i read The Shack by William Young this weekend. i read the first few chapters thursday when i was on duty, then read more than half yesterday and finished it today. it's been great being able to just chill and lay on my bed and read. i feel like things said in it really spoke to me and what i'm kind of thinking through right now. like:
-we were created to be loved. to live as if you are unloved is a limitation, not you are limited because you are unloved. how often do i live and act and think like i'm not truely loved? just this morning i found myself dwelling on the fact that i always seem to be forgotten and how that must be a reprocussion of unlove.
-relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself - to serve. dang. when you think about it, almost all relationships revolve around power in some form, there often seems to be this subconscious qualification of what the relationship is and who has the upperhand or whatever... there's always underlying comparison going on, a fight for power. and the way that we can fight against that is to limit ourselves, get rid of our selfishness, and serve. to stop worrying about who's better or worse and serve out of love and just genuinely care for eachother wherever they're at.
-when you chose independence over relationship, you become a danger to each other. others became objects to be manipulated or managed for your own happiness. authority, as you usually think of it, is merely the excuse the strong use to make others conform to what they want. oh dear. even more about how self-serving we are! and it's true! we use each other to fit our needs and wants instead of just being in relationship with eachother. when we choose to (which is usually subconscious) be on our own and choose to serve ourselves, we endanger each other. true love cannot flow when we're caught up in ourselves.
-God won't use you. unlike people might and probably will if you really love and serve freely, God won't use you and leave you hanging.
-the real underlying flaw in your life is that you don't think that God is good. if you knew that He is good and that everything - the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives- is all covered by goodness, then while you might not always understand what He's doing, you would trust Him. ahh! i want to truely, in my heart of hearts, believe and know that God is good and that no matter what, i would trust Him and know He really works all things for my good, especially when i don't understand.
-trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. so true, but hadn't thought about it that way before. the people that i don't really trust are the ones in which i don't really know and feel like they love me.
-you must give up your right to decide what is good and evil on your own terms. that's a hard pill to swallow; choosing to only live in Him. to do that you must know Him enough to trust Him and learn to rest in His inherent goodness. um, yes please! i want this!
-genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy. submission is not about authority and it is not about obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. i feel like this goes back to all the other things above..
-following God is not being just like Jesus (cause we won't be!) but for your independence to be killed. dependence on Him is what's truely important and vital.
-learn to live loved.
-you have to take the time to prepare the soil if you want it to embrace the seed. patience, grasshopper, patience.
-this whole thing is a process, not an event. all He wants from you is to trust Him with what little you can, and grow in loving people around you with the same love He shares with you. it's not your job to change them, or to convince them. you are free to love without an agenda. back to the whole relationship thing. loving without an agenda or motives or goals to fulfill. just love. !!!
-faith does not grow in the house of certainty. faith does not come from things we know, but relying on things we might not be sure of.
-true love never forces. if it's an obligation or forced than it's not true love.
-each relationship between two people is absolutely unique. that is why you cannot love two people the same. it simply is not possible. you love each person differently because of who they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you. and the more you know another, the richer the colors of that relationship. back to that you can't compare thing. it won't ever be the same between you and two different people. or between two people together and you with either of them. don't compare.
-if God wanted you to know, He'd tell you.
-if anything matters then everything matters. because you are important, everything you do is important. every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, God's purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again. who you are and what you do, whether you think it's acknowledged or not, matters and changes things.
so yea. it's alot of dense, life-perspective-changing stuff. we are a body and we are called to love one another as God loves us. that means resolving conflicts (in a godly way of course). that means serving each other without putting expectations on them or comparing people. build a monument to remember what God has done in your life. don't forget what He's already done. but don't lose sight of all that He still can do. and don't isolate yourself, it won't help anyone.