Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Okay so I’m about to reveal a big secret here: I’m unbelievably lazy. Somewhere I can see my mom roll her eyes as my parents know this is no secret at all, but for those who have never been so fortunate as to have lived with me then maybe it is. One glaring example of this, the constant state of disaster my room lives in. I hate cleaning! Bleh! Yet hiring a maid for just my room seems so silly and wasteful.

Sadly this is not the most defining proof of my laziness. No, the most unfortunate example became apparent the other day at school when I opened my back cabinet in search of old magazines. In this hodge podge of supplies for my students I found the containers we used to hold our class earthworms last semester. With dirt still in them… With the dead worms still in them. EWWW! Throwing them away sounds like the obvious and easy choice right? Well, maybe so but I have to inventory the containers holding the worms back to the science department. Which means cleaning. Cleaning hard, dried old worms. And well you see you the dilemma. Anyhow, clearly I have made the case that my laziness has reached a pathetic state. And in case you are wondering, yes, the earthworms are still in the cabinet.

I have another laziness that goes beyond my lack of cleaning skills. Laziness in doing what I know I am supposed to do. Maybe apathy even. I find that God asks me to do a lot of things and though I constantly remind him of my inabilities, it would seem that He can be rather persistent about some things. It’s not that I don’t want to obey or follow God’s desires for my life. Sometimes though in realizing the impossibility of God’s expectations, I stop trying.

How am I supposed to be kind to the co-worker I overheard gossiping about me? How am I really, I mean really, going to make enough money next fall to keep the standard of living I am used to? How can I stay disciplined to get up every morning to “spend time with God”? Lately, I find myself constantly praying for the desire to do what I know God wants of me rather than actually doing whatever it is. And it occurred to me, with my co-worker, I might be waiting a long while before I passionately desire to love my enemies. (Matthew 5:44) I may not be completely certain where God is leading my career path so does this mean I wait to research and try new things? I do not mean to suggest a black and white world where every decision appears abudantly clear, but I wonder if waiting sometimes becomes another form of not trusting God.

So if this prayer and my inaction is evidence of not trusting God then I guess the solution would be to trust God. Why is that never as simple as it sounds? I think if I could ever get that trust thing right somehow the rest of life would perfectly fall into place! A male friend of mine once said to me that instead of praying about whether to do something that obviously glorifies God maybe I should just do it and ask God to stop or redirect me if He has other plans. That has really stuck with me. Maybe guys in general think about actions while girls think about emotions, but I really appreciated this thought. Sometimes I confuse what is essentially worry and distrust for meditating the ramifications and meanings behind my future actions. So rather than wait around for a desire, my new prayer is for strength as I take actions towards trusting God. Maybe I can start by throwing away the dead worms?! Ha! No. Baby steps.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Obedience. I would like to go on record and say I hate that word. I don’t consider myself defiant really it just sounds too formal and restrictive. Even as a child, I questioned most rules and to the joy of my parents obstinately debated the logic of many. I still do this. In fact, my annoyance of rules kept me from attending church in college and a few years after. Okay so maybe I am a little defiant, but I don’t like being told how to live! I prefer the freedom in making and living out my own choices! Whew. I hope that didn't make me sound too much like a teenager.

I’d like to think I’ve matured since then considering I’m quickly approaching the big 3-0 but the other day when I saw obedience as the title of my daily devotional I cringed a little. "Oh yay! A lesson on sin!" However I was taken back a little by the opening statement: “The first thing to do in examining the power that dominates me is to take hold of the unwelcome fact that I am responsible for thus being dominated.” (Oswald Chambers) Then I looked up the reference chapter, Romans, and found this verse:

Romans 6:16
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness

Interesting. One can obey sin? Isn’t that some sort of oxymoron? Like the two words don’t belong in the same sentence. If you are sinning aren’t you going against a rule and not for one? I thought obedience was the submission. Maybe we are always, whether we want to or not, obeying something?

Obeying God usually makes me think of a list of don’ts. Don’t lie. Don’t get drunk. Don’t have sex. Don’t have fun. Oops…ignore the last one. All of these rules equating to restricting my freedom and opportunity to enjoy life. I’ve started to have a new perspective on obedience though. Sometimes obedience means doing something. Do love someone who may not be loving in return. Do give your money to someone in need even though you have little to spare. Do quit your job. God has told me to do all of these things at one time or another, the last being the most recent. And somehow that’s exciting. Exciting because I know I can’t do it and now I will have to fully rely on God. I'm finding out that obedience and submission to Christ is not willfully entering a dull life, like I once thought, but living one of wonder and excitement.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Is there anything more annoying than watching a movie only to find it never comes to a conclusion? We aren’t sure whether the two meant for each other lovers will work it out or someone’s journey leaves more loose ends then it ties together. So frustrating! I’m not saying I hold huge expectations for my movie selections, but at least give me the answer to the question you’ve posed! Maybe others don’t mind this leave you guessing feeling, but it bothers me. I don't want to wait for a sequel; I want to know that all the striving meant something now! Give me a definable ending so that I can feel good about leaving your world and going back to mine.

I wonder this about my life too. Do I live with a clear purpose in mind? Do my actions draw towards anything so that all the striving means something? I’ve felt very liberated and happy since I decided to quit teaching, but where do I go from here? Several career possibilities fill my mind as I decide what path will bring me joy and satisfaction. I know my passions and desires more so than when I entered college so that is a start. But do I end there? Should what brings me fulfillment be the main dictator of my life goals? And for that matter do I even have life goals?

As I reflected on these questions this morning, I came across this passage in 1 Peter.

1 Peter 4:7-11
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Two thoughts lingered in my mind as I read through this. The first, I should have the goal in mind to love and serve others. And the other thought, I must rely on God's strength in whatever I do so to live my life as worship to Him. Both important. Yet neither gives a nice and tidy conclusion to my life. The underlying question still remains: How do I do this? What specifically does this look like in my life? And in the midst of my wonderings, it occurred to me that it doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to know exactly how my life will play out in 2 months, a year, or 5 years from now. Even though I'm admittedly curious as to the adventures God has in store for me, I can’t ignore today. So rather than trying to figure out the end or where this current path is leading, asking God how to love others in this moment can be my definable purpose. I think if I start placing all my energy towards that goal, I probably won't have any left to worry about the future anyways.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Cannon Ball

When I was around 8 years old, I taught myself how to swim. As a kid, I spent so much time at the pool with my friends that my skin constantly appeared at least three shades darker than its natural tint. I think the only activities that proved themselves worthy reasons for a break were food, bike riding, and the great need to have dance parties at my friend’s house while singing backup for Paula Abdul. Anyways I never took lessons and it drove me crazy playing in the shallow end of the pool when others did not. At first I would just hold on to the edges and kind of scoot over realizing that going deeper was risky and exciting and I of course wanted to be with my friends. Eventually I would let go of the sides a few seconds at a time to sort of scare myself into swimming. It didn’t take long for me to decide cannon balling into the pool would be a good choice even though I barely knew how to keep my head above water. I figured if other people could do it then so could I. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but it’s how I learned to swim.

I wish my desire to go take a risk continued to hold the same pull as it did back then. Sometimes it seems that I am content to linger and play in the shallow end, never bothering to care what else might await me. I don’t want to do the work necessary to figure out what is on the other side. This is all well and good I suppose until it occurs to me that I am bored and that life has grown almost too comfortable and routine. I begin to hold on and safely scoot over to what appears to be more exciting and full of possibilities only to decide it’s not worth the risk and the fear of drowning takes over as I quickly go back to what I know. But lately I’ve been wondering what is the big deal already? What is really at stake? Will life really end if I fail? I never thought of the potential of drowning as a kid. I guess I realized that people do; I just never put too much thought into that risk. I certainly preferred the challenge anyways. I want that childlike carefree spirit again! The one that realizes I could end up worse than when I began but takes the risk anyways.

So rather than continuing to hold onto the sides and make baby steps into deeper water, I’ve decided to cannon ball in. I recently resigned from a job that I no longer enjoy, but has been a source of security and comfort the last few years. Though I will finish out the school year, I’m exploring a new career path. Maybe that sounds foolish to leave a guaranteed source of income, especially with the economy not looking so wonderful. And who knows I may completely fail at it, but I’ll never learn to swim if I never even try. I strongly feel God is leading me here yet I have absolutely no idea what the future holds to be honest. And somehow the uncertainty makes it that much more exciting!

Matthew 6:25-27
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?