Monday, January 16, 2012

where do you want to be?

it's very easy to get carried away with your free time and think of all the possibilities of what fun things you could be doing. Most of the time, i long for the weekend, enjoying the sun, getting away to the cabin, the possibility of moving to an exotic land and living there for years. "life would be so much easier or exciting if..." it's easy to get discontent while sitting at your desk for hours during the day. And, it can be downright hard, especially with that mentality.

I'm starting to see how this is a reflection of my maturity. instead of running from the things that are less pleasant, it is good for me to grow within those circumstances. it's good for me to thrive in the place that i have been rooted. I believe this relates to my relationships, my community involvement, my work ethic, and therefore, my growth as a person. i shouldn't try to escape from the things that don't make me buzz with anticipation. instead, i would like to learn to become content wherever i'm at.

while focusing on what is not 'ideal' or exciting in your life, you can get into a rut and not move, or wish you were somewhere else. that's escapism. you are in a constant wait for things to be made better...i am realizing increasingly it's more important for me to thrive wherever i am at, instead of wishing i was somewhere else. I believe God gives direction and purpose for the times that He puts us in. It's not like He wants us to be discontent. Part of growing up is accepting the difficult stuff and growing through it. I believe it's this very discipline that will make me more ready for whatever God does throw at me in the future. And it won't come sooner by me wishing it.  I love Shelly Moore's lyrics about Exodus, about God being the provider of all the Hebrews needs. She sings:

I am here
wipe away  your tears
I am here
I will provide, i will provide
I am your bread of life 
I will provide, 
I am here
Bread of Heaven for your child
I find that there's enough to meet my needs
But to gather it up isn't easy

The people of the Exodus were freed from bondage to pharoah in egypt. what could be better than freedom, right? however, as soon as they were in the desert, they became increasingly discontent with God's provision and even where He was taking them (aka, falling food from the sky, a rock that gushed water when they got thirsty, a sea splitting down the middle, pillar of fire from the sky, etc) and actually said they were wanting to go back to Egypt. WHAT?! I think that while it was not ideal to be in the desert, it was what God had led them into because it was the interim to getting to the promised land. It is significant to me that time 'in the wilderness' seemed pointless. But, it was meant to bring something greater. It was because they were so distrusting and unfaithful that God let them wander for 40 years until that generation of Hebrews died off.

We can live a significant portion of our lives the same way, being discontent and therefore missing out on the bigger and better picture. Instead, we could be in relationship with Him and others, and we can do that where ever we are. We could do the best work we can, wherever we are, and it's not a waste, it's not useless. It probably won't be easy, and it may lack luster at times, but it will produce character and help prepare for where ever God has next. And, i failed to mention:  its not even about me! it's about reaching out for others to see Jesus and for me to know Him. If this is the case, how could I be satisfied with trying to escape? There is already work cut out for me, where I am at.

may the passage below inspire you.

colossians 3:23-24
'whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."

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