Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 35): Working in Fear and Trembling

I may have mentioned before that Kristen Heitzmann's novels are amazing. For Christmas, I got some Barnes & Noble money and bought the three books in the Michelli Family Series. It's possible that I've read the entire set three times already. They are absolutely inspiring. And Lance Michelli is Catholic, so I understand his faith culture.

As an aside, I am hooked on my Nook. I like having so many books in one place, but my favorite feature is being able to turn pages with one finger, especially while I'm nursing. So easy! I'm just a bit sad that it is hard to lend e-books. C'est la vie.

Anyway, Lance Michelli's faith can be characterized as extreme. He desires God above all else and is willing to sacrifice whatever is required in order that he might fulfill God's will. Of course, he doesn't always get it right, but the desire is there.

This series prompts some compelling questions for me. What is my desire? Do I simply pray for God's will to be done, or do I actively seek to do it? Is there anything in my life I would not be willing to sacrifice if God asked it of me? If so, why?

My "mission field" currently is kids. My two children, my Goddaughters, and the kids whom I serve at church. (Particularly strong-willed middle school boys, it seems. I told this to Jeremy who said, "What does that say about you?" J) I love these kids and pray I do not fail the "least of these" who have been entrusted, in part, to me.

Here's the tension. I am called, as are we all, to live a life worthy of the calling to which I have been called (Eph. 4:1). Much has been given, much is expected (Lk. 12:48). I must seek God above all else, be willing to take up whatever cross is given and follow him. But I also need to trust. I work toward a goal, while knowing that the hearts of these children and teens are not mine to change. The Spirit is at work within them. To assume I have given them faith is pride, to abdicate my responsibility is despair.

This, I suppose, is why we are working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).

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