“God is not looking for spasms of passion, but for hearts of endurance.” …are thirteen words that are resounding in my mind since yesterday’s service at my home church Trinity, in Kelowna, B.C. These words originated with International Justice Mission Founder Gary Haugen, pertaining to the work of the IJM organization in third world countries, where they continue to save bond and sexual slaves from lives of despair and torment. IJM delivers hope in a big way.
Yesterday at church, we celebrated the accomplishments of a small team of middle school youth who raised $151,000.00 for IJM. My 14 year old son Malcolm was one of them. And each one of those kids, led by their youth leader Simon, model hearts of endurance to all of us. They set their goals way high, they ignored the impossible nature of it (even though some of us parents thought otherwise), and they worked at one task at a time, one yard maintenance job at at time, one sacrifice at a time, until they reached their goal. And because of their endurance, 151 slaves are now free. WOW!
The question begs to be asked… what kind of heart do I have? Even after all the excuses are set aside, after the exceptions are made, the justifications considered, whatever, is my heart enduring with the love of God? Am I living a life that puts his desires first? Well, am I?
Not easy to take that kind of look at yourself.
Turns out I need to make some adjustments to how I’m currently living out my faith. Turns out I’ve been growing weary of doing good and even giving up on some things. Turns out I’ve been guilty of spasms in some areas.
Creativity and passion and big picture thinking can be a problem sometimes. My husband and I often have conversations that involve dreaming about this thing and that thing and painting wonderful word pictures around certain topics. We expouse on possibilities a lot… that’s how God made us. We like to envision things. It gets us excited, revved up, inspired. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a problem if that’s all it is. It can be a problem if it’s all about starting things and not finishing them, or about giving up when the energy wains and the inspiration grows tired. That’s why the heart of endurance has to be there.
I believe that a heart of endurance comes from God himself. Only God can give me the sense of purpose and the deep inner conviction that allows me to continue to walk forward in the face of adversity, weariness, circumstances, lack. There’s just so much more at stake than how I feel.
So, I must take time out to look at the things I’ve been less than excited about lately. And find out why. And then, with God’s help, make the adjustments necessary to finish well what I have begun.
Still on the path,