Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regrets -- Hope Chronicles 64

Today I helped out at our new church building. We were working in the sanctuary. Being extremely unskilled labor, I did things like sweep, scrape putty off the flooring, move wood, pick up nails, and carry about 15 rolls of pulled up carpet to the dumpster.

Then Greg shouted, "I need someone who can drive." Not knowing what I was volunteering for, I said that I could. He had an errand that needed to be run. Three times people had tried to get staples for this do hickey thing that I have no clue what it was. Each time, the staples didn't fit. So, I was armed with the do hickey thing and a few staples and off to Hundman Lumber. Greg said that was the only place he had been able to find them.

The guy who helped me was skeptical that they had them. But I was persistent and followed him into the warehouse to look. Then he even loaded it and shot the staples into the wood. They were exactly what we needed.

But in getting ready for this work this morning, I pulled out several T-shirts. My jobs now don't really allow me to wear them, so they sit in a drawer. One shirt I pulled out was from InterVarsity's School of Leadership Training in 2000. We all got shirts with the motto "No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regrets" emblazoned on the back.

It got me thinking about the way I live my life. Can I say that I hold nothing in reserve? No. I'm cautious with my time, my energy, my money. Even in this church move, have I given my all. No. I've helped with a couple of meals and the moving and today construction type stuff. But I must admit that I've been more concerned about my energy level than the work that needed to be done. I like knowing that there is something held in reserve. But does God want me to live that way?

What about no retreat? No. I am one to retreat. Put me in a conflict situation and I pull back and retreat to the safety of my home or other relationships. I don't give up easily, but I do give up at times in other things as well.

No regrets. No, I have regrets. There are things I wish I had done or said. There are people I wish I had engaged with in a more meaningful way than what I have.

But Jesus could say all yes to all of those things. He held nothing in reserve. He gave his all and all each day he walked on this earth. Even when he wanted to spend time with the disciples and the crowds followed them, he looked at them with compassion and taught them and fed them. When he went to the cross, he held nothing back -- not even his life.

No retreat. Scripture is clear that Jesus knew exactly what was coming. He prayed that the cup be taken from him. He was in such anguish that he sweat great drops of blood. When they came for him he could have called angels to protect him. When he hung on the cross, he could have called angels to free him. But he knew that his retreat would cost him our lives, so he refused retreat at every turn.

No regrets. Honestly, at times when I fail, I wonder if Jesus regrets the price he paid for me. I mess up -- sometimes in big ways. But scripture is also clear, that Jesus looks at me with love and helps me up and says, "Try again."

There is hope in knowing that for Jesus there is no reserve, no retreat, and no regrets. Perhaps that should be my prayer for the next month or two -- that I will throw myself so fully into life and God's work that I shall have no regrets.

Will you join me in this prayer?



Joyful said...

Amy, this is not an easy prayer :o) but, I DO want to join you. I'm going to write this out and pray the Lord will help reserve, no retreat, no regrets. I want to live with passion, perseverance and purpose.


Amy L Brooke said...

LOL. You are right. It isn't an easy prayer. It is probably a dangerous one, but wouldn't it be great to see how God uses us when we pray that?

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Good to see you back again. I like your t-shirt slogan - it's challenging to say the least.

I think you might like my friend's blog, mercy rising. She talks about making our Christianity practical. Check it out! Hope everything is going well for you :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness.
Not an easy prayer by any stretch of the imagination!
But one that I think I might be ready to pray. I will join you. I am going to write it in my journal right now.
Was there a specific scripture verse, or book of the bible that prompted your shirts?
I know for me, at SLT 1996, we picked "the Holy Hundred" because there were 100 of us there, and we were going through 1 Peter one of the weeks, and talked extensively about "be holy as I am holy" and committed to that.
I was just wondering.
And oh it is so good to hear/read your writing again. You have such great insights, and thought provoking writing. I am challenged every time I come here!
Love you,