Monday, March 14, 2011

Chapter VIII

So this blog is lengthy and heavy. It’s what some would call a DNM (Deep-n-Meaningful). This must be me making up for my extended absence.

One would think that I’ve got some sort of direction in life by now… not. I probably have more ideas than ever running through my head of what I can see myself doing when I grow up. I’m taking life one enjoyable step at a time and would recommend this method to anyone.

Options for the future…
1.    Go home and make Church of the King my place of ministry.
2.    Pursue a job with Global Teen Challenge
3.    Find a job as a naval architect in Australia or back home or in Italy.
4.    Get my masters in Norway since universities don’t have tuition costs.
5.    Find a job as a theme park designer.

I may end up doing one of these, or more than one of these, or none of these at all. What I’m doing in 2 years may be different than what I’m doing in 10 years. It doesn’t matter, really. The point is whatever it is I end up doing I know I’ll be doing the will of God. But this is some peoples concern, they say, “How do you know? How do you know you’ll end up doing and living out your God given purpose?” Because. The living out of my God given purpose - that’s ALL I desire. Ending up in your God given purpose is the only plausible outcome for anyone whose only real desire is to live in their God given purpose.
So far, many people can agree with me without hesitation. Who wouldn’t want to be doing what it is God has planned for them to do since before they were born? Except, this is about the time when the question comes that usually stops people in their tracks, “But what if God’s purpose for my life is for me to do something that I don’t like?” Fear not. I believe what helps me can help you. I think it’s something that can put that fear to rest if you allow it.

What if I told you it was literally impossible for you to be established in God’s perfect will and hate it? I believe it is impossible for you to fully chase after your divine purpose, find it, and not be satisfied, no matter what that divine purpose might be; even if it is living in the heart of Africa, in a hut, serving the local village. Bare with me…

Think back 5 years ago. Think of something you never saw yourself doing in 5 years because it didn’t interest you, or you didn’t think you’d enjoy it. This can be anything. A small example for me is skateboarding. Five years ago I would have been 100% sure that I would never skateboard. I didn’t have a need or a desire to do it. But here I am, skateboarding everyday too and from school and it’s awesome. Again, for me it was Bible College. Two years ago I would have laughed if someone had told me I’d be in Bible school. And now I’m here, and I absolutely love it. So for you it may be college, a particular job, a new state, a different wife than you imagined, a new religion, a Mac, skinny jeans, etc. If I keep going I’m sure I can find something that fits into your story. The point is we can all find something that we’re doing now that we never thought we’d be doing 5 years prior. Can I suggest to you, what’s to keep it from happening again? The reality is, we think we know what we want, what we’d enjoy, what would make us satisfied and content, but we don’t. We think we know, but we don’t know (thank you MTV).

The infamous scripture:
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I like to see that word “prosper” not as a word that promises me a lot of money but instead as a word that guarantees me happiness. God knows the last thing we need to be happy is money. Money doesn’t create happiness. The hope of money creates a false hope of happiness. There are too many Hollywood movie stars who ended their life despite the amount of money they just earned on their latest box office hit who would agree that money doesn’t bring true happiness. So I’d like to suggest that the word “prosper”, used in this context, is a promise that I’m going to be perfectly satisfied and content with whatever it is God has called me to do. If God calls me to skateboard, I’m going to be content, if God calls me to Bible school I’m going to be content, if God calls me to live in the heart of Africa, in a hut, serving the local village, guess what, though it doesn’t seem like it now, I’m going to be content and satisfaction will come.
So stop worrying. Stop living in fear of what God MAY call you to do, or who to marry, or where to live, or where to work. Stop worrying and start trusting that God actually has plans to make you happy despite your inability to see how. This is how I've come to take one enjoyable step after another in life all while still not having a clue what my specific God given purpose entails.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.

More thoughts to chew on...
Sometimes people come into your life and it doesn’t take long to realize they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbor, co-worker, longest friend, or even a complete stranger) but there’s a moment at some point along the way in which they affect your life in some profound way.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move us towards a passion that once never existed. 
They awaken us to new understanding with the subtle sharing of their wisdom. 
Some people cause you to see the world in a new light. 
They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints in our hearts, and we are never again to be the same. Let me encourage you; invite these people into your world. Welcome the people who are friends of your destiny into your life.

And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart. Everything is designed and orchestrated by God. Nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Yes, everything may happen for a reason, but that reason isn’t always positive. The certainty that it’s happening for a reason shouldn’t be what brings us comfort. The certainty that God’s in control in the midst of this storm we call life despite the outcome is what should bring us overwhelming comfort.

“Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of our soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience help to create who you become. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.”

Be above reproach. When the world around you wants you to remain at its standard, break free and set yourself above all standards. Strive for excellence when everyone else is settling for average. Achieve results that the average only dream of achieving. If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious when you open your heart. Make every day count! Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can as you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Set your sights high and hold your head up because you have every right to. Convince yourself you are great and believe in yourself, because if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you.