Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Illusion of Tommorow...
The reason for this seemingly strange topic started as a result of a question God asked me the other day, which was 'What are you doing in Hong Kong?'. It came as quite a shock to be honest as I always thought that radical obedience (since He told us to come to Hong Kong while in China) was always a great idea. Since I also know that God does not ask questions because He does not know the answer, for example, God definitely knew where Adam was hiding, but it is because God desires relationship, and not strictly blind obedience. A great Skype chat with the arch bishop himself (private joke, but you may guess who) and a few other moments recently made me think about a few things.
My first few years of christian life were dominated by this facade of immediate and drastic change that would occur when I relocate to another country 'for Jesus'. The inverted commas are not there because it is not true, but because there is an element of deception to 'the nations' that I have held on to over those years. The reality also is that all of you back in South Africa only hear from me time to time after a China trip update or maybe something else exciting that has happened, and that is not a bad thing, that is just the nature of long distance friendships, but it can bring some confusion.
For many years I lived my life thinking how different everything will be when I move to another country one day, how there will be this sovereign move of God in my life that will instantly transform me into this super evangelist or reckless kingdom warrior that has no issues or problems in life. Anyone that ever left to relocate somewhere was always put on some invisible pedestal and when we hear of them next, they share five minutes at church about life abroad or we hear a testimony of how God is using them. I use to fantasise about that day for many, many times.
Well, here I am in Hong Kong, living my dream. Now do not get me wrong, I most definitely am living my dream! No doubt about it, and I am convinced of my (obviously including Janna) call here from God and would have turned into a different person had I stayed in South Africa (for the worse). My point however (and I have one) is this, I still get sick, still have to work many hours a week, still get disappointed, still battle with fear of man, still pass up opportunities to minister (which sucks to admit), still am just the same Derik you know. For some people they chase getting married, or traveling, or finding another church, or a new job etc. Always thinking that magically it will all become perfect when they get to that place they imagine they want to be.
Only when they get there, they realise nothing has really changed and they wonder why.
The only thing that has changed for me is that I followed my hearts desire. I wanted to go to China and so I came. I want to preach the gospel, and that is what I do. When I was in South Africa, I went to prisons, brothels, clubs, the beach, the streets, wherever, and did what my heart burned for. The challenges in Hong Kong are different and I really miss the freedom there was in South Africa for that sort of thing! Being involved in China however, is a large part of the reason why I was born, I am convinced of it.
I want to encourage all of you to simply do this one thing, go hard after Jesus. Seek His presence, seek His face, do what you love to do as often as you can, but do not despise your current reality as inferior and always desire after tomorrow. Today IS yesterdays tomorrow (if that makes sense), your dreams, desires and prophecies of the past can and want to be manifested today. Do not wait until you get 'there', wherever the heck that is.
It seems a bit incoherent as I read through this, but it is only because I am still trying to answer the question myself. My conclusion is simply to live life large today, when your inspired or prompted to do something, do it now. Waiting for tomorrow or when everything is the way you are hoping it to be, is a delusion that simply results in being ineffective and possibly borders on gnosticism (always desiring some secret knowledge or wisdom that keeps us powerless, discussing much, and doing little)
Do not forget, even though many of us are on a quest for authentic christian community and there is a definite and ongoing shift in church and what church should be, church still is and always will be, the answer. Stay close to friends and even closer to Jesus.