A while ago I started writing this blog and then never published it, presumably because I was too tired to finish it, so I thought I’d stick it on here. “This evening I couldn’t figure out why I was so exhausted. All I did was lie on the beach and get fried by the sun and restrain myself from dumping boiling oil on some drivers who obviously were not aware that other drivers (with cars, no less) occasionally use the roads. Then I remembered…that a large part of my day was consumed with college things. The AP exams were less stressful than trying to get into college. College might actually be less stressful than trying to get into college. Probably not. But wow.”
Um…yes. Yes it is. University, while stressful, is not nearly as nerve-wracking as trying to get into university. That’s my comment on that one.
Now then. This is not going to be overly philosophical or whatever, but I just thought I’d write quick note about it. For the past couple of weeks I feel like God has been talking to me about two major things: 1) loving him for HIM and not for what he does for me, and 2) making every second count. So on number 1, without Jesus, I am quite literally in the frying pan and on my way into the fire. I cannot honestly say that I love Jesus ONLY for who he is. I do love him for who he is, but my love for him is partly selfish. I love him because he loves me, because he saves me, because he gave his life for me, and because I know he will always comfort me and take me back no matter what I do. I love him because he is my Savior. But I can’t, at least not without a whole freaking truckload of his help, love him for who he is, period. My relationship with Jesus is largely a selfish one. I share this because maybe you’re in the same boat. It’s not fun to realize this, especially when you realize that this basically undermines EVERYTHING you do that’s good. I do good things because it makes me look good. Ouch. I think my selfish little heart just shriveled up and died of shame. Anyway, I don’t have an answer on how to deal with this, except prayer. God DOES hear us when we pray, and even though you don’t feel him or don’t feel the effect of your prayer right away, it will happen in God’s own time. I will say, though, that God understands that we’re selfish. As I’ve said many times before, this does NOT give us free rein to be as selfish as we want, but I’m just saying, God doesn’t love you less. He made us, so I’m betting he knew before we did that we’re selfish by nature. Give him your life and he’ll transform it: that’s a promise.
As for the second thing…yeah, my first reaction was something like, “RIGHT. I have so much extra energy and stuff that I can spend every second doing EXACTLY what you want. Call me when you invent SuperCoffee.” Isn’t that the best, most humble answer a sweet, moral Christian young woman can give? (I don’t think I need to point out that this is sarcasm, do I? I can’t tell anymore because my brain is still in Hebrew mode.) Anyway, obviously I realized this wasn’t the way to answer the living God, or anyone I have any respect for, for that matter, and I started praying about it. And yeah, just as God demands we give him all of our hearts, minds, and souls, which also seems like an impossible task, he also demands our bodies and our time. How can he use us if we’re determined to have our five hours of non-God-decided time? That’s the equivalent of, and in fact IS, saying that he can have a part of us but not all.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not under any circumstances saying it’s wrong to get a massage or watch TV or have “you time” or take a vacation. I am not under any circumstances saying that we have to spend all of our time feeding the needy and tutoring kids and listening to worship music and doing devotionals and step-by-step programs for “how to get right with God.” While some of those are good and right, it’s NOT good and right unless you’re doing it when, where, and how God wants you to. This is the rub, right? It’s where the whole good deeds thing comes in. In fact, so many people get so caught up doing church stuff that they don’t have time to help their neighbor fix the fence or spend time with their families. What I AM saying is that we have to submit ourselves entirely to God, especially how we spend our time. God has no issue with you relaxing and enjoying yourself; Jesus often just hung out with his apostolic homeboys. He also has no issue with you doing good things for others. The issue comes when we put our own ideas about how, when, and where to do things above his desire. Ironically, what he plans for us is so much better than what we plan for us, so really it would be better anyway to just surrender to him and let him have his way.
Sorry for the lack of Bible verses this time, since I unfortunately have to run off to finish some work, but I think you’ll find most of this in Romans and in Paul’s letters to the church. Google some of it, if you don’t want to spend five hours thumbing through the New Testament 🙂