I just had one of those “aha!” moments. And since the main purpose of this blog is to record my journey, I figured I should get this one down before I forget (and, Lord willing, it might encourage you, too!)
A few classes ago, Professor/Pastor Randy said something that really resonated within me, based out of Exodus 3-4: “It’s so much easier, and often considerably less painful, to just do what God wants you to, instead of coming up with excuses of why you can’t/don’t want to.” Can you imagine how the Exodus story would’ve changed if we didn’t have 4:1-17? The entire layout of Exodus would’ve changed; there would be no faithful Aaron accompanying his tongue-tied brother. There might not have even been the epic stick/snake showdown. Now, I’m not trying to say that Aaron or the super-staff were plan-B, last-minute additions God included to get Moses to agree. But just imagine what might have happened if he hadn’t have spent all that time trying to excuse his way out of God’s will.
Like usual, when Pastor Randy mentioned this idea mind searched my limited experience, and the lives of those around me, to see if what I’ve witnessed coincides with this concept, and I heartily agreed. God’s will really is best, and we can either choose to follow it, or suffer the consequences of picking our, second-rate path. And those consequences can range from minor set-backs or major upsets, all of which are intended to steer us back to His original plan. Though it may not seem to be, it’s just plain less complicated to pick His plan in the first place.
Isn’t it funny how you can whole-heartedly agree with a Biblical truth and still walk completely opposite to it? By “funny” I mean really, really annoying. This afternoon passed like many Saturday afternoons at GCBI: me trying to decide what to do with the 6+ hours of free time I had laying before me. Between working, classes, ministry involvement and spending nearly 12 hours each week at different familys’ homes, the little time during the week on my own is usually spent cramming in homework (ahhhh, the college life!) So, when Saturday rolls along, and we aren’t doing some sort of ministry volunteering, I’m almost paralyzed with free-time hesitancy. WHAT TO DO? Adding to my dilemna was my lack of Disney movies, no library card, and no cool, Alaskan air to be outside in (ahhhh, college life in Florida). So I had to do something inside. I tried to watch some stuff on YouTube, but nothing kept my interest. As time continued to pass, I began to grow frustrated. “Why does this happen? I’m supposed to be enjoying myself, resting during my free time! But nothing I try is satisfying. I guess I could do homework, but all I ever to is homework. This is my fun time. But why do I feel so…. not right? So…. unfulfilled?”
And then God reminded me of something else my teacher has said: “There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling fulfilled and content at the end of the day. And, for a believer, that feeling comes with the knowledge that you have done all that God has called you to for that day.” And it hit me. Just like my conflict resolution practice-session (see my previous post “One foot in front of the other”), God was giving me a situation to live out the principles I claim to believe on a smaller, easier-to-handle, stage. So, you think that it’s best to just do what God’s called you to, eh? Well, here’s your chance, Jessi…
Perhaps, just perhaps, the reason that my attempts to seek mindless entertainment were leaving me feeling high and dry was that God had other plans for “my” afternoon: homework. Definitely not how I would plan on spending my free time, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Ignoring the small voice in my mind saying that I could start it later (nothing will kill conviction quicker than procrastination), I jumped right in. And it worked. I can’t really explain it; I spent an hour separating Deuteronomy 5-6 into individual laws, pulling timeless principles from them and typing it all onto my computer. Nothing spells fun quite like D-E-U-T-E-R-O-N-O-M-Y. But really, as I labored through the Law, I knew I was doing what God wanted me to. And that’s a great feeling.
And as frustrating as not seeing my own hypocrisy is, I can’t help but enjoy the moments when God allows me to grow out of it. It’s faith building, knowing that God is intent on transforming me from myself to His likeness. It’s reassuring to know that God puts those feelings in me on purpose; that doing His will really is the best (not that you can always judge “best” by happiness and comfort), even in this small way. It’s just so cool that I don’t have to sit in dissatisfaction, that God has more for me, and this afternoon, that “more” was homework.