I was reading a blog today and came across this: “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” I was struck by how often my life simply takes the form of coasting. The activities may be good, the goals normal and the attitudes healthy, but so often this life of coasting simply means I am hardening my heart to a greater calling in exchange for comfortable mediocrity.
There are a lot of reasons this happens… it’s easier. fear. lack of surety. comfort levels. complacency. unbelief.
I really do think that (pardon the cliche) life is full of opportunities, even if it is not as blatant as someone saying “here it is, go for it!” And (un)fortunately, those opportunities often seem to be paired with learning patience. The opportunity to support an amazing non-profit doesn’t mean you’ll see immediate results, or the opportunity to identify your passion doesn’t mean you’ll immediately have the option to jump in full force.
A lot of what I’m learning currently is the patience part. I keep getting the sense that my life should be marked by an attitude and lifestyle of service. I’m drawn in a specific way… a passion to work with vulnerable populations like orphans, children with developmental delays, and people who have been exploited and broken by the darkness that exists in this world. At this stage of my life, I don’t know what that will look like in the long run… and I have an amazing life right here in Raleigh.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible says “I know the plans I have for you… plans to give you hope and a future, to prosper you and not to harm you.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I guess right now all I can do is trust that something lies ahead and that for now, I’m learning patience and a bajillion other things along the way… I’m learning things specific to the groups I feel called to work with somewhere down the line. I am learning about being a creative, business-minded, customer-focused hardworking professional. And I am learning a lot about the areas in which I personally need growth.
All I know is, there is no room for a hardened heart or complacency. Why waste time like that?
Instead, I need to focus on what fills my time now.
- I have a wonderful job with a boss I learn from and enjoy spending time with and clients I like.
- I am able to serve on the Missions Team at my church and allocate funding to support amazing people like Bethany at exile International, who provides trauma care to former child soldiers in Africa… like Edi Demo, who focuses on healing the relationship between Muslims and Christians in Albania… and like Stephen & Karis Rigby, who mentor youths in the slums of Nairobi.
- I am able to get involved with organizations like NC Stop Human Trafficking and learn more about what is going on right in my backyard.
Said beautifully by Katie Davis on her blog about the life she lives in Uganda:
“Jesus told His disciples that it was God’s will for Him to be arrested. He went willingly when the soldiers came to take Him, but enthusiastic, loving Peter raised his sword and cut off a soldier’s ear. I’m sure Jesus chuckled and shook His head as He put the ear right back on the man. “Put your sword away,” Jesus commanded, “shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
I am Peter. I have my own time frame. When I don’t see things happening, I try to make them happen. And Jesus says, “Put away your sword, put away your plans. Shall we not do what the Father has asked of us?” So like Peter, I put away my plans, my defenses, and watch as everything happens perfectly, in God’s own timing.”