November 14, 2004
Lord, I am content, in You, to take each day as it comes, maybe never even see a “big plan” or have a “ministry” in the sense of something “important” or “successful.” Or at least in the sense of anything I can see. But You know my flesh struggles against that. You know how hard it is for me to give up any chance of “recognition” by people, or any feeling of “personal fulfillment.”
We are so brought up to succeed, to make a difference, to do something important (to be recognized and remembered). And in the world’s way of thinking, that is “right” if you think that this life is all that you have, or even that the life to come is just sprouting wings and floating on clouds and playing golden harps (ha! What kind of hope is that… where did that idea come from anyway?... whatever happened to perfectly restored relationship with God to His glory?.... whatever happened to “created with a purpose”? … wiped out, I suppose in the mindless, soul-less void of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Oh dear God, please help us.)
In the past 12 months I have worked at Tim Hortons, got hurt and lost my job at Tim Hortons, been in lots of pain but got to spend lots of time learning to know my Lord and God (Father, Son and Spirit), started a party business and a cake decorating business but not getting enough business to really make a go of it; learning to fast and pray and wanting to do more; trying to start a prayer ministry; wanting to start a youth ministry with ___ but it hasn’t worked out; fizzling out as a Childrens Celebration (Children’s Church) worker; doing all kinds of things at church like library, filing system, etc, but seemingly going nowhere; starting a cookbook business but only selling a few; wanting to start a ministry lining new people up with life groups but finding out that I wasn’t needed for that; starting a kid’s ministry in our old life group but not finding anyone else willing to participate; wanting to be a host home for our new life group and really, really reach out to our neighborhood but they only stayed at our house for two meetings because they decided our home isn’t big enough; starting a paper route (and still hanging in there!); getting my daughter’s college funding lined up and seeing it pulled out from under just days before the start of the semester, and trying to keep her going anyway, and now seeing her feeling maybe it wasn’t meant to be; rushing around planning my parents’ 50th anniversary and taking care of my mom all summer as she suffers from dementia; taking care of my grandson while his mom works; enjoying our summer life group (no, it hasn’t turned out exactly like my dream, but there is, I feel, something very good and right happening); trying to use my “administration” gifts and feeling like I don’t even have that as a gift after all; getting my teaching job; loving to learn French more, and enjoying teaching, but now feeling frustrated by the school “system”; doing the church newsletter, which is sometimes exciting and sometimes, well, the “editor’s thing”; starting to help with the church bulletin (but finding out I’m not a fill-in-the-blank kind of person); starting, with great joy and excitement, an organizing business (but it seems nobody really wants my services); getting excited about the “one-eighty” young adults group’s new vision, but seeing it meet with disappointment; having my husband home from work for 6 weeks with a back injury, and having him “pull the plug” on my church activities (okay, that is good, because they were just activities, I’m afraid, and now our relationship is improving, and God is working in both our lives!); and thinking I might be able to get a piano to use, and the music pastor wanting me to play, and a couple people wanting me to give lessons, and then the opportunity to get the piano fell through; and several times people making me think I might get to join the worship team on occasion, but nothing happened; practicing my guitar in fits and starts; and my great excitement and vows to get out of debt “God’s way” (and supposedly to become financially free: oddly enough, even though it seems to have blown apart on the surface, I do feel freer than I’ve ever felt before! Wow, dear God!); and the excitement of house hunting, and the sudden and very certain sense it was not meant to be; and realizing that things I pray for and pray for don’t seem to come about the way I’ve hoped; and understanding that God’s ways are not my ways, and His times and purposes not mine either. And what about my dreams and desires? Where are they from? What about my “call to preach” and my “vision” that just won’t go away?
"...Yet Growing in God!"
But through all this crazy year of dreams, seemingly unrealized, I’ve been growing in God, finally really starting to know Him and trust Him and let all my things and dreams go. And I don’t really mind at all, though at moments like this I sometimes wonder… And have to bring it all back to Him again and again.
Christmas is coming, Lord (no money, but that’s okay) and a New Year with maybe no plans or dreams of my own making… a blank slate for God to write His story on. And yes, that is enough!
"And Letting Him Work Out My Life In His Own Way"
One thing I’ve concluded in the past week, when I had things I thought I needed desperately to get done, and then couldn’t do anything because of laryngitis and being so sick and exhausted and out of control of my circumstances, is that God must have a plan that I don’t know about. I can keep doing what I can do (or should I just sit and wait and pray? Lord, this is something I’m still not understanding very well). Or maybe do nothing? Anyway, letting God work things out His way is all that counts in the end.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purposes that prevail.”
I keep thinking of how we have so much… stuff, education, opportunities… when so many people spend their whole lives just surviving. What’s with that? “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Why are we given so much? If we’ve been given so much, what happens if we don’t fulfill our potential? Why do we have to learn to “let it all go”? (Yes, I know I must learn to “let God”…)
All those people with “nothing”…. Do they have dreams? Do they ever wonder if they are creating anything of value? Do other people in our society even care about that? ___ and I both seem to be so obsessed with thinking. We think and think and we can’t stop. Sometimes I (and she, I know) just long for rest and peace in our minds. What’s that about? Why is it so hard to rest in Jesus, for us? Is it hard for everyone? Do most people even care about that? I don’t hear people talking about it much….
"For Me To Live Is Christ... That's It!"
“For me to live is Christ.” That’s it. All the striving to move up the ladder, to get to the top, to be number one, to be… a little god. It’s so wrong. All that scrambling for nothing. Gotta let it go. No wonder I’m tired.
My head is aching. My brain is so tired. And of course I have this cold in my head, and all. I think You sent it along at a time when I would want to leap in and solve problems that are occurring, in my own weak way. So You made it impossible for me to do anything but just have to give it all up to You. Thank You for this lessons. I love You, Lord. Amen.