Once upon a time, I was making a Marble Mocha Macchiato for some dude who thought he was hot stuff. We talked for about 2.5 minutes and then he told me, “I think you would make a good wife. Let me take you to dinner.” I laughed at him and said, “I don’t think so buddy.” He couldn’t understand why I’d turn down such an offer so flatly. I had several reasons but the most important was that he asked me out after talking to me for only 2.5 minutes. He didn’t know me. Sure, I told him I had gone to church that morning. Sure, he observed I had a sense of humor and was friendly. But, he didn’t know me. He didn’t care about my character or the desires of my heart; he just wanted to have a good time… And while I’m a fan of a good time (depending on how it’s defined) I am not interested in a guy who is looking for just that and who wouldn’t take the time to get to know a girl for longer than 2.5 minutes before telling her she’d make a good wife and asking her to dinner.
I wonder sometimes if God feels that way about us. We want Him to save us. We want a God who will help us to, in a sense, have a good time. But we want it now. We want to spend 2.5 minutes casually chatting and then see what He’ll give us. We don’t want to take the time to invest in getting to know Him. But He doesn’t work that way. He’s looking for devotion. He’s looking for people who love Him because of who He is, not because of what we think He will give us. He is looking for a people who will LOVE Him. To love God, you have to know God. We get to know Him by spending time reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer. We can’t say that we love Him if we’ve never made it a priority in our lives to get to know Him, continually.
Then there’s the world. As we get to know God, we see more and more that He loves the world and He calls us to love the world. But, it’s easy to think that to love God means that knowing Him should be our ONLY priority. I wonder if that’s, again, us being lazy – “give it to me now” – people. But to love, you have to know. Do you love your neighbor? Do you love your country? Do you love the nations? You have to know them. Clearly, we can’t all know every person and every issue, but as people who love God and who are called to love the world, we should be diligently seeking to know the world.
I have spent a lot of my life unaware of the world. Slowly, I’m learning to live with my eyes open, and not just that but to actively seek out information and to purposefully walk into hard places. I want to love the world well and that means I have to know the world well. I wish I was better at it than I am. I’m working on it. I’m continually challenged by people in my life who have been working on doing this well longer than I have and more importantly by the example set by Jesus.
Love causes change.
Every person I have gotten to know and grown to love has changed me and I am willing to bet the same is true for you. Knowing God and getting to know Him better has shaken me at my core and transformed me into a new creation – a forever developing creation, because His work is never complete in us in this lifetime. Getting to know the world is changing me. It continually flips my understanding of reality upside down. It’s hard stuff and hard questions… but it’s God’s creation… and amidst the hard stuff He’s continually developing His story of redemption and inviting us into it as vessels of transformation and as carriers of His love to the hard places.
I’m going to try to talk more about these things here from now on… and share with you about the things that I’m learning… and we’ll see where He takes us, figuratively and literally.