Monday, June 25, 2012

giving up the dream


These photos are a glimpse into how I've been feeling lately. My life is busy and rushed. I've been caught up in things and appearances. Happiness and greed. From the outside, everything looks perfect. I'm living as much of the American Dream anyone at the age of twenty could want to live. I'm taking summer classes so I can earn my college degree sooner. I go out to concerts with my friends, drink coffee every morning, and read conservative political magazines to keep up with what's going on in the world.

And I'm over it.

I was not called to live a comfortable life. I'm wrapped up in a bubble of American middle-class security. God has called me to something else entirely.

We often look at the story of the "rich young ruler" (Mark 10:17-27) as a metaphor for how we need to be willing to give up the things we hold dear. But what good is being willing if you aren't doing? Jesus said  

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)

Is that not a command to give up the things that makes us comfortable? I'm not trying to guilt trip anyone. That isn't the purpose of this. I'm thankful, so thankful, for the things with which God has blessed me. But I've been obsessed with temporal things. We don't just live this life for what it is. We live it in the light of eternity. What matters in this life is people. They won't see Jesus in our nice houses, cars, or jobs. They will see Him in our sacrifices. The steps we take to share the Gospel with a broken and dying world. 

I realize everyone isn't called to full-time ministry. Many may be offended by this. But this is what has been on my heart. How can I sit comfortably when people die of hunger every day? When girls are trafficked less than five miles from my house? I realize bad things happen because we live in a depraved and sinful world. 

I want to simplify my life. Stop obsessing over material things. Not just talk about helping others, but DO. Obey the command God has given. This is a dangerous post because it is a reminder to myself. Something to make me accountable. I know this isn't everyone's calling, but lately, I've been feeling it on my heart.



  1. Lately this has been the EXACT cry of my heart as well. I completely understand where you are and how you feel. Desperate.
    At least that's how I feel. Desperate for more of God at any cost. Desperate to see more people actually look like Jesus through actions.
    God's been challenging me with this. And just like you said, we look at the parable as a metaphor... we should be willing but not actually have to give things up. And I've discovered the opposite. Each time I've given something up in my heart and told God that he can have it, He has indeed taken it shortly after. I feel like that is a test to see if my heart is lining up with my actions. Not a test so much for Him as it is for me though.

    It's been extremely difficult for me because I don't feel like anyone mimicks this heart cry I have - no one understands the joy I have by willingly asking God for His plan. People think I'm making bad decisions and not being wise, when in my heart I feel I'm gaining all the wealth in the world because I'll have Him, and I'll have Him without anything in between us. I'm also fighting not to seek comfort. It's difficult but it's a conscious decisions over and over.

    Thanks for posting this. It is SO refreshing to hear someone else feeling the same way.

    God is doing a huge work right now to reveal His glory.

  2. I think it's not so much that materials are bad. On the contrary, Ecclesiastes tells us to eat, drink, and be merry! I do believe the problem lies in why and how we gain our material blessings. So much of what we have is acquired by greed. The majority of us have more than we need, not because someone gave it to us, but because we wanted it. We thought we needed it to polish our image, feel comfortable, or "fit in." There are people who are given enormous blessings because they are spiritually gifted with generosity. Those people who donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to starving children, church ministries, or orphans. Unfortunately, I don't think that's a common gift... You hit the nail on the head by addressing humanity's greed. Yes, God will provide us with all that we need, (and to some, He gives more!) but God never gives the impression that hoarding our possessions is what we were called to do. We are to lay up treasures in heaven, and I think if we are concerned with that, we will see the true purpose of our temporal belongings: to further God's kingdom.

    Thanks for sharing Katy. :)

  3. I understand totally how you are feeling. I've been there many times myself. People get consumed with making money and having things that they don't have time for God. Other people choose a poorer, more simple lifestyle but their time is consumed by constant home repairs, car repairs, bargain shopping and struggling to pay the bills that they don't have time for God. I have been both kinds of people. Finding a balance isn't really that difficult when you follow God's direction. He will open the right doors and give you wisdom if you will listen. It's obvious that you want His will. Satan will try to detour you but don't let him. God will certainly use a person, like you, totally surrendered to Him.


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