To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Whoever finds his life will lose it,

Earlier today I was having a telephone conversation with a sweet friend and we were discussing how difficult it is to be in community. Man, it just gets messy sometimes.
There are times when I really just want to hunker down at home with Rob and the kids and just stay there.

Or avoid situations or people that I know are potentially complicated.

To hide.

To just not risk anything...my heart...my feelings...my time.

Sometimes I don't want to be hurt.

Sometimes I don't want to bear someone else's hurt. I don't know where to put it.

I want to play it safe.

I want to be safe.

and whoever loses his life

But, I've noticed something. Sitting in a car that is idling may drastically reduce your chance of being in an accident...but you sure won't get anywhere.
Yesterday, Abby had a field trip and part of me just wanted to not go and stay home. I didn't want to have to be with people...to work at connecting...establishing new relationships...or maintaining existing ones.
Simply because it's work. Because I can be lazy. And let me tell you, I can make lazy look good. I can make lazy look like I'm really concentrating on my home and my family.
But I did go.
And I'm glad I went. The other mom who rode with me? She has an eight year old son diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Do you think we had anything to talk about? I got to eat lunch with another mother that I'll be working with on a special project next month.
But those aren't the reasons I'm glad I went. Spending a lovely morning looking at butterflies with Abby isn't even the reason why I'm glad I went.

for my sake will find it.

The Gospel is a call of death. Life is found not in living safe...but in risking it all. It's jumping into the ocean depths of God's grace...not trusting that I won't be hurt but trusting that he is the great Physician...trusting that he will heal any wounds. Life is found in sharing someone else's burden because Christ took all the burden of my sin...because his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

I find life when I live for the one who has given life. He takes it and creates something altogether different. In giving away we receive...in losing we find. The risks are worth it. To live a gospel life is worth it.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21

2 comments:

Jessica said...

Love you so much.
Thanks for being in community with me...it is messy, but it sure has had its enjoyable moments. =)

Kyle and Becky Gallagher said...

That is beautiful, Marty. I really needed to hear that. It is so honest and true...and scary... to let go of your safety net and trust God and His goodness and His promises. Why don't I get an email anymore whenever you update your blog? I miss that!