there are certain bonuses to reading and discussing the same book in both of my small groups.

my 'grown-up' small group has only been meeting since the fall, and from the outset, we chose francis chan's crazy love as our springboard. then, in my 'adult' small group {so named when we stopped being a young adult small group, and, with a vote, became adults}, when we finished wild goose chase, a majority chose this as our next book.

one definite bonus of two groups studying the same book is that i have more than one opportunity to think through all of the super-challenging things that mr. chan has packed into his book. it's too easy, when we study a book like this, to do the reading minutes before we meet to discuss, and rush through things that need time and space to ponder if we are to give them their due.

the chapter we discussed tonight was called, 'when you are in love', and the basis is that we don't need to try harder to love God and not sin, but rather, when we learn to love God, when we ask God to help us love him more, to want to want him even when we don't, we will love him more, and in essence, sin less. something that goes completely against the 'do it yourself' mentality that we are brought up with. surely, if i can do it myself, it would mean more than if God had to help me.

how utterly messed up.

our conversation made me think of how much i love when my niece megan and nephew nicky take the time to draw me pictures. i give them the paper, the crayons. in essence, these things i already own. they become priceless to me, though, when these little pieces of my heart take their time, and create something just for me.

{a portrait of me, drawn by nicky a few years ago.
it still has a place of honor on my refrigerator.}

i need to remember that God is less concerned with all of my big plans and ideas, and more wants me to want to sit down with him daily, crayons in hand, and make something just for him. something only i can make him, when i slow down, and stop trying to be the rock star i spend too much time thinking i need to be.

all this reminds me of a spiritual blessing given to henri nouwen by a spiritual mentor:
may all your expectations be frustrated.
may all your plans be thwarted.
may all your desires be withered into nothingness.
that you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
this, my friends, is my prayer for you all tonight.


Jenn said...

I must be a visual learner or something because illustrations and stories always seem hit home for me, and your crayone analogy definetly left it's mark!

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