Thursday, September 5, 2013


"The LOVE of Christ compels us..." 2 Corinthians 5:14
Some random Saturday in the fall of 2004, I wrote these words.
Yep, it's that time of month again.
No, not that time of month (I'm beyond that, thankfully), but
Random Journal Day.

I actually love this day. And plenty of other contributors make it a great day over at Dawn's blog
Love peeking into my myriad notebooks to find whatever I might find there.
Randomly. It always makes me want to drop whatever else I'm reading to refresh my memory with that Carolyn and her musings. Not that my musings were so profound, but I lived the life that prompted those reflections onto the page. And I like re-discovering what sometimes came from such reflections.

Like this one:
"The love of Christ compels us..." That says it all, doesn't it? In every relationship, every task, every action, every thought, my prayer is to say, "The love of Christ compels me."

It's a very small snippet of what I was thinking about that random Saturday, because most of the rest of it had to do with details related to a mission trip I'd be leading the next summer to Uruapan, Mexico. It was the second trip I'd led to that area of the Baja, (just south of Ensenada) the second multi-generational trip our church had sent. We'd fought for the idea of a multi-generational mission trip. I fought for it...sometimes not very politely. Sometimes I had to take my hat in hand and ask forgiveness of the very people I most wanted to convince that God was in it. Because I wasn't acting like the Love of Christ compelled me. I was acting like I had a bone to pick, I knew what was best (and they didn't) and why on earth couldn't the mission committee see it our way?!?!

God has a way of working, when He's really in a thing. Despite us. Despite our blown tempers and ill-advised reactions. And HE was in such an idea. Such trips. We took 50 people that first year. The youngest was 5, the oldest was 75. The next year, the year I was already planning for, we'd have almost as many.
And that Saturday, God's word drowned out all my ideas of how to proceed with the planning.

From then on, the word for that "Mexico Mission trip" was "For the love of Christ compels us." It was so important to me, that I pushed to have it put on the backs of our team shirts. When we walked through airports, through stores, everywhere we went, our lime green shirts proclaimed, "For Christ's love compels us."

But until this moment, when I opened this random journal, I didn't realize what the genesis of all of that was. This small, two sentence reflection that birthed a mission philosophy, not merely for that trip but for the next two as well.

Ah, how sweet the memories.
But also, how strong the conviction.
Does the love of Christ really compel me?
In all my ways?
Please, Lord.


Dawn Paoletta said...

Wow, so many important points here. Fighting for what you believe is right YET all must be done with love and grace. I love your authentic heart- and honesty. Maybe I should say transparent heart. How He is in all of our ugly dynamics as believers, is so beyond me. And multi age group must present challenges but GREAT, great and so important- we are so fraction-ed as a culture with regard to age- in AMerica, I think. As always your writing blesses and challenges me! Thank you, CArolyn!

Kel Rohlf said...

I love when we look back in our journals and see a kernel of an idea that God blossoms into a whole life event and life changing direction...what a simple reminder that God left in his "journal", the Bible to let the "love of Christ compel us...I never thought of the Bible as God's journal before, but it kinda makes's His record of his interactions over time and it inspires us to love Christ and one another!

Mystic_Mom said...

Your dogs are so sweet, and this was a really good post. Love your heart.

quietspirit said...

"The love of Christ compels us." Thank you,I needed that. I am about to embark on a project that scares me. It's for the drama ministry at our church.