Bust A Move

I am guilty.
 
Yes, that’s right. I am guilty and have a confession to make. I pulled a “Lot’s wife move” the other day. Yes, I did. In case you don’t know the story, as God was getting ready to completely destroy Sodom, the angels got Lot and his family out of there and told them to run and not look back…not look back at all. Well, poor Lot’s wife did. She looked back and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 18:26). It wasn’t that she just looked at the destruction, according to scholars, she “longed for” that which she had. It was a longing, perhaps because her future was uncertain, perhaps she had friends there, perhaps she loved her house…whatever reason, she looked back and disobeyed what the angels had told her. In her longing for, or perhaps nervousness about what was ahead, she looked back to hold on to the familiar.
Ok, so my “looking back” was not nearly as dramatic as this scene, but I caught myself in a moment of “looking back” the other day. As I stood there in the warm spring sunshine inhaling the sweet aroma of my blooming azaleas, I had a feeling of nostalgia. I remembered when my oldest child was an infant and I would spend so many hours outside in the spring and fall planting, pulling weeds, watering the grass and nurturing flowers. Those days are long gone. Instead, as I stood there, I was conscientiously aware of precisely how many more minutes I could stand there doing what I was doing before I had to jump in the shower so I could rush off to carpool so that I could take my children to their various activities. My longing was almost desperate. Why, oh why can it not be that simple again? How I long for the days when the hours seemed numerous (sometimes almost never ending really) and I had very little obligations other than feedings, naps and baths. Yes, friends, I realize that this season of my life is but a season and I will one day have time to myself again, but I had a moment of “looking back” a moment of “longing for” simpler times…at least my definition of simpler times.
 
And it was but only an hour later that the bombs went off in Boston.
 
Another change in the landscape of daily living in America.
 
As I read the initial reports, I longed for that which had been lost. I longed for the days pre-September 11th…when we didn’t fear getting on airplanes, going to school or the movies or attending public events.
 
Am I longing for something that is totally unattainable?
 
My short answer, “No, definitely not.”
 
As I read the Word this morning, I was led to Ezekiel 2 where Ezekiel is called to be a prophet. The Spirit spoke to him and said,
 
I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day. They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ And whether they listen or refuse to listen – for remember, they are rebels – at least they will know they had a prophet among them.”
 
Let’s backtrack for a minute to the book that precedes Ezekiel – the book of Lamentations.  The whole book is a collection of poems that lamented Jerusalem’s destruction. One writer put it that Lamentations can “help us to face the darkest aspects of human existence.” Sound familiar?
 
So Jerusalem had been completely destroyed and only a few survivors remained in the land. Ezekiel was one of the many who were living in exile in Babylon after the siege on Jerusalem.
 
Sometimes I feel as though I am living in exile in a foreign land. A land with idols, sexual immorality, adultery, murder, to name but a few….and I believe that if Jesus hadn’t been sent to Earth, America could totally be one of those places that God just completely destroys.
 
These thoughts haunt me each day.
 
These thoughts also lead me to a place of “radical obedience.”
 
In my study Bible, the notes on Ezekiel say, “Ezekiel represented a new community of faith, empowered by the Spirit to form a life of radical obedience.” If you read the book of Ezekiel, you’ll read that he did some crazy stuff. Stuff that got people’s attention. It was like a spectacle really…totally powered by the Spirit.
 
I feel in my Spirit that my fellow Busters – my Gen X people – we are doing the same. There is a shift in this nation that is taking place. While the beloved Boomers did what they thought was best, the Busters are about to bust up what you all have done. There is a radical obedience that is sweeping this nation within the church. There are those who are stepping out of comfort zones and the safety of “regular church” to do things differently….to return to “the Church.” It’s a feeling of less religion and more Jesus….and that is exactly what Jesus taught when He was here on Earth.
 
It’s not comfortable. It’s going to make some people uneasy. People are going to think we have completely lost it. But, like with Ezekiel, it is going to get people’s attention.
 
Wrestle with this Busters. We are a called generation who will lead our families out of exile into the Promised Land.
 
Who’s ready?

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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