I just walked in the door from a hike across the surrounding cornfields. I started the hike out of a desire to get out of the house, and enjoy some fresh air. While I was walking I began to think about life, and the things that occupy my time, space, and those precious moments. I so often let those “things” crowd out what’s most important, and give way to what is immediately gratifying to myself. Whether it’s dropping $4 to rent a movie, avoiding an opportunity to develop an important relationship, or buying a bag of chips at the gas station I find it far to easy to follow the road most traveled rather than live a purposeful, devoted life.
I have too much. Not only that, but I desire too much. Two years ago when I spent 8 days in Mare Rouge, Haiti I saw a totally new level of poverty – extended families were living together in a hut the size of my bedroom, they had to walk one or two hours a day to get drinking water, and they shared the same amount of food for one day that I normally eat in one meal. These people were truly poor. And yet they weren’t. In all my life I had never seen people so happy. Joyful really! These were people who had no hope of ever making a living beyond what they needed that day, or doing anything other than hoeing their fields. But when they got together to worship the Lord, they really worshipped! The singing was loud and beautiful, and the preaching (though I couldn’t understand most of it) was sincere.
Though so poor, these people were rich!
Me on the other hand… I have almost everything I want. A car that runs most of the time (is it really a trial when it doesn’t run right, or just an inconvenience?), a steady job, a warm house that’s more than big enough for the four in my family, and countless other… blessings. Or are they really blessings? I complain about my car being a clunker, that my job can be difficult and trying at times, that the house is drafty and cold, and… should I even mention church? Why do I, who has everything I might need, find it so hard to be joyful? I believe that it is misplaced priorities and faulty desires that have replaced the simple joy of worshipping Christ, and living solely for him. Not only that, but these priorities and desires crowd out better, even higher, priorities and desires – those called for by Christ himself: Care for the fatherless and the widow, proclaim the gospel, et cetera.
Before a couple weeks ago, it had been a long time since I’d posted on here. Well… besides the occasional picture post. But otherwise, nothing. I just never had anything to say; there wasn’t anything that I felt was important enough to post about. It’s not that there wasn’t anything happening in my life – quite the contrary. Just, what was happening wasn’t good for the blog – or me.
“Two steps forward, and three steps back” is how I’d describe my life over the past couple months. No… years, actually. At first it was in little things; things that most Christians are fine with. As I became more comfortable with those I’d take more steps backwards, camouflaged by the steps forward. And so the pattern continued.
Family and close friends are wonderful – they never let you go down without a fight. Their fight over me was fought on their knees, in prayer. Sure, some shared their thoughts with me; they let me know what they thought about the path I was headed down; they even told me that they, and some of their (and my) closest friends were praying for me. But I still didn’t have a clue about how many people were actually praying.
The changes were small at first. Really just changes to moral issues I had. But as I tried to “clean up” my life by myself, the Lord taught me that on my own I can only a fail – that the only way to have true victory over my life and my sin is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
I’m very thankful for friends and family who care enough and love me enough to pray. I’ll never underestimate the power of the prayers of the righteous.
Work’s been super slow for a couple weeks. Last week I worked just over ten hours, and so far this week I’ve only worked for about three hours. It’s been a little frustrating not having the work (or the money), so I started looking for a part-time job yesterday. I couldn’t find anything, so on a whim I decided to see what options there were for full-time jobs in Peoria. Bingo! There were several that I’m either qualified for, or will train new employees.
If I’ve learned anything lately, it’s been that it’s unwise to rush into something without lots of prayer and thought. So I decided to go walking on a bike trail near my house and pray/think about whether I should try to get a new job, or keep working for Fedi.
There’s something about beautiful weather and crisp, clean air that aids thought. I felt a calm while I was walking (and running, a little bit), and I realized that what I choose to do for a career isn’t what matters – it’s times when I can enjoy God’s creation, get to know Him better, spend quality time with people, and be a blessing: it’s times like those that matter.
I also decided that I haven’t given the Hungarian Handyman enough time – sure, I’m not making any money right now, but it doesn’t really hurt me too much since I’m living with my folks. Instead of focussing on my problem of not having work, I can find other things to do. My cello has been neglected a bit lately – I can catch up on practice. I started Oakey back into riding training last week – I can continue that.
So, for now, I’m sticking it out. If anything, this is another opportunity to practice patience.