A few things could be happening.
1. There is a conspiracy among Christian leaders, authors, and pastors to write about the same things (even though their stuff was written, preached, and produced at different times--pretty miraculous sounding)
2. I'm just paying better attention to certain messages because of where I am in my life.
3. It's the message of Christ and it's finally starting to come to life for me--and I noticed.
Here's the thing. I made a jumbo commitment to God on July 19th. I've told a few people about it for accountability because I really don't trust myself, but I didn't want to tell anyone else. I sort of wanted to try God--because I really didn't think that I could keep this commitment (for an entire year). Without sharing exactly what it was, I can share that I was in a mall with teenagers doing a prayer walk when God arrested me. There were no hand-cuffs involved but I was arrested and booked for the grave sin of covetousness. I want so much and I long for things and the longing is never satisfied. So I did something rash and said--God, I want to do (blank) for you...for a year. Why I needed to go overboard with the whole "year" thing I'll never know. But it's a done deal.
Ever since, I've been bombarded with messages. For example, the next day I came across this small article in the May/June YWJ.
"You are what you buy? A new study indicates that, as a child's self-esteem declines, their desire for material possessions goes up." Hmmm, must be true for adults.
Before my flight to Austin, I pulled out a book that I was required to read in college-- Freedom of Simplicity (Foster) and started reading it again to prepare for a seminar I'll be doing at NYWC in November and it knocked me over with a message about simplicity and how it opens us up to love and to serve. (I'll blog more about this book later because there is so much to share.)
Yesterday at staff meeting our pastor played the Nooma "Shells". Rob Bell reminded me of a church father's encouragement to us (Soren K.)"to will one thing"--how I need to let go off a bunch of stuff so that I may say "yes" to the things that matter, to the thing God calls each of us to. Rob said, Jesus had to say no to healing and all sorts of other good things because he was on his way to Jerusalem--he had already said "yes" to something and nothing was going to get in his way.
This morning I flipped through a book I've been reading by Craig Groeschel, Confessions of a Pastor and I'm reading about Moses who allowed his insecurities cloud his view--his lack of this or that--to give him doubt and want for something different.
What is going on?
I'm pretty sure this stuff has been here all along but I guess the movement toward simplicity draws us to see things that we didn't see before.
I can't wait to write about some of the stuff that has happened in the last three weeks on this journey. For now, I need to let it sit. I'm humbled and grateful for the many voices--the divine echoes--that have been brought to my attention lately.
Labels: Materialism, Simplicity