Monday, April 13, 2009


My perspective on life and my purpose in it is easily pushed off track by no one other than myself. Perhaps the biggest problem with this loss of perspective is that it quietly sneaks up, takes over, and I don’t even realize it for days, weeks, or even months, as I live in apparent obliviousness to people around me. It usually takes a bit of a jolt to wake me up and correct my direction. For example, often I’m overwhelmed at someone else’s generosity before I realize my own greed. Or I’m amazed at someone’s gratitude for something I think of as small before understanding just how much I take things for granted. This was the case for me tonight as Heather and I watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The story was about George and Barbara Kadzis, who adopted 6 children (some with special needs) from China. Now, I should make clear that I don’t personally know the Kadzis family, but I hope it’s ok if I make some observations from the show. First off, their generous heart for children in need makes me seriously question why I’m not a whole lot more giving. George was a dentist and probably made a good living, yet he and his wife chose to stay in an older, smaller home that was falling down around them so they could afford to care for more children. Absent from their story was the American-driven dream of a bigger this or a better that.

This makes me wonder why I so frequently feel the need to buy stuff, or why I want a nice house, or why I want a new car. When I’m being honest, I confess that the critical word is “want,” but unfortunately, nine times out of ten, I convince myself that I “need” all these things instead. That way, I can justify the purchase (no matter how expensive) to my guilty conscience. This corrupted logic leads me to waste God’s blessings on myself, ignoring those in true need all around me. I’m not blessed so I can hoard for my own; I am blessed so I can be a blessing to others. My struggle is to implement this into my daily life.

One scene from tonight’s show was particularly moving to me; it dealt with Melody, the Kadzis’ blind daughter. To give you a little background, the design team usually asks the children what their interests are and what they’d like their room to look like before construction begins, that way their rooms are tailored to their interests. When they were talking to Melody, they asked what all the books were on her bookcase in her old room. She pointed to one shelf and said those books were collectively half of the Bible (in Braille), and if she had the entire Bible, it would take up two shelves.

At the end of the show, they brought Melody into her room and she went straight to her new bookcase and started running her hands across the books, no doubt hoping to find the “rest” of the Bible. What struck me was how ecstatic she became when she realized that she finally had the “whole Bible” to read. She had waited years to have a privilege that I daily take for granted. I’m so lackadaisical that days on end sometimes pass without me ever picking it up. The ugly truth is that Melody’s situation certainly isn’t an uncommon one. There are millions of people around the world who do not have access to God’s word, whether that be because of government oppression, language barriers, health reasons or other factors….and there my Bible sits, all too often unused, much like our money.

God does not want my laziness; he wants passion. He goes so far as to say he’d rather us be “cold” than “lukewarm” in our pursuit of Him.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

So on this Easter Sunday night, please join me in praying that we would be passion-filled and that our perspectives would keep God in focus and not ourselves. His claims are way too grand for us to respond lukewarmly. We can reject Him coldly or accept Him with fire in our hearts, but His bold statements leave no room to respond indifferently.


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