Thursday, September 07, 2006

a little bit of dying...or maybe a lot

The other night a friend of ours joined us for a back porch conversation. The summer heat has finally subsided and we've been enjoying cool evenings sitting under the stars at least for a few minutes each night. Our back porch is temporarily out of commission...paint is still drying on the concrete, after we pulled up the lovely putting green carpet and used way too much elbow grease cleaning up the glue on the surface. Tomorrow it'll be back in service, and until then we've utilized the driveway behind the house for seating area.

So back to this conversation. Our friend is a couple of years removed from college and has been hit very hard with the frustrations of calling, career, friendships, church, and hobbies. They're all individual and separate, but very interwoven in reality. Displeasure or struggle in one pours into another, and if they all start to brew, it is difficult to step outside to get a true picture of life. That was the case here.

It is hard to listen. The human heart does not enjoy frustration, sadness, and hard things. We like to "be there" for someone, to be a rescue...but to walk alongside appropriately, effectively, patiently--that is not necessarily the road of choice. Listening is a gift of grace.

It is hard to not offer answers. The human heart, when exposed to these things, immediately rushes to conclusions and the "fixing" part; especially the male human heart, speaking from experience. We want to solve problems. We want resolution. Speaking truth and courage into a life is a gift of grace.

So what's this about dying? Well, as our conversation continued, we found intrigue and hope in being reminded that being a believer in the gospel of Christ and transformed by His Spirit includes a little bit of dying...or maybe a lot. Dying to some dreams that aren't coming to fruition. Dying to the idea of not having bills to pay, especially those student loans. Dying to the idea that friendships last forever and never have struggles. The post-college years are critical in walking through these things.

But the glory of the Gospel is that death is not final. In the midst of death there must be life! And when we die to these things, whatever they may be, we simultaneously embrace the hope and glory of the Gospel. Is everything resolved nice and tidily? Probably not. Believing in the hope of the Gospel involves a willingness to long for a substantial healing...a proximite justice...while on earth, trusting and believing that a complete and fulfilling healing is yet to come. We wait, but we wait with hope. And we overflow for others to experience this grace and glory.


At 9:05 PM, Blogger strattonglaze said...

Thanks for this dealing with very similar issues at this point (23) in my life. I am finishing up working for a church for the last two years and have a lot of confusion on what God has called me to do next but I am trying to be patient and wait for the right opportunity. Speaking of opportunities - any available at blood:water? :)

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Aaron, I am really glad that you continue to blog, I enjoy what you share. I am in my 40s and have many friends in their 20s and most all of them are dealing with those same issues as your friend. So much of what you said rings true.


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