Last night I was a bit restless. My prayer time here at MTI has been great, but I haven't had much time to settle down and read a lot. So, I got up early, went to Starbucks, and read for a little over an hour. It was exactly what I needed. I happened to read Psalm 84 and started to meditate on my sin and need for repentance. We constantly need reminders from scripture, the Holy Spirit, and other believers, encouraging us to keep on keepin' on. I need to continuously fight to say with the Psalmist, "I would rather spend a day in the courts of my God than spend a thousand dwelling in the tents of wickedness" (paraphrase). To be reminded that the time past was enough for me to tolerate and enjoy sin (1 Peter), and that I need to focus on the eternal, not the temporal. I seriously can't describe how satisfying my time was.
One other question that came up this morning was about what my reaction would be to crime. I don't doubt that if I were attacked when alone, or with other men, I wouldn't fight back with violence. I might resist, but not with the goal of hurting my attacker. But what would I do if I were with a woman? My instinct would be to defend her by whatever means necessary. But is that right? Is it a lack of trust in God's protection? Does it shame Christ to protect the helpless? I honestly don't know. This question has crossed my mind countless times, yet remains unresolved, and will probably stay that way. But right now I will defend whoever I am with, because I would rather bear the shame of my sin than see another person suffer because of my inaction.
It was interesting that this question came to mind, because when I returned we did a hostage simulation. Long story short, I gave myself up for execution, along with the other young single in the group. I was amazed at the different ideas as to who should volunteer first. In my mind it was out of the question to let any of the married men or women die first. This brought tension to our group as we argued over who would die, but I wouldn't have allowed it to go down any other way. Darin wouldn't have either. I look forward to processing the whole situation a bit more and talking with David, Jamie, and Molly about it.
Needless to say, all of this is pretty stressful to experience and think about, and it has left an immense heaviness in my chest. I am haunted by the fear that my life has been wasted on selfish pursuits. Please pray for me about all these issues.
Speaking of the team, here is a picture. They are awesome and I can't wait to start ministering with them overseas.