Friday, September 11, 2009

Swimmin' Upstream

The following quote from Francis Chan's book Crazy Love has been rumbling in my heart for a while now, and I just have to share.
"Following Christ isn't something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream."
Wow, it's that last sentence that gets me! I can so relate to that. It's just not enough to label myself a Christian. How do I wear that label? Being a Christian is an act of ... well, action. It's a daily pursuit of my Savior, an ongoing relationship with my Creator. The minute I stop reading, praying, praising, loving I am quickly whisked back into this world, into a clouded perspective, into a societal focus.
I can talk it, but if I don't live it, it's pretty evident. See, I've been there. I've gotten busy and let my relationship slide. "I'll read tomorrow. I'll pray later." Do you know what I'm talking about? But tomorrow turns into next week and next week into next month. In the meantime there is something brewing inside me.
Not only has my perspective changed, so has my attitude. I become skeptical, cynical, critical, jealous (ouch!). I begin questioning other relationships. "Why is so-and-so acting that way? Why did she say that to me? Why doesn't she speak to me?" Have you been there?
When I stop actively pursuing the One who gives me purpose, I begin living for my own purpose, in my own weakness, walking my own crooked path. When I stop receiving the love of the One who loves me so much, I can't give or receive it according to the Word. It's so easy to love those who love us back, but we are commanded to love the stranger, our enemy, even the one who would harm us (many times with their words).
When I'm floating back into the murky waters, they permeate every part of my being. My spirit. My attitude. My relationships. My heart. My actions.
Where are you today? Even if it's been a while since you've talked to your Heavenly Father, He's ready to listen. He's ready to speak to you. Let's swim upstream together!
Lord, please give us the desire to daily swim upstream with you, actively pursuing you, saying yes to your plans, shining your light in this dark world. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Tami said...

Thanks for sharing that, Connie. (I love that book!)

Love you!

PS - I read all my blogs on a feed reader now and forget that I should click through and comment... Sorry :(

Sweet Pea said...

Your post today really spoke to me. It's right where I'm at. The last week I've slid AGAIN and I'm back to the person I DON'T like! I'm not sure why it's so hard to DAILY stay in HIS word. It sure does make everything better when I do. We did "Crazy Love" in our SS class. Very challenging book! Thanks for sharing!

April said...

Thanks for the inspiring words. You know I have been there, and sometimes go back very soon after the moment I choose to follow God. I want to swim upstream too, and not get pulled down by wordly things, people or ways of living. It was very well said and piecred my heart and ways thay speak loudly! I ECHO your prayer as well. :)

Naomi said...

Connie, I can so relate!!! Being in full time ministry means that I often do not get the time with Jesus as I should.... as strange as that sounds!! Busy, busy with church, husband, children and now home school!!

You know it is funny that you mention swimming upstream because I have someone redesigning our blog header and that is exactly what we are renaming our blog.... "Upstream"!!! Life certainly feels that way for us especially going against the flow here in England.

Thank you for sharing!

The Ferrill's said...

LOVE that book, by the way!
I'm with ya Connie! Let's swim upstream all the way to China and back! ;) Sure do wish we could swim side by next to each other on that plane! ;) Or next to each other at Lucy's either one! ;)

Kim said...

Very well said! I need to read that book! We are studying Angela Thomas' When Wallflowers Dance in ladies bible study and she cautions on the same thing.
To quote one of our favorite kid movies..."Just keep swimming,swimming"... I repeat that phrase to myself often.
Love ya friend

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