Sacrifice - an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy (Dictionary definition courtesy of Apple MacBook)
Oh how I've been wrestling with the term "sacrifice" for the last several weeks. I'm in the middle of my graduate studies and it's the summertime so it is an extra struggle these days to wrap my mind around the definition of what it is to "sacrifice." But then I had a bit of an encounter today and I realized why I struggle so much with the term... it's because so many others don't understand and I can't seem to find the words for it to make sense. I have a passion burning deep within me, but I keep it very protected because I find that I don't always have the words to explain so that others will understand. I'm hoping that maybe this blog will be a start in what will eventually be some sort of understanding for others. I realize that I can be quite the character sometimes, but it's mostly because I've walked so many crazy paths in my life thus far (27 years) that it only makes sense to be as random and joyful as I am. Here's my point... we are all asked to make sacrifices at one point or another in our lives, right now is a season of many sacrifices for me and I've reached the point where it doesn't matter anymore if others understand or not, at least I'm obediently following the call that has been laid out before me.
We have soldiers who sacrifice their lives everyday so that we can have the choices and luxuries and lifestyle that we so choose in this country. I can't say I "understand" the life of a soldier, but I do feel as though I'm out on the battle field right now. The battle often times is within me, occasionally towards others, and more often than not against the enemy. You see I'm sacrificing my free time, my play time, time with friends and family so I can become trained and prepared to help save the world. It is a pretty big task laid out before me, but every time I sit down with my textbook and I'd rather be watching a movie or when I attend class and I'd rather be out playing with friends I remember that it took 3 long years for me to get where I am now. Before I was sacrificing God's call on my life for the life I wanted and it's no surprise to me that most of those desires/passions I was chasing at the time came crashing down around me. Now, well now I'm sacrificing my "wants" to chase God's "wants" for my life and it brings so much peace and joy. I'm finding that as I finally pursue the passion that God has planted within me, my trust that God will bring the deepest desires of my heart to pass grows stronger.
Don't get me wrong, I still have my times of selfishness, but I praise God that He has healed me, He has forgiven me and He asks for nothing in return... but I choose to love Him because with Him I can do all things and with Him I can love with the great big love He has planted within me. Sometimes the decisions I make don't make sense to others, but I've learned to stop caring so much. I try to think of what I would want someone to do unto me should our roles be reversed. That means I will continue to forgive by the grace of God no matter how many times someone hurts me or makes a mistake because were I to be in their shoes I would hope they would show me the same compassion.
All this to say that if I have to sacrifice seeing the most recent movie in the theater, or sacrifice Happy Hour with the girls in order to obey then I will do it over and over again until the task laid out before me is complete. I wish I could put into words all that I feel, and maybe I will be able to one day... but until then I keep it between me and the Lord until He so desires that I share it with the world.