A couple Christmases ago, Jeff got me a GPS. I think it was one of the best gifts ever for me. I am directionally challenged, and I lack map skills, and driving around Nashville in traffic with Google maps was just not safe for me and anyone driving near me.

I have to admit, I’m a little nuts about my GPS. So, Jeff and Jesse recently messed with it. On purpose. Each time I got into the van, they had changed something on it. I’m a little slow…But when the GPS woman started speaking in Mandarin Chinese,  I finally figured out that the buttons hadn’t been pushed accidentally.

They thought this was funny and were secretly laughing behind my back. For days.

It seems, though, that following directions is not my strong suit either. When the GPS woman says, “Turn now,” I sometimes don’t, and when she announces the street names, I still miss them.  So my favorite feature is when she says, “Recalculating…recalculating…recalculating. ” It could just be me, but after a while, she almost seems a little angry that she has to say it so often.

Abba has a way of recalculating life for us too. We set out on a plan, the way we think our lives should go. And then He steps in and messes up our well laid-out plans, and some of us secretly think to ourselves, “How dare He.”

Our family has been in the process of having our lives recalculated for a while now, and at times it’s painful and scary, and it often looks a little absurd. Some days I’m up for it, and some days I just want to go my own way… live a life of comfort and safety…a life that doesn’t require too much of me or out of me. 

And then I look at Scripture, and I look at the life that Jesus led and realize I don’t have that option. Not really.

When the people came out to see John the Baptist in the wilderness, he shocked them by calling them “Brood of snakes.” Because John knew their hearts and their motives, and he knew they were coming only for the show everyone was talking about. John told them that their lives must change. Their response to his name calling, “What should we do?” He said,”If you have two coats give one away;  do the same with your food.”

Really? That’s it? That’s the changed life that John was talking about?

I read Scripture, and all of a sudden I see it all over the place. This is real love in action….no longer just words. It’s hearing the Word and doing it. And it has to encompass everyday life.

The early church got it. And people noticed. Because the thing that set the early church apart was their shared life.  They shared their food; they shared their possessions; they shared their lives. And their shared lives and love for each other amazed the people around them.

But people can share life, and there still be no real life in it. So there had to be more. The real difference in their lives? Jesus.  They weren’t just talking about Jesus; they were following Jesus and listening to the Holy Spirit and what He told them to do. 

The early church realized that the kingdom and kingdom living were more important than anything else. And the people around them came to Jesus by the thousands.

As I look at my life, I wonder if others see Jesus even a little bit or am I busy only talking about Him? Do they see love and real life and not just another person grabbing for what she thinks will make her happy? So, this brings me to a recalculation of what is important and what I’m realizing is not.

Take care of My sheep. That’s what Jesus told Peter. I think it’s as simple as that.

I’m called to this life of love. And it’s not the love that syrupy songs are written about. It’s a life of sacrifice, of inconvenience, of risk, of insecurity, of suffering, of waiting, of hands wide open…of receiving but also of letting go, of contentment, of gratefulness in everything. It’s the Jesus life and settling for anything less will always come up short.

“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.  (Matthew 10)


3 Responses to “recalculating”

  1. 1 Fiona
    May 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

    This hit home with me today. I’ve been in a similar place the past 6 months. It is good to be reminded that others are seeking walk this journey of radical living as well. Thanks for being honest and sharing!

  2. 2 Kristin Brænne
    May 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

  3. 3 LeeAnne
    May 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Once again you hit close to home. Thx for your heart girl!

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