Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Road...

courtesy of photobucket.com

For as long as memory serves, I can recall us "good Christians" always asking God for some sign to reveal His will for our life- something tangible, an audible voice, a recognizable reminder that He is here with us, holding our hand, leading the way, steering the wheel.

I've even been guilty myself of making deals with Him.

"God, if you will do this for me, then I will do that for you.  'Let this cup pass from me,' and then I will know for sure you really exist.  Then I will do big things for you."  Or, something along those lines-my decisions always predicated on what He would first do or show me.  And so for most of my life, I became a waiting expert- content to wait for that ostensible sign from God above, hoping somehow for a miraculous revelation of His holy road map for my life.

That was easy.

A much harder theology to embrace is that in order to find we must first seek, and that seeking by definition means acting not reacting- doing something before we may feel led or inspired to actually do it.

Doing it before we get our sign.

So a few years ago my family, spurred on by the words of James to the early Christians, decided to turn down a less traveled road.  We hadn't exactly heard God's royal voice, nor had we seen irrefutable evidence of His will.  Didn't feel some great calling either or especially qualified to do anything other than what we had been doing in our past.

Just figured we had an extra bedroom for some kids who might need a safe place to land for a while.

And so now,  I find it mildly curious when people ask me if I worry about how fostering and adopting might negatively affect my biological children, even though a few years earlier I might have asked the same question  of others so inclined. My answer is always the same:

Not worried a bit.

Worried about as much as I might worry about how my wife birthing another one herself would "harm" them.  Not even a blip on the worry radar.  In fact, what I really worry about is trying to explain to my kids how my religion demands I care for the defenseless, how my religion demands I give food, drink, and clothes to the needy, how we have such a charmed life- a life full of blessings and bounty and how we could then choose to ignore during the week the faith we profess on Sunday. How could we refuse to share in our undeserving abundance?

No, I worry more about obscuring the light of His truth in a reclusive, self-absorbed, self-seeking, self-indulgent bushel of me.

I worry more about the negative effects of complacent faith, deceiving us into believing the chief aim of mankind is self-gratification at every given moment in time- a lifeless faith that never challenges us to get over ourselves

A faith without sacrifice.

Because,

God didn't save me to church attendance. God didn't save me to one hour of Sunday entertainment. God didn't save me to build up walls against those different from myself. He saved me to serve Him. He saved  me to care for the least of my brothers.

He saved me to rescue the perishing and care for the dying.

I would be lying if I said the journey down this road was not without its sadness.  The truth is our experience (despite appearances) hasn't been some cutesy, idyllic, picture perfect postcard of blissful living.  It has been and continues to be hard work with a little bit of everything else mixed up and thrown in together.  We've learned a lot about ourselves, about our children, about humility, about the kind of faith we hope to have one day.

And, in this process, we are still discovering something else:

We'll never see the signs along the side of the road,

while sitting quietly in

the parking

courtesy of photobucket.com
lot...

13 comments:

Laura Boggess said...

Amen, Jeff. It does take courage to head out of that parking lot. Too many times I've sat there waiting for a sign to go. Bless you and your family for doing this hard work of love. What a beautiful thing.

Jeff Jordan said...

Good to see you, Laura...and, most of the times I just sit...

Louise Gallagher said...

hello jeff, my heart and mind go '' oh yeah! jeff's posted a blog' whenever I see you updated in my blog list.

Excited, I leap right over here to check out what you've posted and I am never disappointed.

You kick start my thinking, my being, my knowing -- I am a child of God and my role is to be of service to all of God's children.

thank you my friend for inspiring me to keep driving out of the parking lot.

Hugs

Jeff Jordan said...

Louise, THANK YOU for taking your time to read and offer your encouragement. very much appreciated. really.

Kevin Clark said...

Awesome! Thank you for sharing that beautiful sentiment and for opening your home and heart to those amazing children.

Jeff Jordan said...

Thanks for stopping in Kevin.

caryjo said...

Jeff, SO disappointed that I had missed this for these days...so happy that I just discovered it. YIPPEE!!

In many ways, you and I think alike and serve the Lord with the same aspects on our hearts and minds. You are more involved with kids than I am, but helping, doing, being where the Lord calls us to be is all that's truly important.

Thank you so much. A blessing as usual.

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