One of the best things about our recent trip to Swaziland was the group of folks we traveled with. We were a varied bunch...men and women, gray-hairs and teens, Catholics and Evangelicals, Southerners and Yankees, Republicans and Democrats, and while most of us were Americans, we even had a few Canadians thrown into the mix. Though we had our differences, we were united by our love for God and our desire to make a difference in the lives of the people we met in Africa. Kevin and Christi Bowman were my frequent seatmates on our treks across Southern Africa. Those two blessed me with laughter and great conversations. They are having their lives radically transformed as they seek to be authentic followers of Jesus Christ and seek God's direction for their journey. Besides having great hair, Kevin is also gifted communicator. He recently wrote about abundant living at his website, SEPARATE AND APART, and graciously agreed to let me share his blog post here at Graceland.
May you be encouraged to settle for nothing less than HIS abundant life.
"He found that he was often angry...that they were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on. And he was angry at himself, that he could not change that for them." -Lois Lowry
In Lois Lowry's "the Giver" Jonas learns the truth of the world that everyone around him has given up in order to live in the comfort of their mundane lives. The people have given up all memory for the familiarity of a sterile prosaic monotony. There is no war, or hunger, or poverty; for this there is no color, no creativity, and no dreams. Jonas as he discovers the true joy of a life filled with color and promise is forced to flee the flat routine of his worlds uneventful utopia.
The Giver has been one of my favorite books since I first read it. Other books have come and went, but The Giver has maintained it's secure hold as my top fiction title. I am wild at heart spontaneous dreamer and a free spirited radical. I relate the awkward tension between Jonas' world and my own.
My seditious temperament often finds itself deeply pleased by the revolutionary subversion in the interactions between Jesus and his audience. Jesus wasn't safe to invite to a dinner party. I LOVE THAT!!!!
In my personal "pledge of allegiance" John 10:10 Christ contrast his abundant life promise to that of a thief. The thief wants to steal, kill, and destroy. The contrast to the opulence of Christ is not average mediocrity, it is barren poverty.
I am a communicator and yet it frustrates me that so many of the people of God are willing to accept the dearth of complacency despite it's negative effects on their marriages, their children, and their own peace while I am unable to herald a commission to change. Exasperation peaks within me as I look at the requiem of our cars, homes, clothing, and entertainment realizing the routine pursuit of these things are cancerous to us.
I will step off my soap box, put away my bullhorn and "end is near" sign and admit that I need a lot more abundant life too. I am amazed at how opposite the values, challenges, and activities of Jesus are from our "norm." I want to be obsessed with His insurgence to a greater measure than I have sought the vacancy of this world's ways. I want abundant life! Here I Am Lord Send Me!