"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart… Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:4,7
When I was a senior in high school, life opened up for me. I started realizing and discovering and devouring important information and experience about God and life and love and purpose.
One afternoon I was standing on my back deck, watching the birds flying and feeling the wind whipping all about me. And I was praying and thinking with God, just feeling so caught up in the excitement of existing with Him, in that moment. And as I felt my heart welling up from the sheer magnitude of what it meant to live in Love and be in this unfathomable relationship that defied all understanding, I declared in the shock and awe of the realization: "This is the ultimate reality!"
As I was surprised to discover later, I did not in fact coin the phrase. I was a little disappointed.
Most days I trudge through school, not feeling or being what I want to feel or be. I attempt to work against what comes over me naturally, but it's very hard work and rarely pays off in the way I'd like it to. (I talk about this school burn out thing so much it annoys me to listen to it myself. Kudos to those who have continued to listen; you are strong souls).
And then I find myself sitting in a lecture, notes long forgotten, trying to remember what makes me happy, what brings me joy, what makes me feel alive. And discovering the answers so incredibly hard to find.
Aren't I at this institution so that I can get the tools necessary to do what brings me joy? That's the whole point of the degree, right? I mean, besides the whole money thing. But if the process causes me to forget what I'm aiming for...
(As I write this, the phrase Be-Do-Have comes to mind, reminding me I'm approaching the matter backwards. But right now I'm going to ignore it and take a break from working to change my perspective. I'll take the consequences.
Also as I write this, I am reminded of how supremely, almost unfairly blessed I am to be one of the few people in the world to attend a university. I acknowledge this, am grateful about this. And I'm going to allow myself to continue being honest with how I feel and where I am).
|A while back while |
traveling through Baguio
I preached at a small but warm church a couple weeks ago. I had preached there last year and had been requested to return; and since it was a pleasant experience the last time and I wasn't getting a clear "no" from God, I agreed. It was a struggle to prepare for, though. I felt overwhelmed, and the sermon felt like just another thing to cross off my list of responsibilities and things to do, which was far from the experience I'd hoped for and envisioned. But God patiently guided me through the preparation and brought me into the appointed Sabbath day, while my certainty and conviction on participating waned.
But wow. What a blessing. What a privilege, an honor, and a reawakening. There were no birds and there was no wind, but there were hugs and real songs and meaningful heartfelt conversation and tears and an honesty of who we were. And I got to experience it with God and with a loving community, a part of something so much bigger than myself.
There is one big answer to my questions. That's what makes me happy. That's what brings me joy. That's what makes me feel alive.
Yes, that is what I'm aiming for.