Saturday, April 28, 2012


Whether or not we are intensely aware of it we all have a sense of entitlement. Some people it is more noticeable than others. Once in awhile you meet a person how doesn’t appear to feel entitled to much or if they do, they tend not to exercise their rights very often. But it’s still there. I am generally a fairly laid-back person who doesn’t mind being stepped on once in awhile because really, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t that big a deal. However, I do still have a sense of entitlement. It doesn’t show itself very often, but it’s there.

It most often comes out when I am in a crosswalk.

Living in the middle of downtown Chicago, I find myself in crosswalks rather frequently, which is probably why I’m becoming more aware of my feeling of being entitled to something. When I am in a crosswalk I expect cars to stop for the red light or stop sign behind the crosswalk so that I don’t have to walk out into traffic to get around them. If they fail to do this I generally walk straight at their car, turn at the last second to walk around it, and then cut back very close to their vehicle in order to walk the rest of the way across in the crosswalk. If I’m in a bad mood I’ll throw in a sideways stare as I walk around them. Sometimes if I’m with a group of people we joke about things one could do to make the driver of the vehicle aware that you are unhappy with them for stopping in the crosswalk.

Last week as I was walking up to church I was somewhat irked by a car that decided to park itself in the crosswalk right in front of me. Seconds after my initial irritation I was struck by the thought that really, I had no right to be even slightly upset. First of all, it’s just plain stupid to be even a little bit irked by something so small and ridiculous that makes no difference whatsoever in eternity. Second, am I really justified in thinking that I have the right to cross the street safely or walk where I want to? Do I really have a right to anything? Isn’t it ironic that I think I have the right to walk in a vehicle-free crosswalk but then turn right around and question the right of the Creator of the universe to do whatever he well pleases? Isn’t it strange that I hold so tightly to my ‘right’ to be comfortable, to be safe, to do the things that I want God to call me to and not what I’ve actually been called to do? Isn’t it ridiculous?

My prayer would be that I learn to let go of the rights I think I have and entrust it all to the One who has the right to place me wherever he pleases, no matter what the cost may be. His ways are so far beyond mine that it is absolutely ridiculous to try to hold onto my ‘rights’ in place of his good and perfect plan.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

May we, like Paul, lay down our rights in order to follow the path that God has called us to, and be a part of his work of redemption, his plan that is going far beyond what we will ever be able to see or understand.

“Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 9:12  

May we lay it all down in order to gain Christ and take hold of that which is truly life.

[soli deo gloria]

Friday, April 6, 2012

Smoothies and Silverware

On Tuesday evening I had an embarrassing moment that I've been trying all week to relate to some deep and profound truth about life. However I haven't been able to come up with anything, so you'll just have to read it, smile, and find your own lesson to take away from it.

I was on my floor going over to my dear friend Emma's room so we could go on a smoothie date when I ran into Chelsea, who was just walking into the kitchen. Knowing that Emma wouldn't be ready on time anyway, I took a brief detour to the kitchen to sit with Chelsea while she finished making some pasta. As she was pulling the pasta out of the microwave she asked me to hand her a fork. Trying my best to be helpful, I walked over to the silverware drawer, pulled it open and began my search for a fork.

Now, retrieving a fork from the silverware drawer should not be a difficult task. However, there was not one immediately visible when I opened the drawer, so I began rifling through the various utensils to find one. I still could not seem to locate a fork so I went to pull the drawer open a bit farther so I could see all the way to the back. Little did I know, the drawer had nothing to stop it when it got pulled out so it just kept coming, spilling knives, spoons, and serving utensils all over the floor. But still no forks.

I stood there for a moment, surrounded by a pile of silverware, holding the empty drawer,  and feeling ridiculous, uncertain of what I should do. Chelsea had of course heard the commotion that the dislodging of the drawer had caused and had turned away from the microwave to stare at me.

"Did you really just do that?"


[soli deo gloria]

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Glimpse of Home

    This week I was blessed to have my parents visit as well as my pastor from my church back home. Faces from home are a wonderful sight when you’ve been away for three months. However the visits are always far too short and with the joy carry a hint of sadness. Once you’ve been refreshed by a taste of life back home it’s hard to begin another ordinary, and perhaps slightly dreary, week of school. And there’s always a small sense of uncertainty. After finally acclimating and settling in to life in a new place, you get a glimpse of the home you left behind and begin to feel confused about where exactly home is.

    I love my school and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to study here for anything. In one sense Chicago has become my home and I have many good friends here who have become my family. But whenever I get a taste of my home in Minnesota there is a part of me that longs to be there, that can’t wait until the next break that I’ll be going home and enjoying the presence of my family, the church I grew up in, and the familiarity of the place I lived the first eighteen years of my life.

    Today as I was considering this it occurred to me that the sense of uncertainty that we feel in this world and that lack of ‘home’ in our lives here is a good thing. Although the insecurity can be frightening, it’s a reminder to us that we are longing for and hoping for something so much better than what we’ll ever taste in this world. Once we’ve caught a glimpse of who God is, we will never really feel like we’re ‘home’ until we dwell in his presence for all eternity.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
– Psalm 34:8

    Having tasted his goodness and seen his great love for us, we can never be satisfied with anything else.

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
– Romans 8:22-25

    In the midst of busy days, long to-do lists, and a life that seems to go by faster and faster each year, it’s easy to lose focus and forget what we’re waiting for. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus and look toward the day when we will see him face to face, even the most dreary and ordinary days are filled with joy because of the hope we have in him. Even in the uncertainty we know that our hope is sure. And so with confidence and joy we press on, striving to become more like Jesus and give others that glimpse of what’s in store for those who have trusted in Christ.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

[soli deo gloria]