The Cage of Responsibility – This is one of the cages that I feel like I am in based on his brief description of it. Maybe he will provide a key to open it up.
Wow! It’s breathtaking. Mr. Batterson starts out talking about this guy, Wilson Bentley, who photographed Snowflakes. I just had to see some, so I googled it. I am amazed at the different pictures of ACTUAL snowflakes It amazes me that God would take time to design a process that would produce such uniqueness in EVERY flake. This man took over 5,300 pictures of snowflakes. We take for granted the uniqueness that is all around me. How much time and care and effort God has taken to make so many things the same and yet unique at the same time … trees, animals, people, and snowflakes. Wow! Now I have to go see why he has brought this man to my attention.
Mr. Batterson writes,
“Sometimes the will of God feels downright irresponsible. You are called to make a decision or take a course of action that seems to make no sense. And if you do it, the people closest to you may think you are crazy. Even Jesus’ family felt that way about Him. But responsible irresponsibility means refusing to allow your human responsibilities to get in the way of pursuing the passions God puts in your heart.”
Hmmmm, make so much sense, but why is it so hard to accomplish? While reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan, I asked myself the question, “What if every housewife took 4 hours a day just to connect with God and prayer for her family?” After all, it is only half of what other people spend working outside the home. The whole reason it doesn’t get done is because of the people closest to her think. I know, I know, there IS time. But I am talking about a 4 hour chunk of time. Not an hour here, 15 minutes there, two hours there. I mean just closing herself off from the world, going into her prayer closet, being totally unavailable for 4 solid hours. I can just imagine the impact it could have on this world!
Ok, so what is it about Nehemiah? LOL The next line says, “Enter Nehemiah.” He sure has entered my life for some reason. His name has been popping up all over the place in my little world. I think I’m going to have to really investigate him.
LOL I like this comment, “God often uses us at our point of greatest incompetence. That way He gets all the credit.”
Mr. Batterson writes,
“When God puts a passion in your heart, whether it be relieving starvation in Africa, educating children in the inner city or making movies with redemptive messages, that God-ordained passion becomes your responsibility. And you have a choice to make. Are you going to be irresponsibly responsible or responsibly irresponsible?”
Hmmm … let me recover from the blow I just took. Mr. Batterson just handed me a key. I totally get it. This is personal. Nehemiah was a cupbearer, with no real qualifications or responsibility to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. But it WAS his responsibility. I totally get why Nehemiah has been brought into my life. Now I have a choice, to be irresponsibly responsible or responsibly irresponsible.
Mr. Batterson talks about the conception of a child. Then he writes,
“Passions are conceived in much the same way. Wild Goose chases often start out as single-celled desires. Something unexplainable and inexpressible gets conceived in your spirit. Something makes you mad or sad or glad. You get Wild Goose bumps. In the words of one psalmist, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we delight ourselves in the Lord, new desires are conceived with us. God literally downloads new desires. And those divine desires become an internal compass that guides us as we embark on a Wild Goose chase.”
I love that thought … “God literally downloads new desires.” That is so true, I have had that happen.
Now here is something I have believed for a long time. Mr. Batterson writes about there being a time to quit praying. He tells about a friend who needed a computer and how Mr. Batterson started praying for one. He says,
“I started praying that God would provide a computer and then I felt as if God interrupted me. It’s hard to describe the tone I heard from God. It was stern but not unkind. It was as if the Holy Spirit whispered these words to my spirit: Why are you asking Me? You’re the one with the extra computer!” … “And I became the answer to my own prayers. Why ask god to do something for us when it is within our power to do something about it ourselves?”
I’ve always felt like I didn’t rely on God enough because so many people around me are always praying for things that I wouldn’t normally think to pray for, I might pray ABOUT them, seeking God direction or opinion, but not FOR them. But this is exactly how I have felt about it. Just like Mr. Batterson says, sometimes you need to quit praying and start acting. What if all Nehemiah did was pray about the walls of Jerusalem? Would he have wondered why God wasn’t answering his prayers when no one stepped up? Mr. Batterson sums it up well when he writes,
“Please don’t misinterpret what I’m trying to say. Pray about everything. Then pray some more. But at some point, you need to quit praying and start acting. One of the greatest mistakes we make is asking god to do for us what God wants us to do for Him. ”
This is a very long chapter, so I’m going to continue in part 2 of Chapter 2 later.