Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ukupita kuti? ("Where are you going?" in Chichewa)

It is interesting how, with God, everything is connected.

Over the past year and a half, many of my goals have involved a desire to remove clutter from my life. There was a point last spring when I realized that a decluttering movement was neccessary. There came a point this summer (actually it hit me over and over again) that I decided I was really going to do it. Declutter. Eliminate excess. I put it into practice, and it was not always easy. I stepped away from some things (good, fun things) that were just taking up space. I wasn't just trying to declutter my schedule but also my heart, my mind, and my spirit. I decided to allow myself to be refined by the Lord, so he put me in the fire and burnt away the chaff. That hurts.

One day I thought to myself, it has finally goal accomplished...I have eliminated the clutter. I was wrong. When you stop the cleaning process, things naturally get dirty again. So here I am, ready to do some more spring cleaning.

I've been thinking a lot about where I am headed. What does my future hold? Where will it be found? Where am I going? Of course I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know some of the steps I will be taking in the near future.

For one, I am headed to Malawi, Africa this summer. I am going where "hurry up" is not heard too often, and "busy" does not describe the people's lives. Clutter is not a luxury they can afford, and personally, I think they are richer for it. A selfish prayer of mine is that this trip, these 2 weeks, will make a permanent impression on my heart; I want to absorb as much of attitude as I can. Because I don't know where I am going, but I do know what I want to be of most importance in my life, and I promise you it is not how many things I can cram onto my resume. It is not my level of productivity or progress, and it is not a job title. It may be my nature to be driven towards all of these things, but I no longer live for my nature. I said I was going to give that up years ago.

Colossians 2:20-22 says, "If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations...according to human precepts and teachings?" Our culture pushes for productivity; it drives us toward success here on earth. Well, I have died to that. I have been released from its chains of bondage. It is about time I live like I am free from those chains. I do not want to be restricted by my culture any longer.

So here we go again-- how in the world am going to do this? I suppose it won't be me doing it, as usual.