Tuesday, January 29, 2013

But I'm happy...

     In thinking about how I wanted to begin this series on finding direction from God, I've run into a couple of unexpected road blocks.  The umbrella dilemma is that I'm happy...happy being a problem, yeah, that's a new one.  Basically, my being so happy with my "job" makes it extremely difficult to spend time focusing on how I can be happy outside of work as well.  So a little bit of background, I am now in my 3rd week of internship at a local high school and I couldn't be more sure that I'm where God wants me and that I'm following my calling.  Funny how that takes away the urgency to find a partner.
     The need to seek God's direction doesn't come until the weekends, when suddenly I don't have a set schedule or a purpose and I go through the motions of life zombie-like.  So my mission is then to seek direction in how to create a life outside of work.  It's not that I don't have great friends, or a family only an hour away that always wants to spend time with me.  Instead, it's about needing some sort of purpose outside of being a teacher.  Thinking about my future life time of "free" summers, I know that developing this now will reap a life time of rewards. 

So anyway, here it goes...
"God told me who to marry, where to work, which car to buy...and I'm pretty sure I'm not crazy: learning to listen for guidance from God" by Jim Samra
I'll start by saying that God definitely told me to be a teacher.  I cannot give any other explanation for having a completely out of the blue change of heart career-wise while driving home from work a couple of years ago.  Now that I think about it, I'm almost surprised that I hadn't until now thought to ask God how to find purpose outside of my career...I've certainly asked loads of people...

Samra makes a point to differentiate between making moral decisions and non-moral life decisions.  Moral decisions should be guided by our relationship with Christ and having Him living in and through us.  But non-moral life decisions cannot be easily discerned from simply living a Christ-like life. 

In the first chapter, "What is guidance from God?", Samra addresses 2 common concerns that modern Christians have in regards to explicit, specific guidance from God:

1.  "Aren't those passages simply describing what happened in the past, not prescribing what we are to expect in the present?"
>>"all Scripture, including narratives from the Old Testament, is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for revealing God to us and communicating how God wants us to live today."
It certainly is amazing how often people willserendipitously come across a passage in their daily reading that speaks volumes to their current life situation.  Time to get back to my morning scripture time!

2.  "of course God guided and directed Saul, Nehemiah, Jesus, and Philip.  They were important Bible characters, central to what God is doing in history.  But I am not important enough for God to guide me."
>> "In James 5:13-16 God wants to encourage ordinary, everyday people like you and me to turn to prayer, so he has James tell a story from the life of Elijah.  Anticipating our 'But Elijah's important; I'm not!' argument, James continues with, 'Elijah was a man just like us' (v. 17)."
Lest we still don't get the message, Samra adds, "there are no extraordinary people - just an extraordinary God."
I think that statement pretty much speaks for itself - a powerful and uplifting message to remember.

'Til next time...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Finally setting off on the road back...it's about time

          I've been doing an awful lot of thinking over the past few weeks and not near enough listening.  It's funny how thinking too much can make you feel pretty terrible...the old adage "you're overthinking it" comes to mind.  In a similar vein, I frequently have to tell my students that they're thinking too hard about how to answer a question.  It would seem that thinking a lot would be a healthy thing for giving the brain a workout, but good gracious it wreaks havoc on the heart. 
          Even when it comes to God and what His presence in my life means to me, I over think it.  I start focusing on the fact that God has a plan for my life and a purpose and that He knows what's best for me.  Starts out as a really great thought, but then it becomes, "What if God's best for me is to be single for my entire life?"  Yeah, I would say thinking too much is my worst personal vice.  Instead of dwelling on all the "bad" possibilities for my future, I just need to trust and be patient...even though the trusting and being patient is getting mind-numbingly difficult. 
          But as I mentioned in my last post (back in November), waiting in its truest form is an active thing.  So with that in mind, you'll be seeing consistent posts again.  I'll be going through the book I mentioned on that last post and writing about it here. 
          Time to start listening, and see what God has to say...