As elementary as it is, there’s always something to learn and whether you’re a good student or not life is gonna school you. I’m trying to be teacher’s pet, so I’ll just call this a tutor session and let you all in on what I’ve learned thus far:
1. It’s not about me — Sometimes I want to assume that certain things do or don’t happen because I’m not ready. That there’s something I need to learn before I can move on to the next phase. Truth is, sometimes I’m still on this level not because I’m not ready to transition but because where I am still needs me or where I’m going isn’t ready for me. This has become hard to ignore in being single. I LOVE being single, but I’m also looking forward to being married. Some days I want one more than the other and the tension is legit, but I heard somewhere (don’t ask me where, when, or who) that my time is clearly marked on God’s calendar and until that date there are things internal and external that are in need of my attention. God looks at more than just my ‘readiness’ (what does that even mean?) and he has deemed that right now at this very moment in my life, that is more beneficial for me to be single. For my own good, for others’ good, for my husband’s good and one day that will no longer be true, until then, it’s time to own this. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 — a time for everything
2. Asking for an upgrade in any gift from God is going to invite its friend: discomfort — Whatever I pray for in God usually comes in the form of a really hard to open and sometimes unaestheticly pleasing box. You ever buy something that you’re so excited to open but it takes literal blood, sweat and tears just to get it open. THAT’S THE SAME THING WITH GOD! Ask for patience, you’re bombarded with annoying situations that build up your composure. Pray for compassion, you’re going to get wrecked with some sob-worthy situations. Pray for wisdom, you gon’ learn sumthin’ for real. There’s no spiritual gift that comes without spiritual grit. Galatians 6: 9 — Doing good can get exhausting
3. Privacy is powerful — My love language is quality time so there’s no question as to why I feel closest to God is when I’m spending time with him by myself. I love corporate worship and meeting together because you can feed off each others’ energy, but it’s in my insane rambling thru journaling, my lying on the floor in lone prayer, my jigsaw puzzle doing while listening to sermons, my too intense for the car worship concert driving to work, etc. Those are the things that I look back on and see God and myself more clearly. Sharing God with the world is profitable, but it’s the intimate relationship that takes me from employee to child that keeps me going. Jeremiah 33: 3 — God is personal
4. God is not concerned with how spiritual you look — In jumpstarting my walk with God again, I was looking forward to all the great things I was going to be lead to do in his name. I enjoy volunteering, bible studies, trips, all those things that look good but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I tend to wear them like a badge sometimes. God is teaching me intimacy and humility, by growing me internally without all the bells and whistles to show off. When I meet new people and they ask what I’m involved in and what I do, my list is short and I feel the need to say “but I really do love God! Ask me what God taught me today and what I prayed about.” (How cute, right?) I want so badly to prove that I’m not just wearing the label but also living the life. God’s teaching me that I have nothing to prove; he knows where my heart really is and he’s the one who matters. It’s great to get involved in those things, but I don’t have to use my roles in ministry as evidence to for me following God. Matthew 6: 5 — Don’t be showy
5. God does exactly what he says he’s going to do — This is one of those ‘duh’ things but it’s almost like a math formula. You’re pretty sure you got it when it’s teaching time, but it’s not until the exam and you think you need a change of underwear that you understand you probably didn’t get it as well as you thought you did. You may have knowledge of this truth, but until you’ve applied it and experienced it, your knowledge is of very little value. When God said he’d provide, he meant it. When God said he is enough, he meant it. When God said he can bring peace that only he can give, he meant it. When God said there’s joy in praise, he meant that! I’ve learned all these things through experience and in all honesty, it was because I knew what was supposed to happen but I’m not sure I really believed it. But now?! Now you can’t convince me of anything different. 2 Peter 1: 4 — God’s promises
6. No day is like the last — Since intentionally trying to milk each day for what it’s worth, it’s become abundantly clear that there’s no time warp. No, this is not the 3rd Tuesday you’ve had this week. Some of that cheesy stuff you hear is actually true; living each day on a treasure hunt doesn’t bring you recycled riches. No, there may not be some huge occasion that distinguishes yesterday from today, but if you’re putting yourself at the mercy of note-worthy events, you’re books gonna be pretty exciting, but it’s also going to be really short. Psalms 16:11 — Joy of life
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good glimpse into such simple truths, with such a big impact on how I live my day to day life. But is an ongoing process. Having one aha! moment doesn’t carry me through the rest of my days, it’s a constant digestion of these things that will happen for the rest of my life.
One of the most annoying and comforting truths I’ve come by is that this walk is just like a class in which there are always going to be tests. You can pass a test and you’re still gonna get another one. You can fail a test and you’re still gonna get another one. AND your previous ‘grade’ does not determine your next one. So don’t be surprised when your obstacle looks familiar and don’t be discouraged when you didn’t do as well as you thought. There’s always another opportunity to get it right (again or for the first time) around the corner.
Alright, cram session’s over.