Friday, September 15, 2006

I don't want to be a feverish, selfish clot

Kevin and I are going through the infamous "Purpose-Driven Life" book by Rick Warren right now. We bought this about four years ago, made it to about Day 5, and for whatever reason never finished (clearly we were not very purposeful about it--hee, hee.) Our renewed interest in the book was sparked by reading this article about Rick Warren.

(I have to admit I'm sometimes a bit skeptical of the big name Christian authors/speakers/pastors who sell tons of books and who have gigantic ministries (not that there's anything inherently wrong with being successful, wealthy, or with having a big church, please don't get me wrong.) But I sometimes wonder how much of what they do is for profit, are they just resorting to some marketing gimmick to make a few bucks. But after reading this article we were so moved by what Rick and his wife are doing in Africa and his commitment to philanthropy that we said, we gotta read that book again!)

And direction and purpose are things we've been talking about lately. What is our direction, where are we wanting to go in life? More importantly where is God wanting to take us? Currently we have no clue. We don't see ourselves staying here for much longer than a few years, at this point anyway. The hour-plus commute for Kevin has gotten old, the 35 minute trip to church can be a lot sometimes, we're not really wanting to put down roots in this town, we want our sons to be raised in a place where they don't always feel quite so conspicuous.

What does that mean for us? Like I said we don't know. We have certain things we DO know, like we want to live somewhere that we can afford, we think we want to live in East Africa someday for awhile (hopefully Ethiopia although we have no clue when/if/how that would happen), and most likely, no matter where we go, it will mean leaving California. We also know we don't want to just settle into the suburbs and live for ourselves with our 1.2 kids and our dog (okay we already have over twice that many kids, and I don't really like pets, and we probably will live in some sort of suburbs, but you know what I mean!)

After reading and being challenged by Shane Claiborne's book Irresistable Revolution, we just both feel so strongly that the Lord wants our lives to be about more than the daily grind of "life as usual": a 40-hour work week, fun on the weekends, church on Sunday, not much time for anything else like loving and helping others, or "seeking the welfare of the city" like Jeremiah 29:7 talks about. God gave us ALL the Great Commission, so what does that mean for the Heldt family?

So lately we've just been trusting God that He will show us where to go at the right time. We feel like He's maybe preparing to do that. One reason we are so confident that He will guide us at the right time (and that that hasn't happened yet) and that He DOES have a plan for us is that there are no clear, logical, or obvious options for us right now. No obvious (or even workable) place for Kevin to transfer if he wanted to continue doing what he's doing, no obvious "other options" for his employment. So in the meantime we will trust, and pray, and seek God, and read "The Purpose Driven Life". :)

There is a quote I really like that Rick Warren had in his book, that was actually also in the biblestudy I'm currently going to at church (apparently God really wants me to hear this!) It's by George Bernard Shaw and says,

This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

What great words and what a great mental picture (I so don't want to be that clot!) It is exciting to think about God's purpose for my life and also so awesome that He wants to use me and that I don't have to worry, that He will take me where He wants me when He wants me there.


Rachel said...

Rick Warren and Lee Strobel were both Pastors at a local church to us in Orange County. It is huge, and I never went, but heard amazing things from others who did. How fortunate that God dave these wise men a platform to speak on a weekly basis. Maybe I should reread the book, it has been about four years for me to (although I did finish it).

We go to Church in the Town we live in and it is still a twenty minute drive! We would like to find a church closer, but we really like the church we are attending so it is a struggle. For now, we tend to allocate just enough time to get there as the serviceis starts. Luckily there are a lot of seats!!!

shells said...

Love it love it love it. I JUST WANT TO BE USED FOR GOD!!!!!! Sounds like you do too! :) I am also learning to focus on the now, because who knows what is coming!?!?!? I still say how cool if we end up in the same place-God is that big ya know. Thanks as always for sharing your heart.

Brianna Heldt said...

Rachel, what church did you end up deciding on--when you guys were here I remember you saying you were still trying to figure it out. I'm glad you found a place where you're happy! (Even though it's a bit of a drive.)

darci said...

brianna, so good! it is so exciting to me to 'meet' other women who share the same heart. My husband and I JUST moved back "home" and yet we have been asking "is this it God?" I don't want to 'just live' my life, as you described, just working, eating, 'having fun', putting my kids in all the right activities. I want to KNOW and SERVE God. I want to live with an open heart and open arms and open wallet to those all around us. Can I share a verse I just read today?
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient. For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3
I am where God has for me to be this moment--I am just striving to live my life so that at any time He is not blocked by me to change my life around. Love the CLOT mind picture..may I not be a clot! :)

richlisad said...

Great book by Shane, I am half way through right now and very hooked. Challenging stuff to say the least. You might like Donald Miller's stuff too. Keep being open to His lead, and obey when you hear it!


Daisy said...

This is somewhat unrelated, might want to do some research on Heidi and Roland Baker's ministry in Mozambique. It is listed on the internet at (I think). God is doing amazing things through the Bakers. They have completely put their life down and given it to the Lord. Amazing stuff!!

Rachel said...

We currently go to a church called "The Rock" which we really like. We haven't really found our nitch there, but that is probably our fault :) Today, however we were invited to Pinecrest Community Church with some friends and really liked it too. It is an additional seven minutes away, but a much more intimate setting and still very modern. On the way home we passed a Baptist church that is only 8 minutes from us. We joked about going there, but it was huge too. So, we tithe at The Rock, but are still in the market, as it were. Church shopping after living here a year! God must be frowning at us!

Raskell Party of 8 said...

You are in my prayers for a new light from the Lord on the next step. We travel about 20 min to church. We also contemplated leaving for a closer, "Adoption" friendly church, but God said no. We are now starting an adoption ministry and the sermons just get better and better. It is a large church but so down to earth. You know, there is plenty of homes for sale in eastern Washington and North Idaho! Plenty of mountains, trees, skiing, boating, camping, great schools, great churches, great people! :)


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