Paradoxes and Pedicures

About an hour ago I was sitting in Signature Nails in Green Hills treating myself to their Deluxe Pedicure.  I definitely felt I deserved this indulgence after a week of working hard on some deadlines for a couple of my marketing clients AND spending my mornings pretending I wasn’t too old to keep up with 16 4th graders at VBS.  I was ready to sit and be pampered – rewarded even.

I brought one of the books I’m reading with me.  Probably should’ve grabbed the clever romantic comedy (aka. chick lit).  It would’ve easily been more conducive to sitting in those great massage chairs with my feet in a warm sudsy whirlpool.  But instead I grabbed Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it.  I’m in the middle of chapter 5 after a week and a half.   I catch myself re-reading each chapter and stopping to really think about how it applies to my life or digging into the Bible for more insight.  Which is exactly why I should’ve grabbed the clever chick lit book for my little tootsies’ soak.

As I’m sitting there with my calves tingling from that green stuff and wrapped in hot towels, I was confronted with words like these from the chapter titled “Profile of the Lukewarm”:

“Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money and energy they are willing to give.”

“Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.”

“Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to.  They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens — they have their savings account. . . .  The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.”

“Lukewarm People drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever. “

Ouch.  And not ‘ouch’ because the pedicurist cut my cuticle.  Ouch because I think he is talking about me.  Double ouch because these lukewarm people are the ones that God says he wants to spit out of his mouth.

Chan starts out the chapter with the parable of the seed and the soil, rocks, thorns, etc. That one’s always frustrated me.  I get that the seed is the word of God and the seed that lands on the good soil, grows, takes root and yields fruit is the Christian who is living in the spirit & abiding in Christ.  The rest of the story gets foggy for me. . . basically we’re talking about differing levels of the seed landing but not doing much. (Luke 8 )

I like to think I am the good soil.  Maybe I am but Francis cautions us not to assume that.   He says “most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns.”  All the distractions.  Most of us have too much, he says. Obviously he’s right even though many of my waking thoughts are about the things I don’t have.

It does prompt me to wonder. . .  Have I settled for spiritual ‘good enough’ instead of ‘great’? Not in a ‘passing the test’ or keeping up with the Christian Jones’ kind of way.  If I suddenly quit believing in God, would people notice? Do I give just enough of myself and my possessions to avoid both personal inconvenience and the onset of guilt?   I wonder what my spiritual footprint is in this world?  What would it be if I really could say sincerely with Paul that I “want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death?” (Phil. 3:10)

I probably wouldn’t think that I deserved a reward for spending 3 hours a day hanging with perfectly nice kids.  Maybe I would leave there wondering . . . what can I do now that might have an impact on eternity?  What can I do now as a response to the realization that He is crazy in love with me for no other reason than he chooses to be?

This entry was posted in Thinking outloud about God and stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Paradoxes and Pedicures

  1. amabry says:

    I guess thinking is good. I think you will love the book but it does have a bit of a bite! Let me know what you think.

  2. Ann Nielsen says:

    Whoa…just reserved the book online at Barnes and Noble and will pick it up tomorrow. Excited and anxious to read it. Thanks for the recommend! You always make us think, Anne Mabry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s