A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Love MOPS and other Random After Conference Thoughts

 I'm BBBAAAAAAAAACK !!! from the MOPS 2010 Australasian Conference. (A bit of a mouthful when you say it a bit too quickly) It was fantastically well-organized and the building was bursting at the seams with talent. However, (strange person that I am) I enjoy the conference more for how it helps me think about my place in the kingdom of God than how equipped I feel at the end of it all. It isn't that I don't learn anything from such things because I do... always... but when you're swimming in such big crowd teeming with giftedness, you feel your insignificance all the more acutely.

And that is a good thing.
Because I understand all too clearly that the sovereign Lord of the universe in his infinite wisdom has chosen me... a face in a sea of faces, to further his plans in some small corner of his creation. It's humbling... and humbling is good because I am far too conceited for my own good.

I joined my local MOPS group 5 years ago because I thought it was a good idea... MOPS... that is. MOPS is a great idea... a wonderful way to serve women in our community and see some come into a relationship with Christ. I wanted to help... do something for God and my local church but five years on, it seemed like God had other ideas. He wanted to help me grow and enjoy being a mother first before I could engage in the "doing" part of the equation.
Being part of MOPS has taught me to enjoy motherhood... because when you start at rock bottom, even a movement of five centimetres upwards per year is progress. When I arrived home yesterday, the 9 year old gave me a great big squeezy hug and I hugged her back in kind.
"I missed you Mum."
"I missed you too... believe it or not..."

Our culture demans motherhood... The air that we breathe tells women that if you throw yourself into your family, your life is only half full. Sacrifice and other-centredness have become quaint notions. I myself have come to think that happiness is overrated. It's so transient... fleeting... here one day and gone the next. Happiness is relief on a hard road but it isn't the governing principle by which life decisions should be made.

MOPS is a well-spring in this wilderness... but like every good thing, it is only as good as the people in it.

John Piper, a pastor-theologian that I love to listen to and read, has a governing principle that recurrs in all his books and messages. He has been gifted with amazing theological insights and is one of the most passionate Christians I have ever heard preaching the word of God. His favourite thing to say is... "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."
God wants us to enjoy him because when we do, he is glorified.

To my shame I don't know God as well as Piper... at least not enough to enjoy him on that level. God... not Piper, that is.  The reality is I didn't enjoy motherhood at first because I didn't enjoy God... I meant well and wanted to do the right thing but there was no enjoyment on a spiritual level to draw on to help me with the drudgery of day to day mothering.

The chief end of any endeavour, overtly Christian or not, should be to glorify God because if we don't, it a) becomes a chore... another thing on our to-do list or b) it degenerates into self-importance.

Christians like to bandy around the word "passion" today... and I'm generally okay with its usage as long as we don't mistake enthusiasm for passion and allow the word itself to slip into banality. Passion surely must be an affection that runs deep and so deep that it compels us to move out of our comfort zone or even to die for whatever cause we have placed our hope in. 

One thing's for sure... I ain't there yet.

Piper on Evangelism, Theology and Passion

1 comment:

  1. I love how you define passion and remind us that there is a difference between enthusiasm and passion and that the word passion is often misused.
    Glad you had a great time and that you are on such an amazing journey Lilian. I love to read about your journey. xx


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