Monday, August 17, 2009

"God has no expectations of you"




I just started reading this book: Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yaconelli. I remember one of my profs in seminary talked about Yaconelli and spoke very highly of him. Then Jonny Baker recommended this book at a Continuing Ed workshop I did a few months ago. So, I picked it up after I had a few dollars to my name again, and I am in love! It speaks so directly to the type of youth ministry I think is necessary, and this particular passage brought me to tears last night as I was reading it:

...After a couple of hours, we were winding down...I blurted out, "So am I having a breakdown or not?" Morton paused, smiled at me, and then said, "Well, what do you think? You seem calm, comfortable, and open. Do those seem like the signs of someone having a breakdown?" I had to admit I was feeling a sense of rest and relief that was new and attractive. He said, "Mark, my guess is you had some encounter with God's love, and maybe now you can believe God has no expectations of you."

I know this is a bit out of context, and I apologize if it's confusing, but this idea that God loves us, just as we are, that God doesn't need us to be scrambling around *doing* things all the time, planning programs, making appointments, scheduling meetings...God wants to be in relationship with us, wants us to know how much God loves us, wants us to share God's love by being in relationship with others. So, so powerful. Thank you, Mark Yaconelli, for reminding me about it.

12 comments:

Songbird said...

Beautiful. Thanks for this reminder at the beginning of a very full day.

Songbird said...

P.S. I hope you won't mind that I linked to your post.

Sarah said...

Thank you, Songbird!! And I don't mind it for one minute, in fact, I consider it a big compliment!!! Sorry I haven't been around your blog much lately; I kind of sunk into neverland last week, but I'm getting back above water now!

patti said...

I followed that link! This is the perfect word for a mom of a 16 yo boy, trying just about anything to help her son recover from a long illness. He is doing amazingly well! But I can't help striving for more, more, more improvement.
(Funny, the verification was diangst, or to me, die angst!)

MaineCelt said...

Thanks... came over from Songbird's link, and it was a blessing to rest, in the midst of hard times, in this sweet reminder.

Lauralew said...

Hi, I also came from Songbird's link. Just last week, I held a dear friend as she wept, "I'm so scared. I don't think I'm good enough for God." She has so many other burdens in her life--this burden certainly is not useful. I'll send this to her. Thanks!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

yep - came here via songbird also.

anyhoos... as school begins today; as fall planning sits on my back burner turned front burner by necessity... damn i needed to be pulled back. i "skipped" my god-time this morning b/c i thought productivity was required... bwaahaa haaaaa....

Widening Circles said...

I loved that book. So much wisdom there. Thanks for reminding me of it!

revkjarla said...

via Songbird, too.
Thank you.

c_w_s said...

I arrived via Songbird but since we're buddies on Twitter, FB, etc. I claim you as my own. ;)

I love Yaconelli...his "Messy Spirituality" is a great book, too.

Sarah said...

Thank you all for stopping by, and I'm so glad you appreciated the post! Thanks again, Songbird, for linking! :o)

revdisco said...

As someone who is seeking ordination in the UCC, I wonder how we help our churches transition from we ordered, predictable feedings of word, music and liturgy to a more messy spiritual encounter with the divine and perhaps with eachother????