stay tuned

I've been reading through Romans and, like every time I read through Romans, I'm just blown away by God.

It's always dumbfounding to me how people so easily dismiss the existence of God, much less the salvation He so mightily achieved for us. Maybe more people need to read Romans. But that's not what I wanted to say today...

So I'm chugging along and get to chapter 12 which has maybe the biggest "Therefore" in the Bible. After all that Paul has said, it comes down to this: : Live the God life.

Really live it. Don't fake it, live it. It's the real deal. I love how The Message puts 12:9-10

"Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle."

Practice playing second fiddle. Wow.

Being a Missionary is a strange job. It is particularly strange in Guatemala because there have been lots of missionaries who have done way cooler things than I am doing and have lived way harder lives and yet there are still a lot of missionaries here. Does Guatemala need missionaries? Yes. I mean, if I say "no" I have to move so, we'll go with "yes".

But here, in a land full of needs, missionaries get lifted onto silly pedestals. And we get this sort of status that is nothing short of...well, silly. It's a title and an honorable one. But you know what connotation it carries: helper. doer. bringer of things (money, teaching, supplies, etc.). The only problem is that often, Guatemalans expect me to to what they must do. They want me to disciple their churches - but that's not my responsibility. My job is to disciple leaders and then they are to disciple their churches. My job is to play second fiddle to them, helping them carry the melody as God conducts the great Orchestra that is His Church.

Practice playing second fiddle. Can I tell you that sometimes I get out of practice? Sometimes I forget the pedestals are silly and think, "Wow, I really must be something." You know what the conductor calls a 2nd violin who plays out of turn? Disruption. Commotion. Noise.

It's easy to forget your place when you let the world influence your thinking. It's easy to forget the joy of harmony. When I don't let God conform my mind to His, I get out of tune and everything I think myself better, bigger, smarter than I am. I forget that it's about what God has done. He's the conductor, composer and creator of all the instruments and all the players in His orchestra and forgetting that skews my perspective.

So how do you practice playing second fiddle? You serve. You let God set your perspective and you love "from the center of who you are." It's a good job, second fiddle. I just need to stay in tune.

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