Monday, October 28, 2013

Ambition & Joy

I am not an ambitious person--at least not in terms of career or writing a novel or visiting every country in the world before I die. I always excelled academically but that was due to the fact that academics are pretty easy for me and so everyone expected me to excel. I was driven much more by the desire for praise and love than for a desire to become a famed or published scholar of any kind.

But over the last... decade? Oy. How old am I? Over the last "few" years, I have grown to have an ambition. I have no idea how to see that ambition a reality yet, but it is there. That ambition is to see Jesus heal people. The way He healed my life. You probably noticed in that first paragraph that my motivations were pretty selfish in a very insecure way. Jesus has healed that in my heart. He continues to heal me when ugly remnants rise to the surface. My ambition is that I would somehow find the words to express the immense *freedom* that God has brought me.

How do I explain going from living in a cage to living in open pasture? How do I capture the deep rest of knowing I am loved compared to the utter exhaustion of studying how to act and hoping I didn't mess up? How do I explain the release from the tyrannical words like "should" or "it's just you"? What can I say to those trapped in darkness that will open their eyes to the Light trying to break in and help them?

I have been reading in Luke recently and I am amazed how the opening chapters are _joyous_. Joy. Joy. Joy. The gospel is pure joy. Mary sings. Zechariah sings. Jesus proclaims the words from Isaiah have been fulfilled in Him. Joy. Joy. Joy.

How do you infect others with joy? Do I even live like that joy is real in my life? Do I let it get stolen by daily chores and petty irritations? Or do I remember and hold on to all these words that have been made real in my life: love, peace, community, forgiveness, freedom?

The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to [Jesus]. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord ’s favor has come. ”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.
Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:17-21 NLT)

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