Don’t Lose Heart

Today I’m using my “warm” winter day to trim up indoor garden plants and water my row cover plants. I’m thankful for a warmer day. My mom asked me about some plants she was keeping in the garage, because they had some pest in them. She told me she hadn’t been caring for them, they’re probably dead, and she’d like to use/keep the pots if they weren’t contaminated with bugs still. I’m not a professional, but I do love gardening and doing what I can, and learning from that so that I can move on and do better next time.

One plant was dry as a bone and had bugs in it still but I noticed it was trying to sprout little new leaf. It was a pathetic sight, and I couldn’t help but have mercy on the plant. It had no nutrients and the bugs were stealing whatever good it might have had, it needed help or expulsion. I choose to attempt to help it. Right now it’s in plant ICU… sorta. It’s being treated with herbs, isolation but sunlight, and moderate watering. Not sure if this will work or not, but it has helped some other (healthier) plants in the past, so it’s a worth an attempt.

There’s just something about those little new shoots on the dead-looking plant that caught my attention and begged for mercy. Begged for a chance to be proven. …Or maybe I saw myself reflected in these circumstances?

I live in generation which has been thrown out in the garage by the religious. Ironically I often read about the days Jesus lived in, and I wonder if his disciples felt the same about their generation? I have heard to many Christian culprits shoot-off their mouth about how failing this generation (my generation) is, and how it’s (basically) our lost. As if it Christianity will just continue to live with or without any particular generation joining in or not. It doesn’t matter because God is so much bigger than us.  …Well, at least bigger than this kind of thinking, that’s for sure!

As one who has a deep interest in God and is part of the Millennial generation, I feel tossed aside. Cast out like the lepers in the Bible and even if I heal up, or like my little plant, put on new healthy shoots, I still can’t seem to prove myself and I’m still taken as infected, pesky, dried up little Millennial.

The good thing is, unlike my little suffering plant or the lepers of the Bible, I can make choices about my freedom, my internal healthy, and about my drawing near to God. And I do.
I don’t wear a pastoral filter when I learn, nor do I use Aristotle-infected Pauline spousal-suppression-system within my marriage. I don’t match my righteousness up against the Pharisees and scribes theologians and Christian authors of my day, because I actually believe the Living Words of God.  …and I believe that they bring freedom because Truth brings freedom.

 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Romans 12:9-10

I found this verse (and this version of this verse) midway through my teenage years. I love it! It’s taken root in my heart and has remained at the core of who I strive to be.

There is something absolutely essential about finding and living (and loving) from our core, the center of who we are. There’s something about not being defined by our circumstances around us or popular worldview we’re born into. There’s something about questioning the ways our forefathers have done and have interrupted things up to this moment, which can be healthy, if done in a non-accusatory manner. We must understand that we have responsibility for ourselves & our actions (and reactions), but also the responsibility of how we will leave this world for the next generation after us. We cannot determine their steps, but we can make choices that provide solid evidence and clear pathways, or we can leave things a mess so that they only have a garbage trail to sift through.

Authenticity is the necessity for persevering anything that might be good.

The honest truth is we all accumulate junk. Junk in our house, emotional garbage from life, theological junk, junk food in our bodies. It’s a very sad and terminal situation if not dealt with properly and quickly. This isn’t the kind of thing or legacy which we want to pass onto the next generation. Again, I am aware they will make their own choices, but we also we be responsible for influence we’ve been entrusted with. And although we cannot change the past of what life has dealt to us, we can sort through these things and find truth, find holism, find healing, and find a way to make a difference around us.
But deep and authentic change comes with finding our core/center and making choices which promote who we want to be and how we want to live from there. Treating surface issues and symptoms won’t bring us to fullness, won’t bring us to maturity, and won’t ultimately change our legacy.

I can’t help but think of how the media is making a frenzy out of racial prejudice, right now in America, and sadly these prejudice aren’t a new modern problem but an age old fight. A distraction for politically minded people to not notice the spiritual battles and old temptation which have befallen our nation with new questionable media coverage. But not just America, old racial prejudices are creeping up all over the world: Russia & Ukraine; France & Jews; Turkey’s Islams, Kurds, and Christians; Saudi Arabia and women.
It’s not that mysterious to me what’s happening. It’s not politics, I can tell you that. It’s something in spiritual places which is picking at this old scabs. We can’t use our forefathers methods in dealing with them, because if they had done the right things, we would not be seeing these age-old prejudices rise again (with vengeance).

We have the chance to make a change, a dramatic change, but it has to start with understanding our center & core of balance. We cannot treat surface issues and symptoms and expect health to be ours for years to come. We must pray. We must check ourselves and ask God to check us and reveal to us what must change within us, for this hour which we find ourselves in. We must have a compassion which has grown out of our own travailing.

Although our forefathers have only brought us to this point where old fights could flare up again, we are not doomed. Certainly God has intentionally raised up (and is raising up) his people for this time. It is not a mistake or coincidence that we find ourselves here today, in this hour, and even with these problems around us. God has made us to be his people for this time. We are not our forefathers. God knows what he is doing and things are not beyond our influence or help just yet. We are here as God-seasonings in this age, and we are not to let anyone else tell us that we are unfit for this time and this work.
God hasn’t lost track of time or who he’s working with. No, this is intentional. We are here, together, for God’s purpose. Let us lift our eyes to hill where our help comes from. We are people of God. We are people of Zion. Welcome home.

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