I've had periods in my life where it felt like I just got lost. I would be zipping along fine, following God and really feeling it, or working towards goals that were seemingly worthy, and all of a sudden . . . BAM . . . nothing. It was as if I had a compass, was headed north, when all of a sudden the needle started spinning, the path disappeared and I was frozen in place without the ability to distinguish one direction from another. It usually happens when I begin to over think.What I really mean by that is, I put my lofty plans and ideas about who I should be and what my life should look like right over the top of the perfect plan God has already laid out. The result is a map that makes no sense and a life that becomes filled with a lot of "stuff" that has nothing to do with who God wants me to be or where He has planned for me to go.
The cool part is I actually have God's map and, better yet, it's really simple to read. Everything God expects from us and wants for us can be boiled down to two simple commandments, according to Matthew 22:36-40. The religious guys are coming after Jesus again and they ask him which is the most important commandment of all. Jesus calmly replies that the first is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. He goes on to say the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, and that really, every other rule or law flows out of these two.
In other words, I need only to focus on knowing God, setting my priorities to line up with his plan, and not let anything else get in the way of that. Jesus says, "Okay, after that, what I want you to do is to care for other people, all people, as well as you care for yourself" (I definitely paraphrased that). Loving my neighbor implies that I develop relationships, I meet needs where I see them, I work to erase poverty, I celebrate successes and I mourn shared losses, etc., etc. Loving my neighbor is an expression of loving God with everything in me, and loving God with all I am compels me to love my neighbor. See how that works? It's two simple commands (or two turns on the map) and we're exactly where God wants us to be. Most of us that call ourselves followers of Jesus want to do what it is He want us to do. It's so much simpler than I make it out to be most of the time (not easier, but simpler).
I love that we partner with people who live near Flatirons in this community, and people who are still our neighbors though they may be geographically distant. Much of who we are as a church focuses on making a difference in the lives of our neighbors. We strive to care for others at least as well as we care for ourselves, and it reminds me that God's not waiting for me to draw a complicated map that would lead to me changing the world. He is changing this world and I just need to follow his map and get moving. It could be as simple as buying an extra bag of groceries, stashing away $25 to buy socks or a hat made in beautiful Barek Aub, Afghanistan, or bringing in a T-shirt for a kid who may never have thought that he could go to college. Check it out - www.flatironschurch.com/breakfastclub.