Throughout the changes of your life, what truths will remain? Which values will survive the transitions and grow into something? How much is dependent on God’s hand in the changes you experience? As your life is scattered and thrown into new situations, understand that it is God’s hand at work in the pressures and rapid movements of life. He uses diaspora to move you to a people and place where you can thrive. He gives you a place where you can lay down your life willingly.
Are you like the guy James described who looks in the mirror and walks away unchanged? He sees the mess staring back and feels bad. It’s sometimes easier to walk away from the mirror than to clean up the mess.
Jesus said you cannot have two masters. Has following Jesus been in competition with other interests and passions? You will eventually love one and hate the other. Following Jesus requires that we take up a cross. Self-denial and dying to self characterize discipleship.
The seed is supposed to be buried in dirt and die. It cannot become anything but a shell unless it breaks and dies.
Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest who wrote over 40 books on the devotional life. He was powerfully used by God throughout his life to inspire and teach. What many people did not know was his lifelong struggle with homosexual desires. He never publicly identified himself in this way but chose to live a life of celibacy. In the latter part of his life he was a member of the Daybreak community in Toronto. Daybreak was founded by L’Arche, an intentional community where adult caregivers live full-time with others who developmental disabilities. On the matter of being rooted in God, he wrote:
“Trees that grow tall have deep roots. Great height without great depth is dangerous. The great leaders of this world – like St. Francis, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., – were all people who could live with public notoriety, influence, and power in a humble way because of their deep spiritual rootedness.
Without deep roots we easily let others determine who we are. But as we cling to our popularity, we may lose our true sense of self. Our clinging to the opinion of others reveals how superficial we are. We have little to stand on. We have to be kept alive by adulation and praise. Those who are deeply rooted in the love of God can enjoy human praise without being attached to it.” [i]
What do you do with seed? You plant it in the dirt and let it get rooted.