"If you love Me you will do what I command ... My command is this: love one another." John 14 & 15. "If your child comes to you disobedient, troubled, irritating ... love him/her; if a muslim walks into your church, love him/her ... " PastorCarl Buffington, New Covenant Church. "The least remembered of the 10 Commandments is 'Honor your mother and father'", Dennis Rainey, Real Family Life.
So what does it mean to be obedient, to honor, to love? To follow "my Father's commands"? Listen to that 'nudge' and follow through...follow directions...do what my spouse asks in a timely manner...do not lie, ever...do not cheat, ever. Be kind to that irritating person or love that irritating person? And what about the 'white lies' or the sarcastic, goofing around kind of cheating or the bending of the rules like '7 miles over the speed limit is okay'?
Obedience is no easy task ... simple maybe, but not easy. Since 2006, I have felt compelled to start a skate boarding minisry in honor and rememberance of our son Luke. For those of you who do not know, Luke died suddenly in 2005 from Ehlers Danlos (VEDS). Luke was a skater, I was a fearful "sk8 mom" and was blessed when a Christian Skate DVD fell into my hands. We were successful in teaching Luke about being a light in a dark world; we trust that Luke is skating with Jesus eternally.
I do not look like a skater, nor does my husband. I have picked up a few words here and there like 'sweet', 'sick', 'dude' (still works), 'gnarly' (yep, that word is still around), and 'cool' (of course). But only a few, I do not dress like a skater, and sometimes all the tatoos find me staring too long at an arm or leg. And yet, I have heard from God that we are to "love even these"...I have heard to "build a fortress (community)to protect our youth (skaters)" ... obedience, honor, love.
So for over 3 years, we have been trying to build something to love and protect. There have been many days where I have questioned this command, I have ignored the stuff I was being nudged about or have pushed hard to do it my way and not wait for God to provide the way. I have been discouraged, ignored, laughed at (bad feelings) ... I have ignored, put on the back burner, 'not now'-ed (indifferent feelings) ... and I have been encouraged, supported, built up, helped (good feelings).
Yesterday we successfully had our first "free sk8" ... we provided free everything for any skater that showed up. Admission to the skate park, free hot dogs, chips, water, energy drinks, gatorade, t-shirts, decks, stickers ... really, not one thing did we charge for ... we just smiled, shown brightly, and gave a day of fun. And this morning, filled with mixed up feelings, I am preparing for a meeting with our team and board to discuss, pray about and discern 'just how often can we do this?'
Being obedient does not always feel good. Being obedient often stinks. Especially while we are making the decision to be obedient ... and yet, "if you love me, do as my Father commands". "Feel" is about dealing with good and bad feelings while following His commands. It is about learning to use our emotions (good or bad) to become a light in our dark world. To make our dark world a loving and beautiful place for others...to be in relationship with others, to love one another. So when have you struggled with obedience and feelings, good, bad or indifferent?