Friday, June 5, 2009
Somewhere in between conversations about shaving legs and shopping, they grew up. Somewhere between purchasing a pencil pouch and a prom dress, they found themselves. Somewhere between doubt and belief, they found their savior. And I've been privileged to be there for it all.
I've been their youth leader, mentor, ATM machine, big sister, nagging mother, diva runway coach extraordinaire, and friend. As a motley crew of girls from L.A., we've left our finger prints and footmarks in Osaka and Tijuana, Okinawa and Bay St. Louis, Rosarito and Tokyo, Palm Springs and Ensenada; around the world and back again, we've taken the Word of God global.
Now these girls are graduating, leaving my wing, and taking a piece of my heart with them. In Deuteronomy 30 Moses is giving his parting words to the Israelites who he's loved, nurtured, and cared for, in the desert, in captivity, in the face of disillusionment, despair, and depression. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I dispense the words of Moses who said it best:
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his commands, decrees and laws; they you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. . . This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may love love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life... (30:15-17,20)
There are three commands in verse 15: 1. love the Lord, 2. walk in his ways, and 3. keep his commands. If we follow these uber simple instructions, we will be blessed. But we have a choice to walk away, to go back to Egypt, to choose an easier option. But the words of Moses pierce my heart to the core. If I could give one sentence to the girls I've grown to love, it would be choose life. Though we may be oppressed, though we may feel like we've been wandering for forty years, though our enemies pursue us, choose life.
Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the Way, the truth, and the Life." There for I urge you to choose life. I'm not promising a cumbaya campfire and perpetual dwelling in the Land of Milk and Honey, but when we choose life we find fulfillment for our spiritual hunger, living water when we are parched in the middle of our desert, and protection for the enemies who pursue us. Roxy, Becca, Swishy, Nikkie, Sol, Baby Chankla, Jen, Amanda, Kimbo, Celiz, Christy, Leggie and all the girls who came before and all the ones still to come, I beg of you to choose life.
I. Love. You.