Tuesday, July 8, 2008

inner angst

It's been awhile since my last post. It's not that I have not had the time, but I have felt wary about writing, thus have purposefully held off.
I am in a major transitional period in my life. I have moved back home to the not-so-familiar lifestyle of pre-college Karli. Although not permanent, post-college Karli is struggling to adapt. It is not the place I left four years ago as a wide-eyed college freshman. Of course. Naturally things change, as they should.
Puyallup, as a city, feels the same to me. It is not the place. It is not my neighborhood, my church, nor my family that seem different. It is me. It is my situation.
I feel like I'm hovering in limbo. I am in this strange midway place, playing the bystander. I'm not doing much, I'm just the idle observer.
I'm not sure what to do. I'm not sure how to apply myself here. Yet, I can't justify my inaction. I preach that life is a mission. That we are 'sent' people and God will use us wherever we are. But here I am, feeling purposeless, when I know that God can use me in middle-class America just as much as He can use me in Portland working with street youth. I am starting to fear that I have become too cynical. A healthy dose of cynicism can be effective. However, I feel like it is keeping my from plugging in here, because I'm waiting for something better. The "perfect" ministry, or more effective ministry in my eyes. I feel called to the poor, the homeless, and the forgotten. Yet, if I can't find ways to minister in Puyallup, how will I effectively minister in Portland? Or wherever God leads me for that matter? The Lord is never idle. He is always moving. He can use me here too....if I allow Him.
Perhaps this transitional period is the most important period of my life. Perhaps God is going to teach me things here I never expected. He has certainly been revealing things in me that I need to change. My pride being a huge factor.
Pride is a dangerous demon. It has an easy way of disguising itself. We do not easily recognize it in us, because we take pride in the fact that we are not prideful. Often we act humble as a way to pride ourselves in our humility. Christians do this very easily. It is not that we cannot be genuinely humble, but we have to check our motives.
Evagrius Ponticus (I think I'm drawn to his name more than his writings...), a Greek author of the fourth century, warns:

"The demon of pride is the cause of the most damaging fall for the soul. For it induces him to deny that God is his helper and to consider that he himself is the cause of virtuous actions. Further, he gets a big head in regard to the brethren, considering them stupid because they do not all have this same opinion of him" (The Praktikos).

I'll be honest. I struggle with this. I know the only way to fight it is through rebuke and brokenness. Continual rebuke and brokenness from the Lord. A scary thing to ask for, but entirely necessary for growth.
My recent revelation? I am easily convicted, but am not so quick to act on those convictions. What good is conviction without action? This looming question has resulted in the pause of my blog writings. I can write and write, but unless I can say I am doing something about my convictions it seems pointless and self-righteous.
My goal cannot be places. "WHEN I get here I will start this...", or "Once I get a job with this organization I can...". My goal has to be people, reaching whomever I can, wherever I am. Christ asks us to follow. If I am doing that, I am doing God's will. (Note to self: you just wrote that, so maybe start believing it).

I decided I would start writing again to free my mind. For those that do not know me, I am a verbal processor. It's easier for me to get these thoughts out of my head and onto a page. I do ask that my close friends and family keep me accountable. A righteous rebuke every now and then is a healthy thing. Have at it. Please.

I want to preach through my actions. Father, help me.