March 3, 2011

Disney - Compassion and Compromise

Tonight was really great.
Amazing actually.
And do you want to know the crazy thing?
Nothing unusual happened.
Except this:
I'm home at my grandparents house for the night (they live about an hour and a half away from my apartment) because my car is out of the shop and it's at their house, so I needed to pick it up. And since tonight is Wednesday, I went to church with them to meet the teens.
It was a smaller youth group with some re
ally great people in it, and the lesson was really good...but you know what got me? Walking in, sitting next to two girls I'd never met before, hitting it off and talking for a while, and then singing.
It wasn't an emotional set up.
No dark lights.
No alter calls.
No "make you cry" sermons.
Even the band was a little off in their rhythm.
But my heart was so desperate to worship God...
so needing a moment of quietness...
that praising Him in that moment was one of the best worship experiences I've had in a long time.
I am learning so much about what it means to be a Christian.
What it means to be in the world but not of it.
What is means to live a life of compassion but not compromise.
I have felt so at peace since I moved to Florida, filled with a confidence that I have never had before that this is the place where God wants me to be...but at the same time I have never felt so strongly like I'm in a lion's den as I do now.
My faith is my core, my everything, and I'm figuring out what it means to live faith under fire.
To be sincere in what I believe.
To walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
I want to love people like Jesus loves them, whole heartily, sincerely, with everything that I am...but I don't want to compromise what makes my faith different, the core of what Jesus taught, the values and the redemption and the forgiveness of sins. That is where my identity is found, but acknowledging the presence of sin in this world is offensive to people. What I believe in goes against the grain, it goes against human nature, but it is what makes me who I am. My identity.
So tonight, dropping all of the guards that I have had up...
being in a place where I can lift my hands and worship God with abandon...
it was so peaceful.
So amazing.
And even better? Here's the verse that's been on my mind recently. Kind of appropriate, don't you think? 

Philippians 4:6-8
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.