There’s a Target about a mile from my new house. I tend to walk there at least every other day, if for no other reason than to just be around something that’s familiar. There are definitely worse things I could do to cope with adjusting to a brand new life, but the effect of Target to cause you to spend money when you absolutely do not need to is something that could become detrimental if I don’t get into a better routine soon.
The theme of my life right now, besides Target, is learning. I have been trying to take in as many lessons as I can and not allow the overwhelming task of moving across the country to cause me to become unintentional about this season of life.
I was disappointed in myself after one week that I didn’t have a whole new life worked out already.
I rush everything.
But I can’t do that here. Busses, metros, unpacking, looking for churches, making friends, finding a way to invest in my new community and make a difference…it’s all slow stuff.
I’ve been doing a bit better this week, letting myself sink into my days, not putting expectations on myself. I’ve been working on memorizing scripture and taking time to slow down in my studies to really allow myself to feel and know and rest in the Word of God. It’s one of the hardest disciplines of my life, and I can already feel it shaping my bones and my heart and my mind and my skin. It’s seeping in, and that in itself is a slow process, but it’s one that remains with you, one that changes you. It prepares you to be ready for what’s next, which is in itself a practice of active faith because you don’t get to see what He’s preparing you for.
It’s painful, it’s beautiful and sometimes it is just absolutely necessary. The discipline of waiting and listening to the Holy Spirit is a big one. The discipline of letting Him take control; of submitting every moment to His will—the when and where and how and what of His will—that is true battle training right there.
An intentional slowing down and season of preparation is one of the most effective things I believe any of us could do in order to glorify God.
I have very high expectations for my life–that it needs to be big and loud and impactful–and I genuinely believe that God has called me to big things, but who am I to define big?
Who am I to categorize the slow stuff as less than loud and powerful? I’m opposed to slowing down because I equate it with being ineffective. And I’ve come to learn that I don’t think I could be any further from the truth if I tried.
Jesus waited and learned and listened and prepared for 30 years before He started His public ministry. John the Baptist waited for the arrival of Jesus whom he had been prophesying the coming of in complete faith. Abram and Sarai waited for that promised baby. Joseph waited for justice for most of his life. Paul waited and prepared for years after his conversion to start actively spreading the truth of the Kingdom to those he had persecuted. In fact, I’m not sure I can think of hardly any stories in the Bible of people who didn’t have to wait in faith and the stories of the powerful results of that faithfulness are some of the most inspiring promises and gifts that God has ever given us.
The other night as I was walking home from one of my recently regular treks to Target I saw the most beautiful cloud in the sky. Now I definitely am someone who regularly appreciates nature, but there was something in the site of this cloud that made me so incredibly joyful in my heart that I stopped to take note of what the heck was going on inside of me.
As I stared at this cloud there was an overwhelming voice in my heart screaming at me (joyfully) “It’s going to be ok! Everything’s going to be ok!”
I almost laughed out loud. In fact, I thin I did! I kept wondering why this cloud was evoking such a stir of excitement and adventure in my heart on a lonely weird afternoon where the highlight of my day had been, once again, Target, and I realized it was because I was focused on the beauty of the moment I was in and as a result was completely free from the angst and stress of what the next moment was going to hold.
I was in that moment fully, and it was in me too. I was at total peace and that space of peace was exactly what I needed to be released from the pressure of making that moment anything but what it was.
If I could sum up all of what I’ve been learning right now into one phrase, it would be that adventure is found by giving each moment the worth it deserves.
And in so doing, we find ourselves experiencing all that we don’t deserve but have been offered freely by our God if we choose to accept it, which is complete freedom to live out every different shape and size of a moment being able to fully trust Him that He’s going to be in every other moment that comes after it as well.
Be in it. Let it be in you. No matter what it is. Joy, sorrow, fear or peace. Dive in and invite God to come into it with you.
It’s going to be ok.