Ich will einfach nur sein Schaf 🐑 sein

Text: Jesaja 42, 10-11

  • Was heißt es, ein Schaf zu sein?
  • Was ist der Unterschied zwischen dem guten Hirten und dem angestellten Hirten?
  • Warum gibt Gott Berufungen, die viel zu groß für einen selbst ist?
  • Warum werden Leiter in der Bibel oft Hirten genannt?
  • Und: Was sind die wichtigen Aufgaben eines guten Leiters als Hirte?
  • Kann man Schaf und Hirte gleichzeitig sein?

(With English translation)

Benjamin Pick: Ich will einfach nur Sein Schaf sein (I just wanna be His sheep) 🐑 28.03.2021

To live is to be called into the unknown

What if … what if life, even „my life“, was not about me? Not about what I do, what I find important, my cozy this-is-what-I-am-used-to-Bubble, or my ambitious this-is-who-I-should-be-if-only-I-work-a-little-harder …

Real life is radically different. There is somebody knocking on my heart’s door (and yours as well!), waiting to enter in. Not just a nice visitor, mind you. He is offering an all-or-nothing deal. His life – or my life. His will – or my will. But the way he talks, the way he asks me questions, I somehow realize that he actually knows what is going on in my heart – and wouldn’t comdemn me, ever. He is kind, patient, and somehow sometimes it feels like he loves me more than anybody else did – even more than I love myself. Can this be true? If it is true, what has to change? Or rather, what will remain? I don’t know.

Some say, Christianity is about getting answers, the right answers. My hunch is, if my main focus is to get the right answers, I will miss the most important bits of life. I mean, I am a researcher by heart and want to understand everything I can. And now that I am following Jesus, I would love to understand what he will do with my life and how to get there. Instead, I only hold a handful of puzzle pieces that don’t even go together. Oh, they are beautiful! But … what is the bigger picture???

Somehow, love is more about trusting somebody than understanding something. And how do you learn to trust? Well, when Love asks you out (and it will!), just say Yes. Every day.

Sounds scary, like giving up control? Exactly.

– So in the end you made the decision you’re talking about?
– I did. Those fishermen took a similar step into the unknown 2000 years ago. They got called. They went. Fishing for men, becoming a shadow doctor – we hear the words, or we read them like I did, but we’re not usually allowed to have a significant grasp of what we’re signing up for. We get called, and if that call comes from someone we want to be with – well, there’s just one question. Will we be wise – or foolish – enough to go? It begins with relationship. Always did. Always will. Who can tell where it will end? The good news is the same as the bad news. Once you’ve said yes, that’s no longer your business.

(Adrian Plass, The Shadow Doctor Vol. 2, p. 110f)

(I love that novel. Thank you so much, Adrian Plass, for spelling out how messy yet rewarding it is to follow Jesus. This book should be required reading for any counselor or Christian that really wants to impact other people’s life. I want to become a shadow doctor as well!)

(Photo by Martin Jernberg on Unsplash)

God Math

More? God math is different than human math.

Human math is with finite numbers: If I have 10 Haribo bears, and I give away 6, then only 4 are left for me. God math is infinite: If God has infinite sweets, and he gives you 600 Haribo bears, he still has infinite Haribo left!

That’s why there is always more. And not only more for ourselves.

Our live is a vessel. We receive so much grace from above, but we can only handle a certain amount. All the rest gets „spilled“ to the ground. (And I mean „spilled“ in quotes, because: God doesn’t care. He’s generous anyway.) But then, how can we increase our „grace capacity“?

Now another wondrous God math operator kicks in. Actually, only by giving away what you have. If you hold on to the many gifts God gives you, and you are very careful to not „spill“ it anywhere – well, it will die inside of you. Maybe it will even get moldy. Instead: Receive the goodness – then pass it on. Receive, pass it on. Receive, pass it on. And then you realize: huh, somehow this fun! (Because you are made for it.) So you share generously, because he is generous to you. And without you even realizing at first, your vessel capacity is expanding. Your gifts are sharpening, and your heart is more and more capable to love.

Come, Holy Spirit, come. Transform our lives. Make our hearts responsive to your self-giving love. Not only for our sake – we need it – but also for the world around us.

More!

Photo by Zac Harris

Die Liebe ist verletzlich

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (dt. „Was man Liebe nennt“)

Lieben heißt immer verletzlich sein. Liebe irgend etwas, und es wird dir bestimmt zu Herzen gehen, oder gar das Herz brechen. Wenn du ganz sicher sein willst, dass deinem Herzen nichts zustößt, dann darfst du es nie verschenken, nicht einmal einem Tier. Umgib es sorgfältig mit Hobbies und kleinen Genüssen; meide alle Verwicklungen; verschließe es sicher im Schrein oder Sarg deiner Selbstsucht. Aber in diesem Schrein – sicher, dunkel, reglos, luftlos – verändert es sich. Es bricht nicht; es wird unzerbrechlich, undurchdringlich, unerlösbar. Lieben heißt, verletzlich zu sein.

Bigger than the storm

(Deutsches Original)

The storm is raging, the waves are crashing. There’s an uneasy feeling in the stomach. When Jesus said it was time to leave, didn’t he see the dark clouds on the horizon? Wait, actually – where is he? Didn’t he enter the boat before us?

The waves continue to rise. Oh no, it starting to rain. Navigator, are we still on target? Captain, is our boat still safe? Jesus, Master … where is he?

Sleeping? Peacefully. He doesn’t fear the storm. Look, he’s even smiling.

Or maybe he’s just indifferent? Is he so tired that even this storm doesn’t bother him? Wake up, you have to help us! Master, Master, help us, we’re sinking! There, water is flooding our ship!

He opens his eyes and gives us an bewildered look. Doesn’t he see the danger we’re in? No, I’ve seen that look before. He is looking for something else, something in our eyes. He opens his mouth to speak, but he doesn’t speak to us. He turns to the sea and shouts: „Be still!“

Is it coincidence? Could it be? The rain is weakening, the waves grow calm. We breath a sigh of relief. He sits down and waits, waits for our eyes to rest on him. Finally! he’s going to explain what just has happened. But when he begins to speak, he looks into my eyes and asks:

„Why were you so afraid? Don’t you believe? Our heavenly father is bigger. Bigger than the waves.“
I can’t believe my ears. I had every right to be afraid, with a storm like this! Yet he rebukes me? Who does he think he is? Who is he to command me?

Yet he commanded the storm and it obeyed. Who is he?!? He’s the one who speaks to us in the midst of the storm and says: „Be Still. Trust me and have faith. Know that I am with you. Always.“

Song: You spoke

You spoke – and chaos started to order
You spoke – and life began to form
You spoke – and darkness became light
You spoke – everlasting is your love.

Only one word from You
created all I see
Only one word from You
can change the world in me

You speak – and wounds begin to heal
You speak – and fear turns into hope
You speak – and soften hearts of stone
You speak – everlasting is your love.

Only one word from You
created all I see
Only one word from You
can change the world in me

Restore us, change us,
Conform us to your love
Renew us, transform us,
Do wonders amongst us:

Only one word from You
created all I see
Only one word from You
can change the world in me

Your love – long before creation
Your love – foundation of the world
Your love – will reign in me forever
Your love – the substance of my live

Download Lyrics, deutsche Übersetzung und Akkorde

Why Do We Dream?

Asking for the roots of dreaming seems like asking „why do we eat“ or „why do we need friends“ – we’re meant to live this way. In my opinion, the real question is: Is a dream significant, is it meaning something?

I would say, in this case the radical constructivist approach makes sense: you create its meaning by believing in it. If you believe, dreaming is nonsense, then you will rarely remember „special dreams“. If you think, dreaming is processing reality on another (subconscious) level, then you actively allow this processing to happen. And if you think, dreams are forecasting reality in some way, you will look back and actually find similarities.

Maybe the difference between dreams and day dreams is not as big as we may think. Both refer to our innermost values and attitudes, so deep inside we often don’t even realize them. And both can cause humans to break out of their tracks, beginning to write a new history.

If you really want my personal opinion on that: dreaming is like living in another world, with different laws of gravity. And sometimes it’s scary to see how much and how little at the same time is depending on my personal will in this world. Sometimes I feel like a supreme king, sometimes like a chased cat. But most of the time, I feel like a child receiving a present and playing with it freely. It’s like eating: without it, I would gradually starve.

So do dreams have meaning? They can. Are they reflections of day experiences? Sometimes. And sometimes, even God can speak through them, bringing new ideas and behaviours.

Farewell, dreamer!

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Days like colours

(Übersetzung ins Deutsche ist hier)

One day, as I woke up, the day was less grey than usual. I took my breakfast, watched my clock to see if there are some minutes left to read something, and then rushed to catch my train. Once inside, this little colour peeked back into my mind …

Some days are green. And I’m not talking about weather here, it may more depend on my inner attitude to it. Those days are calm, peaceful, and in a weird, silent way: happy. Like fresh grass. Wide forest to be explored. Cows, squirrels, birds, they fascinate me, as if they were saying: I’m fine, how are you? Weiterlesen

Lost & Wanted: simplicity.

(Deutsche Entsprechung)

Sometimes I miss simplicity. I mean, I don’t really know whether I want it back or not, naivety is certainly not my goal. But … it’s just that the world god incredibly complex. I gave up understanding it. Maybe that’s what I want back: the curiosity of wanting to know more, understanding everything around me, and penetrating every mystery that I encounter. Inspite of my idealism, I settled a bit. „I don’t have to understand everything, just get along with it“, could it be that it got my motto? Nobody said that everything will be perfect, but we should try, shouldn’t we? Weiterlesen