People keep asking me why I decided to do Americorps this year. Really there's a slew of reasons. I need a break from Austin, I think it would be cool to travel, the educational reward doesn't hurt. Those are all great, unchallenging, friendly answers. None of it really cuts to the core though.
I'm tired of getting fat on worship, and gorging on church community and not doing anything with my faith. I want to be out there - in the world - addressing people's pain, and not just via the collection plate - with my own hands and labor. I'm tired of hiding in the safety of the church, in the comfort of the like-minded. I'm tired of complaining about how inconsequential the church is today, when most of the time, I'm the least significant Christian I know. I'm sick of letting the love of Christ sit stagnantly in my heart.
This guy says it better than me::
"If our definition of being a Christian is simply to enjoy the priveledges of worship, be generous at no expense to ourselves, have a good, easy time surrounded by pleasant friends and by comfortable things, live respectably and at the same time aviod the world's great stress of sin and trouble because it is too much pain to bear it -- if this is our definition of Christianity, surely we are a long way from following the steps of Him who trod the way with groans and tears and sobs of anguish for a lost humanity; who sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, who cried out on the unreared cross, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'
--Charles Sheldon (1896)
I just feel like the church should come out of its building more. Starting with me. In South Carolina. With illiterate kids and hurricane victims. And a bunch of servant-hearted kids from all over the country who need to know Jesus.
I like this choice because it feels like it's costing me something. I worry about the friendships I might lose by leaving, and being away from my family for a year, and spending holidays alone, sleeping in a tent for a month or more. But then I think, isn't that very whiney and American of me, and really when I think about all the stuff I'm giving up, it just makes it seem more and more like something Jesus would do. If history is any indicator - He'd choose the costliest path.
So that's where I'm at on that.