Have you ever been in that place where what would seem to be the responsible thing to do might not be what God wants you to do? And then you have to figure out if the feeling in your heart is just a feeling or if it’s the Holy Spirit trying to get you to listen?
This will be our theme today.
I woke up late again (lately I’ve just been really tired) and had only an hour before class to fit everything in (devotions, reading, getting ready, etc). I did finish Revelation, despite time constraints. It’s weird, because I found myself wanting to read it again. I love the description of the river of the water of life. “Then he (John’s angelic guide) showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Through the middle of the broad-way of the city.” (Revelation 22:1,2, AMP) The streets of heaven are made of gold, decorated with all sorts of beautiful gems; there’s a river of the water of life running down its center, sparkling in the light of the Son. Wow. Can you imagine?
Writing in my journal was kind of rough today. You know how I went to check out a job yesterday? Well, every time I think about getting a job (being responsible and earning money so I can provide for myself), I get this icky feeling right in my chest. It’s not fear…no, I’m actually really excited to finally get a job 😀 But it’s as if I’m making the wrong decision. But why on earth would God want me to abstain from getting a job? Wouldn’t He want me to do what’s responsible? I mean, I’m going to have to get one eventually, right? Maybe He wants me to wait; I don’t know. But I spent a good part of the day just fighting God. I kept asking Him why He wouldn’t want me to get a job. Wouldn’t that make sense? Eventually I gave in, remembering that He’s the One who knows my future. I prayed that, if He didn’t want me to get a job, He would have every door in that area close tightly. I’m just going to have to trust Him, even though this doesn’t make any sense to me…but I guess coming to Pratt and New York City really didn’t make any sense either. I asked myself the question, “Wouldn’t God want me to go to a Christian school?”
This morning during Word, Usage, & Style, I felt really irritable and super emotional, and I couldn’t figure out why. While I was waiting for Charlene to meet me for lunch, I figured out why. Then, because I knew the reason, I felt much better 🙂 Oh! Something insane has taken place. Last night I was actually craving sushi, which is ridiculous because I have never craved Japanese food in my entire life. Thankfully, the cafeteria serves sushi 🙂 I had sushi and salmon for lunch, and then Charlene and I had ice-cream :D.
Writer’s Studio was interesting today. We finally read a story that wasn’t vulgar, or “experimental,” or “far out.” It was a sweet short story with a happy ending, and it was so refreshing to read. The other story we had to read was the exact opposite. I got through the first page and decided it was something I shouldn’t read. I feel like I need to clarify: I often make references to not reading certain materials or listening to certain things because I don’t want them in my head. I use this verse a lot when talking about thought life: it’s Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV) Notice at the end of the verse it says, “think about these things.” So anything that is the opposite of these things, should not go into my brain, at least not if I can help it. Obviously with advertising and everything I can’t totally rid my mind of impure things, but I should do my best to keep garbage out. Another verse is Proverbs 4:23, which says “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (ESV) Often in the Bible the heart is used to represent our core, the center of our body. We use our heart to think, feel, and choose. It’s important to keep my heart clean from things that will come between me and God. I don’t want to feel disconnected from Him. I hate that feeling. It’s kind of like in a romantic relationship. You want to be with that person all the time, right? Well, why would you choose to do something that would disconnect you from them?
Also, as a writer, reading books is a very intimate process for me. When I read, I analyze every sentence and cradle every word in my head. There’s no way I’ll ever forget the storyline, the characters, the everything. So if I read things that place vulgar images in my head, that’s all I’m going to think about for a while. There’s this quote I heard a few weeks ago:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” -Lao Tzu
It’s a domino affect that starts with one thought. So when I choose not to hang out with certain people on a regular basis, or read certain books, it’s not because I’m being a prude: it’s just because I love God and I want to be as close to Him as I possibly can.
Another thing that has been on my mind lately is the future. I’m always worrying about the future. I have botany class on Tuesdays, and as I sat at my lab table, I began writing to God.
God, why can’t You just tell me how everything is going to work out? How am I supposed to become a Christian writer if I’m making connections in the secular writing world? I don’t understand how this whole thing is going to work. I can’t go east and somehow end up going west….that just doesn’t happen.
I sat there, waiting for the Holy Spirit to move or something miraculous to happen. I became frustrated and annoyed when I was answered by silence, by nothing. But then I remembered that God knows just how far the east is from the west…He knows the future.
I forget how safe I can feel when I let go of my worries and give them to God. Sometimes I feel like I’m being irresponsible by not worrying, but then I realize just how ridiculous that idea is. God is not limited by my fears or my worries; He destroys them. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Luke 12:25, ESV). Worrying has never helped me in any way and has never positively affected the outcome of anything in my life time or in any other. So why am I worrying now?
God is my coach; I am His athlete. He has written the game plan; all I have to do is follow.