and least in nearly every book of the Bible. It will not be enough one day to stand before Jesus and say, “Oh? Were You serious about all that?” – Jen Hatmaker (Interrupted
Is God trying to get your attention? Have you noticed some disruptions bubbling up within your spirit lately? Are you seeing things with fresh eyes that you haven’t noticed before? Over the next couple of weeks, I simply invite you to pay attention. What do you see? Who do you see? And then what is it you might need to get serious about?
Grace and Peace,