It is incredible to me how easily I can be disappointed. Two weeks ago my friend let me know that there was a part time opening at the bank she works for. I interviewed for the job last week, even though I wasn't totally sure I wanted it. I just found out that they went with someone else and I am legitimately disappointed that I didn't get the job. I guess I wanted it more than I realized. Oh well. They said the would give me a call if anything else opened up, so at least I didn't blow it. This other person must have just been better qualified.
Maybe next time.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I have notices something over the past few years. Christians build fences like crazy. We are so afraid of screwing up that we give ourselves boundaries that God never gave us. God gives us boundaries, but room to move. Our fear has us giving ourselves smaller boundaries. We build a fence within a fence.
We have had this problem for a long time. In the book of Genesis, we catch a glimpse of our fence-building heritage. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” (Genesis 3:1-3)
Earlier, God had given the command that the serpent is talking about. “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’” Nowhere in there does God say they can’t touch the fruit. Either Adam or Eve built a fence inside God’s command so they didn’t go against what he said.
All that work ended up being for nothing. They still ended up disobeying God’s command. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to do as we’re told. But I worry that if we box ourselves in too much we can easily convince ourselves that the restrictions God places on us are unrealistic. It’s where that “Christians can’t have any fun” stereotype comes from.
I think it’s time we start tearing our fences down. We need to see what God really asks us to do. Enough alienating ourselves from others; it’s no help to anyone! Time to tear them down.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I’ve been finding that I don’t really do a good job of noticing when I am in the presence of something bigger than myself until I am face to face with that reality. How often do I go through life unaware of the work God is doing in those around me? It isn’t until I slowdown or God directs my attention to his work that I finally see it.
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:16-17)
When we come to these verses we would have just read the account of Jacob’s dream. Jacob fell asleep on his way to flee Esau and to find a wife in Paden Aram, the land of his mother’s relatives. In his dream, Jacob sees angels of the Lord ascending and descending a ladder from heaven. Then God speaks to Jacob and promises him the same thing as his grandfather and father, Abraham and Isaac. God promises that Jacob will have descendents that are so numerous that can’t even be counted.
God legit had to take over the subconscious of Jacob for Jacob to notice his presence. Jacob’s response is not just to move on. In the verses to follow, Jacob takes the rock he used as a pillow and set it up as a pillar and worshiped God. He renamed the place Bethel, meaning house of God.
Recently, my view of Columbus has shifted. I had been having a hard time seeing God really at work here. I would catch glimpses, but nothing like what I saw in Springfield. I started to think that maybe God wasn’t moving as strongly here as there. Then we had a prayer night at the high school youth group, and my eyes were opened. As I was praying about what I needed to let go, Springfield was laid on my heart so strongly that I literally started to tear up.
As soon as I realized that I really needed to be here in Columbus and needed to kinda let Springfield go, God started showing up in conversations. I started to feel more at peace and grounded that I had the months before. Even living at home didn’t feel like such a struggle, but rather a blessing. I didn’t have to worry about rent or groceries and I could use my limited income to go out to coffee with my girl, Andrea, after Impact or I could go out to lunch with some of the High School students on Fridays.
I started to see how awesome this place is and now I don’t resent being here. It is wonderful to feel at home in my own home. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my friends in Springfield something fierce, but I don’t feel so much like a fish out of water. It is lovely to be able to breathe again.