What God Wants from Us

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭

Heading back to school in these post-Covid days seems more unsettling. We had more enthusiasm before. More eager anticipation. There was a unified delight in seeing old friends – student and teachers reuniting with big hopes for a great year ahead. But that was before the the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts ate away at our peace and joy. It feels like we have a new meaning to “BC”! (The years ‘before Covid’)
As our country sits in the stands of a nationwide arena and watches an unexpected documentary of “this is your life” play out in horrifying fashion before our eyes, we collectively agonize and theorize. We’re still a bit stunned by it all. As we try to take it all in, maybe we can recall some of our own bad choices from our younger years and we now understand the serious consequences of deliberately taking the unwise path. Or for others, we find ourselves judging all the parents who raised a generation of humans with too few boundaries. Or maybe we just excuse it all by saying “hey, we’re all human and we make big messes.”

Whatever we’re thinking, we’re all probably a little hesitant and unsettled as we realize the new normal that seems to be taking shape.

Brent and I are empty-nesters. We aren’t sending our kiddos to school today. I am not waving to a smiling young adult pulling out of our driveway in a packed car headed to college in the big scary world. But I well remember how overwhelming the responsibility of raising kids can feel. And in this age of rapid information, it appears that social media and Google have contributed to more anxiety. Sure, people have had opinions about child-rearing for years. But we now have access to all of those opinions with one click! It can be gut-wrenching for those just wanting relief and guidance … and assurance. (T. S. Eliot prophetically asked in 1934, ‘Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’)

I am so thankful that in the midst of all the noise, there is also the beauty of a word spoken appropriately or at just the right time. Ann V’s writing almost always speaks my heart language. A few years ago she wrote something so timely and touching that I kept it. It’s what I would tell a generation of faith-based young people who are headed out to the unknown of middle school or are coming into their adulthood during this season in our chaotic world.
It’s really the one thing.

“All we ever want for you is to be: radical about grace and relentless about truth and resolute about holiness and vows and the real hills worth dying on. The Bible’s true, Child of ours. Every infallible, sword-sharp, breathing word of it. Don’t let anyone ever rationalize one beautiful iota of it away. Love His word because it’s your life. And the only life worth living is the scandalous life: scandalous love, offensive mercy, foolish faith. 
Always have one friend that feels on the fringe, that you have to pray to love, that makes the neighbors scratch their heads. Stubbornly pray for your enemies till you see enemies are illusions and everyone is a friend and somehow grace. Be the kind of person who apologizes first because that’s the only way happiness can last. And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony.

Never stop keeping company with Christ– and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands, because you are part of a Body.
And never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself.

Make that your creed.

It’s true, Child: Be different and know everything you do matters. It’s what the Christ followers know: One person with God can change a culture.” (AV)

Wow. I almost forgot that these ARE the good ol’ days. The Bible tells me so. Jesus makes them so. (John 10:10)
Yes. Even.After.Covid.

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