(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.