Friday, October 15, 2010
May the lilies of the field...
I have a professor this year who is incredibly awesome. Her name is Betsy Nesbit, she is 29, single, educated, and is from the North (an added bonus for in my opinion).
I have had the privilege of hearing her speak about her life twice now and both times she has drawn new thoughts and perspectives which I feel need to be applied to my life.
Betsy says there are details and themes in life. When we hear people's stories we tend to focus on the details and how they can be incorporated into our lives. However, it is more important to instead focus on the themes of life. The details are insignificant simply because they are all out outcomes of the themes of what God is doing in our lives. Her three themes which are very applicable to anyone are: Identity, Calling, and Contentment.
Identity is finding who I am in God. Calling is realizing what God is calling me to be (not do). And Contentment is finding contentment in my identity and calling so that God can use me as He plans right now in the present moment.
Betsy talked bout her natural tendency to live for the future, constantly planning and constantly looking ahead. The first time I heard her speak, I listened and identified with her but it didn't really register how much I related. The second time around, I sat listening and I could tell God was saying: "Seriously Jordan, look at you...how much do you live in the future."
I think I have become so used to living in the future, wondering what's next that I didn't even realize it when Betsy talked about it the first time. I think it has become a part of who I am.
I, like Betsy, am a planner. I have back-up plans for my future plans. I wonder what tomorrow's task are versus focusing on today's. I sit and wonder where I will be living and do when I graduate versus focusing on finishing school well and being here in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I think about traveling in the future, I think about marriage (wonder if marriage is anywhere in my near future- hopefully not), I think about moving, I think about having children, I think about my careers, I think about my future husband’s career, I wonder how financially stable my life will be, I wonder who will still be my friends.......la da da da da....I think you get the picture. Bottom line is I am ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE.
And……..I HAVE GOT TO STOP. I have got focusing on being and becoming versus doing. Betsy said what I do will flow out of who I am becoming. I mean I can still plan some for the future, it would be stupid not too, but I need to learn to loosen my grip on those plans.
One awesome thing she said the really convicted me was: “to always be looking to the past or always looking to the future is another way of me telling God that what He has given me is not good enough. And who would dare look into the face of God and tell Him that?”
So people, me especially, we need to focus on identity, who I am and calling, what God is calling me to be (not do), and then finally, finding contentment in that. Not looking forward or back, but being here. Saying:
God, you have given me what I have and placed me where I am for a reason. Do with me as you plan, not as I have planned. Help me become and not just do. Let what I do be a natural outpouring of my identity and calling in You. You say in Your Word “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith” (Matthew 6:28b-30). May the lilies remind me forever more of your caring and provision.