First, let me just say, my husband is a stud:
Who knew so much could happen week to week? I’ve been finding myself in a state of perpetual confusion at how it is already November–it feels like I’ve been doing this LDI/U thing for a lot longer and yet, I’m also shocked I will graduate next month. I finished my first U class this week. Next week, I will finish my first LDI class. Here’s some neat things I’ve learned in SHAPE (class offered at Hope where we learn our personality types/strengths/passions/spiritual gifts and find ways to apply them in service to the Body of Christ):
- I’m an ENFJ/INFJ. Pretty sure I flip between N and S at times as well. Definitely not a T (thinker) which makes conversations with Eric interesting at times.
- My top five strengths are: Input, Belief, Relator, Restorative, and Developer. I’m still learning how those things play out in my life.
- I have had trouble pinpointing these things because what I used to do (research) and what I currently do (ministry) are pretty much opposites. I’ve been exposed to new interests that I didn’t know I had and trying to figure out how it all fits together.
Now, on to something that has been in my head lately. In Systematic Theology, we just went through a few chapters on the Attributes of God. One that has particularly caught my attention is that God is Peace/Order. We live in a culture right now where everyone is in chaos. Even in the lives of Christians, rest is a difficult concept and everyone feels up to their necks in “to-do’s” and responsibility. It’s difficult to find people that are operating constantly in their “sweet spot” of working and resting. We can be there one day and feel like we’ve lost it all the next. Right now, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a good place as far as all the things I need to do, only to find that I’m neglecting an important part of my relationship with Eric. So. For those that are not “science people” (Ok, I don’t really like that term because actually, we are all science people. Everything that is happening to you right now is science. The muscles in your eyes, the digestion of your stomach, the thoughts in your minds–all the result of chemical processes, all science) I’m going to talk about Entropy now. Also known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics: a system will always move toward disorder unless energy is added. Here it is in picture form:
For the past few weeks, I have found it difficult to clean the dishes more than once a week. As time goes on, my apartment gets dirtier and more cluttered unless Eric and I put in the energy to clean it…then it immediately starts to get messy again. It is a way of life. We are all bound by this law. We do not possess the amount of energy it would take to keep our lives in order.
But here’s the cool thing: God does. He is outside this chaotic world and he is infinite. I keep pausing here because as I re-read that sentence, I can’t help but be in awe. It’s like he created laws in science just so he could let us watch him break them. God, you blow my mind! He created everything in its complexity and his energy level was not diminished in the slightest. He continues to keep the world in order and simultaneously he knows each one of us intimately and cares enough to send his Son to die so the master plan of salvation can come about. What??! Do you realize that each of us spend an average of 12-15 hours a day working and then require sleep in order to do it again? (I know some of you are anomalies, or think you are. I promise it will always catch up with you). You need to catch this:
God doesn’t need sleep………Ever.
Do I realize who I really am? I am a woman of extremely finite abilities. For goodness sake, last weekend we had the Women at Hope fall retreat called Slumber Party. It lasted 17 hours (6 of which I spent sleeping). I was wiped for the remainder of Saturday. This is not a “come on people, we can do better than that” moment. This is a “why do we keep trying to be God” moment. Yes, we are ALL called to live impossible lives that at times require less sleep and greater energy output than we feel we are capable of. But the point of that is not that we would become stronger people. In those moments we have an opportunity to see how big our God is. He does seemingly impossible things through us. And I can 100% guarantee you that it is not because you or me are more capable than others. We simply have come to this realization that it’s not about us.
This week at SHAPE, I learned that one of my passions is to Excel. I like to do things well. In negative terms, I’m competitive. But what if I used that and threw myself into relying completely on Christ. Not so I say “hey, look at what I’m good at doing!” But so that when I get to Heaven and see Christ face-to-face, I can fall at his feet and say, “I gave you my best” and He replies “Well done.” Do you get my heart behind that? I will not be able to say that if it is through my abilities.
God gives us the strength to make it through each day without falling on our faces…sometimes I try it on my own and learn I have terrible balance. He also commands us to rest, because he is a God of peace and he knows that in order for us to experience peace, we need to let go of the everyday worries and recognize, every week, that he is God and we are not. When we try to pretend we are god, we are filled with anxiety and a sense of failure.
Here’s a challenge (to myself as well): Let your life go. I promise it won’t fall a part. And if you think it does, you probably don’t share God’s will of what a life in Christ should look like.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
That’s a really satisfying note to end on.