Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Scratchin’ an itch.

I’ve known men who have habitually scratched their sexual itch. And lost a family in the process.

I’ve know folks who have always been itchin’ for a fight. They always seem to find one.

Sometimes we scratch an itch and it feels really good. And sometimes we scratch an itch that’s best ignored.

Deep inside of us, way down where only God seems to know the way there’s an itch that needs scratchin’. We might not be able to name it but we know it’s there. Bill Hybels calls that kind of itch a ‘holy discontent’. It’s a response against something bad that needs fixing. It’s a beckoning to heal some deep wound somewhere in our culture. It’s a God-breathed call to action.

Want to know something? We’ll never be truly content until we deal with that discontent. Honest.

I’ve been trying to figure out what my ‘itch’ is all about and what I need to do about it. Been asking myself the question, “What gets to you, Mike?”

Here’s what I think it is. Drum roll please.

I can’t stand to see people of faith live complacent lives in the midst of unrelenting world and local problems.

And so, I want to light a fire under people so they can grow into the man or woman God has called them to be. When they do that …well then, maybe, they’ll be the answer to some of those problems our world faces.

Of course, I can’t light any fire under anybody until I’m willing to come face to face with my own unholy complacency. Believe me, it’s there.

It’s easy to stay put, settling for the status quo, scratchin’ itches of my own making. But I know it’s not enough. There’s something empty about all of that. Growing old, fat, and more and more complacent doesn’t seem like much of a life. So what if you achieve your version of the American dream but live out your days knowing that there is an itch deep inside that you never got scratched?

The happiest people I know have a bit of an edge to them. They see life differently. It’s like they have a ‘God lens’ they’re looking through all the time. They stir things up. Force you to think. Their excitement is contagious. Their faith is ‘alive’.

I think I know why. They’ve scratched their itch and found out that it never quite goes away. It’s not uncomfortable. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just with them. It motivates them. It drives them. It reminds them to open their eyes and to see a world desperately in need of a kingdom touch.

Got an itch? Deep inside? Real deep? Planted by God? Go to where it is. See what ‘holy discontent’ is hidden there. Maybe it’s feeding the hungry or helping a child learn to read. Maybe it’s a desire to heal the world and you find yourself with your M.D. caring for the sick and hurting. Maybe it’s a call to heal broken marriages. It’s something. And that something is good. It can change a lot of lives, including your own.

Mine is to light a fire under you. How am I doing?


Cathy said...

So I thought I had paid my dues and I was looking forward to the chance to grow old and fat...then life took a u-turn. "what was God thinking?? Didn't I deserve a break??" How foolish I was. How could I be so selfish, so ready to be content when the world is in such need. Thank you God for the wake up call.

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