I thought I'd take a minute and write about what I've been learning, particularly in the past 2 days...I know it's a short amount of time, but I feel like I'm being blindsided (maybe that's what I need...), so I'll write about it.
Here's the context:
I've been reading Breaking Free by Beth Moore since about November (thanks, Hil ;-) )...The chapters are short and I tend to read it in spurts. She writes very well. A quote that stood out last night was this:
"The only way we can love with agape [unconditional love] is to pour everything else from our hearts and ask God to make them pitchers of his agape."
For the past couple weeks, I have also been reading The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg. This is part of a small discussion group through my [new] church..they started it on Ash Wednesday, and met once a week during lent. I started going to the group on Palm Sunday. Lol. Anyway, they are now meeting only once a month, but I want to continue and catch up with the group. I really enjoy the book so far. It's very dense, and requires much chewing (figuratively speaking...although it is a hard-cover book... ;-) ). Anyway, the chapter that I read last night was called, "Training vs. Trying." It was all about how following Jesus is not about trying to be more like him and striving to be more like him (for this means we are doing it by our own power and/or willpower), but it is something to be done through training (and the guidance of the Spirit). Training is different because it provides us with practice in Godly ways to respond in life's circumstances.
"Our primary task is not to calculate how many verses of scripture we read or how many minutes we spend in prayer. Our task is to use these activities to create opportunities for God to work. Then what happens is up to him."
I think that in recent times I have been striving, trying very hard to be more prayerful, more intentional, more loving. What has happened is I've become more irritable, more frustrated, and more exhausted. It's not supposed to be like this.
One more time I have been reminded of training was at church today. My pastor, speaking in the context of Acts 1:6-11 when the disciples were asking Jesus when the time will come for his kingdom on earth, said that we cannot know. We spend much of our lives waiting for one thing or another, thinking, "is it time yet?" What do we do now? Pastor's response was, "Train yourself. Prepare yourself. Right now, are you preparing yourself for what God has in store for you?"
My answer to that? probably not. My big questions of God recently have been "Is it time to move out of Michigan? Is it time to live on my own? Is it time to teach and be solely responsible for a child's education for a whole year?"
It's almost time for at least some of those things...
I need to start training, slowing down and separating myself from the cares of the world in order to train for life's circumstances. I think I need a date night with Jesus...