Spiritual matters >>
Isaiah 55:8-13 - Do I truly care about God's thoughts and ways? If so, how can I learn more about them? [Questions from the end of Unstuck Chapter 3.]
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
There are certainly times when I struggle with God's direction for my life and the current situations He has me in, but regardless of this, I definitely care about His thoughts and ways. So many things have happened in my short life, that if I were a non-believer, I would be an angry and bitter person by now. This isn't to say I don't have moments of anger and bitterness, but all-in-all, I find peace in what has happened to me, because I know that God has a plan for my life that is far greater than anything I could ever imagine. The bad things that have happened have all led me to where I am today-a much more Christ-connected place than 5 years ago; before most of "the bad things" even happened.
It kind of hit me that verse 11 can be looked at with us being the "word that goes out from [His] mouth" - we will not return to Him empty and unfulfilled if we follow His plans and purposes for us. We will instead, return to Him, having accomplished His purpose for us, and having succeeded in the thing for which He sent us to earth. How great does that make you feel?? I know it lifts my spirit! Just think, if we accept His ways and thoughts as higher than ours, we will be able to fulfill that which we were put on this planet to fulfill - we each have an individual God-given purpose! I think my joy meter just hit a high ;-)
Another picture of the state of mind I hope to cultivate this month.
Taken by me on the way to the Serengeti.
So how can we learn more about these thoughts and ways of His? Obviously, and most especially in light of Day 7's post, God's Word is where we can most clearly learn more. Of course, many times it is difficult to get into the meat of the text without a little bit of guidance and so I definitely advocate the reading of Christian non-fiction, albeit always with an eye on the truth of God. He wants us to be there for each other within this great family of believers and so such literature exists as part of His commandments. I wouldn't be reading Unstuck if I didn't believe that my fellow brothers and sisters had something meaningful and powerful to share! But still, without our personal and individual, deep digging into the Word of God, we cannot know the first thing about discerning what is biblically based and what isn't.
So with the above in mind, I'm going to be spending a lot more time in the Bible this month (as I mentioned in my post earlier today) and am hoping that this will get me into a solid, consistent, daily habit of soul nourishment once the pedal hits the metal again in August. I recently downloaded YouVersion for my Kindle and am really excited about the multitudes of reading plans available. After you start a plan, you can track your progress and so keep yourself accountable. Plans range from 3 days long to a year long and from "topical" to "devotional" to "whole Bible." I'm gonna start out with a few short topical plans and work my way up from there. I'll let y'all know how it goes :-)
Cleaning has been fairly slow the last couple of days as I've been more in a maintenance mode than a true decluttering mode, but I've still made some relaxing progress. Below is a quick run-down:
- Dishes: Washed a load, and all my pots and pans are clean! Also finally got all of the cups and coffee mugs out of my car; that's what happens when you're rushed to get to class...
- Laundry: Washed and dried 3 loads
- Folding: 1 load (looks like I have a to-do for tomorrow...)
- Magazines: DONE!!!!! :-D (Yes it did take 3 binders lol, but it's still less space)
- Email: Funny how non-visible clutter can take up so much time and space - I ended up spending quite a bit of time getting back down to <100 in the inbox...
- Books: Making slow but steady progress here. I went through 1 shelf today and was able to pull out a whole stack to get rid of - a victory for the packrat ;-)
- Random papers: I keep running across random collections of papers from various parts of my life that are just taking up unnecessary space. Example, packets on how to deal with my myriad array of digestive intolerances - Hello Internet!! Also, a collection of articles on how to be an effective camp counselor; some were good for teaching and so went with the teaching stuff but others were so summer camp related that they are going to the recycling bin.
- Recycling: So to take out my recycling, I have to haul it all down 3 flights of stairs and out to my car. Then I have to drive to the recycling bins that are about 2 miles away. Yeah, yeah, I know, sounds like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill...but with 103+ degree weather and 85%+ humidity...I ain't. Needless to say, I'm having to take it out a couple of bags at a time, but it's getting there.