Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When God Runs............

A Walk To Remember
Mandy Moore (Jamie) and Shawn West (Landon)

For the past several days, I have been absolutely drawn into the movie "A Walk To Remember". The movie came out in 2002 and is an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name. The lead roles are for teens of about 18 years of age, one male and one female. The male is a good looking young man, very popular in his school, rebellious and the typical 'bad boy' image. The female is a cute girl whose father is the local Reverend. She sings in her church choir and is a sweet and plain young woman with faith and values.

So, there's the premise for the entire movie. What will we do with these teens? They've grown up in small town America and have known each other since Kindergarten, but have taken much different paths. Through a series of events, they are thrown together in a more intimate environment and the story begins.

It is evident from the opening scene that the young man has the nucleus of a good heart, with compassion for others but he cannot overcome his desire to fit in as a member of the 'in' crowd and allow that heart to be nurtured. As the movie progresses, we see the young man's heart softening for the young woman. Still, he struggles with what his friends will say if he professes his affection and attraction for the young woman.

Finally, the inevitable happens and the two young people declare their affection for each other and become a couple. As in life, the other shoe drops and all is in turmoil when tragic news is learned. The remainder of the film deals with two young people, very much in love, dealing with very adult issues, the most painful of which is death.  Throughout this movie, I kept thinking "God is on that young man's trail"!

Isn't that just like life?  We go about thinking we're doing as we please, that all of our decisions affect no one but us.  Then, something happens that reminds us of our connection to countless others.  We step back and take account of our life and find that God has been running after us for most of our lives.  His only desire is for us to find Him dear to our heart; to love Him the way He created us to; to love each other as we were created to.

God runs after us before we accept Him as our Savior because He wants us to accept the free gift of salvation Jesus Christ has paid for.  We become Christians and He continues to run after us to convince us that it lies in our best interest to be committed to Him and to His way as we live our lives. 

He has a purpose and plan for each of us.  When we walk outside that plan, He runs after us to try to draw us in to the plan that will best glorify Him and give us joy and peace.  Even when we're walking in His plan, He continues to run for us in order to bring us into more intimate relationship with Him, to draw us into Himself and into the depths of His love for us.

So often, we live very surface Christian lives because we refuse to give up what our friends, neighbors and/or family members might think of us if we become 'sold out' for the Lord.  He pursues us, He guides us, He does all He can to entice us into that deeper relationship, yet we turn from it for our own selfish reasons.

Yet, in all of our confusion and downright rebellion, He continues to pursue us, running after us to remind us of the blessings we leave behind when we choose to walk away from a God that has, from the beginning, pursued His people and who will continue to do so until He calls us home.

When is the last time God ran ofter you?  Can you identify it or did you run so hard from Him that you've forgotten what you were running from?  For me, the last rebellion was a bout with grief that turned out to be not about grief at all, but about surrender...submission...letting go....trusting my Creator God to know what is best for me.

God is closing some doors in my life.  Not necessarily places I should not be or go or even people I should or should not be in contact with.  The most poignant has been a clear and definite instruction from God to put my wedding ring away.  I fought that one hard!  I felt as though putting my wedding ring away would feel like I didn't love Terry anymore or that I had forgotten all we shared.  It does neither, rather it only opens my life for new directions and a new way of serving.

I thought I would not be able to be without my ring and determined that I just could not do that.  Then, I began to forget to put my ring on before leaving my house.  I would get half way to where I was going and find I had forgotten my ring.  At first, I was so upset and almost turned around and headed back home just to get my ring.  Something (God?) would not let me do so. 

It doesn't make practical sense to me to put my ring away.  I have loved Terry since I was 15-16 years old.  What sense does it make to put my ring away now simply because he lives in heaven and I'm still here on earth?  Frankly, I don't know.  However, I have learned a thing or two about serving God.  The first is that, God often does not make human sense.  Why should He?  He created me; why should the created expect the creator to explain himself to us?  THAT makes no practical sense either, right?  Right.

I don't always under stand His way, but I understand that He loves me and ALWAYS, ALWAYS does what is best for me and what will allow me to bring more honor to Him.  Sometimes I forget that my purpose here is not to have a good time, or enjoy the ride.  My purpose here to is accomplish the plan He has for my life.  I don't know why wearing my wedding ring interfered with that, but it did. 

So, I put my ring away.  I don't know if this means never wear it again; but I know it means don't wear it for now.  I don't like it; but I'm accepting it and I will like it because I am commanded to revere and honor the Lord.

37 Jesus replied,
“‘You must love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul,
and all your mind.’
38 This is the first
and greatest commandment.
Matthew 22:37-38  (NLT)


Jada's Gigi said...

The Whys are not always made clear... obedience is the point. I have done a hard thing or two lately myself...and it has been well worth it.....somehow....

Deb said...

Your post brought me right back to a place in my life - on my wedding day - when I was wearing a third earring that had been given to me by someone in my past. The Lord had repeated told me to take that earring out of my ear - and I didn't - for a bunch of reasons: I didn't have another I liked as much to replace it, I had been wearing it for so many years, it was a part of my wardrobe, what harm could it do? after all, it was just a silly earring. Sitting in the hairdresser's chair the morning of my wedding, he brushed my hair - the hair caught the earring and it was yanked out of my ear! God took that earring out that day. I've since lost it. A good thing....but I get where you're coming from with the wedding ring. It's all about obedience to God. :)