This is an busy week for me. Not only is my boy turning 17 (tomorrow); but I am working a 3-day shift at Macy's (Oh, my feet hurt already!) I just finished turning in all my assignments for school, and I am bushed, really bushed. My brain is foggy, and I am tired. Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with Mr. Chaucer, and frankly, my grasp of Middle English is not as good as it should be. I struggled to read the prologue and now I have to find a journal article on a topic of interest and write a 1000-1500 page review of it by next week. On Chaucer! Oh, what have I gotten myself into with this MA degree?!
Actually, I love my studies, it is just the rest of my life that is causing me to be downcast. At church yesterday, our Pastor taught on God's love. This is our new series on spiritual formation, and the next three weeks focus on God's love for us, our love for God, and our love for others. I found his message to be encouraging, and can give first hand testimony on the power of God's love. Without His love for me over the course of this last year, I can tell you that I probably wouldn't be here nor would I be contemplating school of any kind (let alone be enrolled and doing well in it).
I am struggling with one thing, really, and that is whether or not I should pursue full-time study (12 units) or stick with part-time (6 units). The difference is one year less of school (the cost is the same) or one and half years rather than two and a half. I think I was set on the idea yesterday, UNTIL the Holy Spirit suggested a possible job opportunity in a state and at a school not of my liking. It wasn't that I didn't like either, really -- it was just the venue, the religious preference, the difficult environment that caused me to scratch my head and say -- "Uh, I don't think so." Yes, God the Holy Spirit was offering a suggested course of action, and I turned my nose up at His plan. I don't want to do this, but clearly this choice was outside my comfort zone. I can be pressed hard at times, and still feel OK; but sometimes, I can be shoved a wee harder into that nether world of really not understanding/not knowing and bam! I am knocked completely off-kilter. This was how it was yesterday. I got a good shove and guess what? I fell down in a heap of uncertainty and bewilderment.
I know the plans the Lord has for me, and I know what I am to do. But this suggestion was so off-base that it took me completely by surprize. It wasn't palatable, it wasn't good, it wasn't what I wanted, and I just shut down on Him.
I am not really surprized by my behavior; no, not at all. I have been pressed, and pushed, and prodded now for a while, and this time -- well -- it was clearly a shove, a good hard thunk to move me one way only. I don't remember Him giving me a good thunk before, so now I have to wonder "what gives?" I mean, why would He push me so hard when I have been trying to agree with Him all along? I have been willing, I have been agreeable, and I have been open to this entire process, so why now am I getting the 'heave-ho?'
I don't know, I just don't know. Unless, it is to remind me that I promised to go where He sent me. Unless it is to tell me, "Hey, you and I made a deal, and that deal was that you would trust me, and follow after me -- even when I choose to send you someplace outside your comfort zone." Yes, this is it, I am sure of it. I did both of these things. I have promised God that I would go where He sends me, live where He tells me to live, and do the work He assigns to me to do. I have agreed with His will, and chosen to accept it as is -- regardless of the outcome, regardless of where it might lead me. I have said this to Him a hundred times, and I have for the most part done what I have said I would do. Now, He is telling me to get ready, to be prepared because He just may have an open door that would benefit me; but, it would require a bit of a mind shift, and a change on my part to handle it.
Yes, I think this is so. I think God is saying to me, "You are willing to go to the places you like; but not to those you don't. I need you to go where I send you, and you have said you would do this. Choose this day -- will you go where I send you or will you prefer to linger behind and wait for something better, something more to your liking?" Oh yes, Lord -- you are correct, you are indeed correct. I have done this very thing, and I apologize for it. I will go where you send me, and I will go when you determine it is best to do so. Until then, I ask forgiveness for my stubborn willfulness, and ask for the Grace to accept all opportunities in Your Name and for Your Praise. Amen.