Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hiding on purpose, now I'm lost (quite by accident)

The truth is I was hiding.

I did it on purpose. I was on a church missionary trip and was supposed to be the good girl. Winning souls to Christ in Venezuela was the mission. It was my mission to begin with but I was weird. I mean it, I was literally WEIRD then. I probably still am. I was with the group on a shopping trip to end out the trip. I had plenty of money because we had already been there two weeks. I never spent my money right away. My mother always gave us a certain amount of money to spend on trips and once that was gone it was GONE. I knew that. My mother wasn't with me this time but the habit was already instilled. I don't know why I didn't want to leave. It wasn't that I didn't want to go home. I think I foolishly wanted some more adventure time. Of course at fifteen I wasn't thinking about how it would affect my mom and family and even the church who had brought me here. What a jerk. So I hid. I saw a chance to go down the record store steps and hide out. I went back into the deepest, darkest corner I could find. My group left the store without me thinking that I had moved on to a store nearby. I stayed down there for what seemed like forever. When I heard nothing I thought it would be safe to come out. I heard nothing and found nothing. The store had already closed. It wasn't as simple as turning a deadbolt and letting myself out. There was a metal gate that was closed and locked up for the night. There was no getting out. As I tried to calm myself and decide my best course I looked once more outside and found there to be maybe a dozen armed police with LARGE guns staring at me with their guns pointed right at me. This was Venezuela not the U.S. the police there looked like army soldiers and intimidating to say the least. Boy, I had done it now. I went behind the record counter and crouched. I was really scared. I found a phone and called my mother. She seemed scared by what I was telling her. I feel so bad now when I think about it. What an idiot. Why I felt that driving need for adventure, I don't know. However, I was sure getting it now, just not the kind I wanted. To top it all off I got my period. I had nothing so I was bleeding on my pants. I was too scared to look for a bathroom. I sat there and hid for what seemed like forever, bleeding and scared. They left. The police eventually left. I decided that if there were no police in the morning when they came to open the store I would run out once the gate was open. There were no police. Miraculously. The gate was open, pulled up about 2 feet. I sprinted. I ran and ducked out the gate and kept running. I could hear the store worker yelling in Spanish at me. It scared me more. I ran faster. Now I really did just want to go back to the hotel and go home. I couldn't find the hotel. I was lost.


Sometimes when we hide from God we can become lost. My point is that the part I did on purpose led up to the loss of control and the fear. When I wanted to return I was so far away that I couldn't find my way back. God is always there waiting. Just like the hotel or just like my mom was waiting for me. I was the prodigal, the one who left. The problem is that even though God is there the journey back can have its own set of problems that can hold us back from our relationship with God.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Psalm 40 The "Beginning" of my Story

Psalm 40

A David Psalm

1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God. 4-5 Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your backs on the world's "sure thing," ignore what the world worships; The world's a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God-thoughts. Nothing and no one comes close to you! I start talking about you, telling what I know, and quickly run out of words. Neither numbers nor words account for you. 6 Doing something for you, bringing something to you— that's not what you're after. Being religious, acting pious— that's not what you're asking for. You've opened my ears so I can listen. 7-8 So I answered, "I'm coming. I read in your letter what you wrote about me, And I'm coming to the party you're throwing for me." That's when God's Word entered my life, became part of my very being. 9-10 I've preached you to the whole congregation, I've kept back nothing, God—you know that. I didn't keep the news of your ways a secret, didn't keep it to myself. I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough. I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth For myself alone. I told it all, let the congregation know the whole story. 11-12 Now God, don't hold out on me, don't hold back your passion. Your love and truth are all that keeps me together. When troubles ganged up on me, a mob of sins past counting, I was so swamped by guilt I couldn't see my way clear. More guilt in my heart than hair on my head, so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out. 13-15 Soften up, God, and intervene; hurry and get me some help, So those who are trying to kidnap my soul will be embarrassed and lose face, So anyone who gets a kick out of making me miserable will be heckled and disgraced, So those who pray for my ruin will be booed and jeered without mercy. 16-17 But all who are hunting for you— oh, let them sing and be happy. Let those who know what you're all about tell the world you're great and not quitting. And me? I'm a mess. I'm nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you've got what it takes— but God, don't put it off.