Lost at sea! A story about what we will for ourselves vs. what God wills for us!

I read this new article and found it quite hilarious.  This family decided they want to leave the “ole” USA and live on an undeveloped tiny island where they might escape religious interference from their government.  Unfortunately, en route to that island of religious isolation (I mean refuge) they were lost at sea.  And who rescued them?  Yeap, that’s right the “ole” American government came to their rescue, saved them from terrifying peril and possible death-the same government which they apparently detest and were trying to vacate!  This story is replete with spiritual metaphors.  For one, this family was not only “lost” in a physical sense at sea, but seemingly lost spiritually in a sea of self righteousness and misunderstanding about what God really and truly wills for their lives.   Since when does the bible call for us as Christians to be isolationists?  It should be noted, I don’t know what religion this family adheres to; the article doesn’t specify.  But let’s just use this story wildly applicable to us as Christ followers to glean a few lessons.   Okay, maybe you aren’t doing something so drastic as putting yourself and your family on a boat and setting sail for a deserted island (what the heck was their plan for survival upon arrival?  Okay that’s beside the point. Let’s stay on task here.)-but we often isolate our Christian selves in other ways.  We hand pick our churches to suit our demographic needs. We hand pick our schools, social circles, social activities, maybe even our jobs using criteria that puts a perceived wall of “protection” around us and our children; I believe we orchestrate our lives sometimes in a way that God never intended.  I am not suggesting that you move across town and live next door to thugs or become a missionary in Africa (unless of course you feel called to do so), but I am suggesting that sometimes we create a padded world for ourselves (and our kids) that keeps us from having to be well-uncomfortable on so many levels. Confession: I live in a gated neighborhood. Well, I do. I have noticed that many of the folks who live in my neighborhood moved here for reasons similar to this family who thought living on a deserted island would give them religious utopia.  People in my neighborhood sometimes believe the gate is a mighty fortress between them and the “undesirables.”  But really it’s not. It’s all a facade.    In Matthew 28:19 Jesus commands us to take the gospel to ALL the world. We can’t do that on our manufactured spiritual islands. We can’t do it tucked away in my gated neighborhood. We can’t.  Jesus wants us to serve others (Galatians 5:13) and to love others ((Luke 10:27) We have to place ourselves intentionally and without apology in the path that leads us and our families to loving and serving others And I don’t mean only those who are “easy” to serve; I mean the ones who we may perceive as “undesirables.”  We should be serving people in our closest circles yes-but also people who look and think completely different from us.  Like this wayward family, we set our sails and chart our course for a place that WE decide is where we need to be without first asking God, “What do You want for me God and where do You want me to be?”  

 

http://normantranscript.com/headlines/x1084952531/Family-survives-being-lost-at-sea

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