Monday, April 26, 2010

the winter and the discontent

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)
This passage hit me upside the head last week (and Pastor Dan's sermons yesterday were quite the effective encore).

In the last year, while trying so hard to discern the "will of God" for my next step (which job? where? grad school? studying what? and a host of other questions), I have been letting myself get more and more self-centered, less and less kind, more and more ungrateful, more and more stubbornly independent.

Even after some big chunks of Next seemed to be sorted out, I kept second-guessing, wondering if I had made the right decisions, wondering if I had taken all the right steps to consult God.

Had I missed my calling? What should I do to fulfill my calling? Work in a law office? Move to another country? Do I need more Arabic for my calling? Can I do it here in California or should I look for a school in a different state? I know God has given me different gifts. Am I using them the right way? Am I a good steward? What about all this sin that keeps giving me (and everybody around me) grief? Why am I unhappy? And unpleasant? Where does that fit in?

Then ::WHACK!!!!!::

Humility and gentleness, patience, bearing with one another, eagerness to maintain unity.

That's how to walk worthy of my calling.

Those are the instructions here or in Jordan or studying Arabic grammar at UChicago or teaching Elementary Spanish at UCI or working in a highrise office or volunteering with a non-profit.

Or talking to my sister. Or responding to my mom. Or working at church.

Following Jesus in these things is important. More important than where I work or what I study or how much money I make.

Contentment is not stagnation.

Embracing His good gifts and leaning on His grace, I think I'm ready to move forward.

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