Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Leaders & Followers

...I read this verse in Judges the other day, right at the beginning of Deborah & Barak's Song of Victory, and it has stuck with me: “That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!" (5:2)

It hit me as strange & wonderful. I mean, that's not usually something people sing about. When was the last time you heard someone get up in church and burst into tears, praising God, because they're so pumped that some people are leading and others are following? But... it also makes absolute sense. Whenever things work "like they should," in this broken world, that's a miracle! God gets praise every time the rain waters the earth, every time animals bring forth babies, every time the earth rotates cleanly one more time on its axis, because that means the Curse has NOT utterly won!

And what is more unnatural than the right people stepping forward to lead, and the rest of them happily, willingly follow instead of griping that they're always just shuffling along at the back? That's usually more how it goes. But go back to Genesis, and you realize that there's nothing that SHOULD be more natural! The rest of Creation falls in order way better than we do, with our smart big brains (and bigger pride).

I thought of all the leader-follower relationships, and realized that there HAVE BEEN many times when I gave thanks for something similar: when I see dads or moms, & their kids all loving & respecting each other; when godly elders or deacons are ordained by a loving congregation (I was in tears the entire ordination service at Immanuel 3 weeks ago!); when a team works well together, united behind its leader(s); when an orchestra follows perfectly its conductor, himself following the music's composer, and the result is a gorgeous symphony... Most beautiful, I think, though is the relationship of a husband and wife. I say that's the most beautiful because it's meant to reflect The Ultimate Leader's relationship to His Bride. What man ever took more initiative at a higher cost to Himself to lead, to rescue? [how's THAT for a standard for manliness??] And what wife has ever followed more delightedly, and sacrificially than the church, watered with the blood of the martyrs? We haven't followed nearly as perfect as He has led-- but one day, we will!! (Rev. 21)

I can sort of make this personal, because I am deeply thankful for the relationship God's brought me into, with a man who is actively pursuing godly leadership, and I really WANT my relationship with him to be characterized by that beauty that comes from "as it should be." [and that desire doesn't just apply to dating relationships!] I'm really enjoying watching this work out! Ryan hasn't exactly died for me, but I'd say baking gluten-free-from-scratch-blueberry-muffins in an un-aircondioned kitchen (you know how gas ovens heat up!) in the Louisville July heat comes pretty close to defining "sacrificial!" [And Rob (his roommate) is one of my heroes now, too, as he got nothing but hot kitchen out of it.]

Seriously, I know our relationship isn't, and won't be perfect by any stretch-- because, let's face it-- this relationship was doomed to flaws the moment I stepped into it! But...because God is so good, and so generous with His grace, He lets even the less-than-perfect enjoy the benefits of obedience!... "But He gives us more grace..."

For any who are wondering what the heck I DO with Ryan, here are some fun pictures from last Saturday, when he came over to the Shueys' (I was staying the weekend with Sina & the kids while Dave was out of town for a wedding) for dinner, and then we went to Seneca Park for dessert! We had a very sweaty time, lol-- climbing trees, playing frisbee, and then jumping on the trampoline, all with the kids.

Jenna started licking the top of the ice cream container! Little girls and ice cream: something else that just "fits."

John, enjoying our gluten-and-lactose-free scruptiousness-- apple crisp & vanilla ice cream!! Oh, it was SO good! One fresh from the oven, perfectly cooled off by the equally-cold ice cream. Another beautiful relationship, lol. ;D

I like this picture the best of that night, I think.

Morgan took this one-- that's as high as Ryan & I went, and it's a little blurry. But it's fun. =D Didn't you ever wish you could be a squirrel??...
I've been on this computer long enough!
Here's Christina [most recently dubbed 'Boss' by Jack, and 'Maiden' by Toto] in Louisville, signing OFF.


AE said...

okay... so you blew me away with your new blog entry... you had pictures and everything!... tomorrow is Dia del Amigo... we're going out for a movie with a group of friends mostly the Molina group and Alejandro... who might as well be a Molina... I think Pirates of the Carribean tonight to celebrate... Claudio and I are leaving for San Nicolas with dad tomorrow that's why we're celebrating tonight.
As to leading and following... It is a beautiful thing... and I think one of the greatest adornments to the Gospel when seen in a marriage relationship. Marriage was meant to be the greatest human relationship... so it's not just a personal opinion that it's the best to reflect those things... it is indeed exactly what God intended to show. I'm finding that such gospel centered and empowered marriages are harder and harder to find, Christina. Especially in Argentina. It seems as though all marriages are only motivated by sex, physical attraction, and a momentary feeling of "love".... it's sad... it breaks my heart... no selflessly loving relationship is real or is foolishly hoped for...even among the believers. Claudio and I's relationship is a mystery to all... and we're not even married yet! I think the only couples who I know here that have a loving and tender leadership and a sweet and submissive adorning following marriage relationship are my parents and Jorge and Bilma Molina (claudio's parents).
the modle has been lost ... the very source of such a relationship has been completely lost here.... when everything is based on sex leadership and following don't even enter the picture.
Carlos Paz is Sodom and Gomorrah.

Ryan and Lydia said...

Amy and Christina,
I am surrounded by a host of strong, Christ-centered marriages(not to mention that I'm in a really great one) and I still find myself so often being the one expects marriages in our culture to last, it's only natural for them not to.
As I was thinking and praying for you two in your new relationships today, I looked back through some journal entries from my dating days. And I remembered a lot of the fears and insecurities from that time, and it made me miss you both and wish I was there to share in the stages you're in. I also revisited verses and comforts recorded in my journal, the hope that I was always driven back to...being hemmed in from all sides with Jesus Christ. In Zechariah, God tells Israel that He is the "wall of fire around her...and the glory in her midst." Oh how this rings with my heart's desire to be known and protected and infused with a glory greater than my own.
I just miss you both and wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.
I listened to "Does thin equal beautiful?" by Dr. Welch today, and was so encouraged by it, in more aspects than just thinness, so I'd just like to pass on that link. It’s free!

Ryan and Lydia said...

you'll have to copy and paste that web address, sorry I couldn't get the link to work

nicole said...

i love that you're posting pictures... lol i climbed trees this week too (lol to hang up ghosts on a hay ride... haha funny story)

it is hard not to be skeptical... lol i could fall into being Suit and ask "is there a such thing as a good 'guy' ? "... haha but i have faith that God is in control and if he wants to put "leaders and followers" together, he will in the most bestest way possible! i am so happy for you. but i am way still upset for you leaving me and the sisterhood of the protestant nuns... things are getting a little lonely with just me... haha but like i said, God does things in the most bestest ways so i'll trust him... even when it feels like your dreams have shattered, you can still trust Jesus! pretty cool i think! i love you!