Lay it Down

Pride.

This nasty thing always seems to be what trips me up in my relationship with God. Even fear is a form of pride, believing that God isn’t capable of doing what He says He is and believing you can get things done by worrying about them. Today the pride is getting a big head over knowledge and talent that I don’t have. I am not a theologian and I am not as wise as I’d like to think I am. Sometimes I forget just how much of my life is left before me, how much I don’t know, how much I’ll never know. Then that pride wedges itself between me and God and I keep trying to figure out what’s going on when every time I look in the mirror I see the problem. The only thing that ever gets between me and God is me. I guess pride is one of those things I’ll have to keep working at.

Thankfully, despite my pride, God still loves me.

I know that saying, “It’s okay, because God still loves me” can seem kind of like a cop-out, but it’s not. When I say that something is okay because God still loves me, what I’m saying is that despite whatever idiotic thing I’ve done this time, whatever floor I very gracefully greeted with my face, whatever person’s heart I broke, whatever door I ran into and tried to open even though it clearly said it was locked, I can still have hope that God, the great Conductor of the symphonic universe and the orchestra of life’s events and mysteries, wants to use me and use me beautifully. He doesn’t want to use me to scrape grime or to swab decks or to pluck barnacles, but rather He wants to love, heal, and save the world one person at a time through me.

Pride is just one of those things.

So, I’ve been knocked down a level or two, an occurrence for which I am so grateful because God knows how big-headed and egotistical and stubborn I can become.

This morning along with my continuation of reading the book of Luke I also read part of Titus. Titus is one of those books that I’ve glanced at but never really taken time to study. One of the things (among many other things that are much more important) that caught my eye was the description of Cretans. Paul describes Cretans, the inhabitants of Crete, a Greek island located in the Mediterranean Sea, as always being “liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons” (1:12). I then went to look up the definition of the derogatory term “cretin” which means “a stupid, obtuse, or mentally defective person.” I’m not sure if there’s any actual tie between the reputation of Cretans and the term cretin, but I just thought it was funny 🙂

Anyway, another thing discussed was having leaders teaching sound doctrine. “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness” (2:2). I find it interesting that Paul doesn’t say “young men…” maybe it was because God knew how pathetically unwise young people are due to their lack of experience and time on this earth. I love the quote, “to be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid.” Yep.

Paul THEN goes on to address older women, younger women, and, yes, young men. It says “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands” (2:3-5). Wow! Talk about anti-feminist! It’s amazing the stark contrast between God’s will for humanity and humanity’s will for humanity. Does this passage mean God sees men as more important and more precious than women? Definitely not. God doesn’t play favorites (Romans 2:11). The roles, however, God planned for men and women to have are simply being established. Women are meant to support whereas men are meant to lead. “Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned,” (2:6-8).

What’s really crazy is that this is the first place in the Bible so far where it says that women will be trained to love their husbands. It’s always “husbands love your wives” because men are less emotionally in tune than women are and therefore experience difficulty with communicating love and other feelings (not saying this is true of all men, but it’s a generalization), and “wives submit to your husbands” because women are naturally rebellious and independent because of the Fall and experience difficulty in following. I wonder why God via Paul says here for women to love their husbands. Why here and not somewhere else? Or maybe there’s somewhere else and I just haven’t found it yet. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about exploring this.

So this was my journey with Titus, and I have to say I enjoyed it 🙂 God says the elders are to teach the younger, the women are to love their families and be pure and submissive to their husbands, and the men are to exercise self-control, to be a model of good works and a picture of dignity, integrity, and sound speech. I wonder what the world would look like if we adhered to this passage? Just a thought.

After my devotions I went to my one-on-one meeting with my Studio professor. Now, I was kind of nervous about this: he had asked me if he could read some of one of my novels, and while I was hesitant because I’m a perfectionist and wasn’t sure if the first chapter was quite ready, I sent it in to him. When I arrived at his office, I sat outside the door until he arrived. We went right into talking about the class and what I thought about it. And then he discussed what I often write about, and that is the Bible.

The weird thing is that I don’t even do it on purpose. Writing secular things just feels foreign on my fingers, not that I haven’t written in that genre before, it’s just that it feels weird. As we talked, all I could think about was how I wished I knew how to write about the Bible and my faith the right way, if there is one.

And then, something amazing happened.

“Well, Hunter, this is what I want you to do,” my professor then gave me an assignment where he wanted me to take a brand new Bible, never-been used or hardly used, and describe it. Then he wanted me to take a very used Bible, one whose pages are worn, the binding is falling off, and describe that one. All he said was to describe it, to just let myself write about it like I want.

As the conversation went on and the subject of my novel came up, something even more amazing happened. My professor basically told me, first of all, to purchase and read This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti...yes, I had a professor at an extremely secular college ask me to purchase a book by one of my favorite Christian authors. AND the book is about spiritual warfare, Mmmmmhm. He also asked that I keep the first chapter of my novel in mind with all of the exercises done in class, and also to use the chapter as my first major short story.

So I get to write and read Christian fiction for homework.

…I think it’s safe to say that God hears me and cares about what I want. He gives me everything I need, including discipline and reprehension when I need it (which is often), and then does something totally awesome to remind me He also wants to give me what I want, so long as it’s good for me 🙂 The craziest thing is that I don’t deserve any of it, what I need or what I want, and He does it anyway, because He loves me.

The rest of the day was wonderful. There were grapes in the cafeteria, I got a ton of homework done, I read a lot of stuff, and then I got to end it with one intense workout. Nine miles of a assorted cardio (three running, three biking, three elypticaling…if that’s a word), and then power yoga. I can’t help but laugh at myself when I do yoga. I laughed especially today because when I sat down on my yoga mat and glanced at myself in the mirror of the dance studio, I noticed that my shirt was completely drenched in sweat and my hair was curling every which way. Hey, if you still look cute by the end of the work out, then you didn’t work hard enough.

Anyway, yoga was fun. Forget about my muscles being sore though, my BONES are sore…and I mean sore, like, I-just-got-hit-by-a-truck-and-spent-a-few-days-not-moving-sore….okay, not so much, but ya know. The work out was very fulfilling.

Oh! Last night on my way to Bible study I saw the weirdest thing. Charlene had told me a little while ago about these subway trains that carried garbage along the tracks. That’s all they did was carry garbage. I didn’t really believe her, I mean, garbage subways? Come on, New York. But then, last night, as I was waiting for the G-train, a garbage train passed by, filled with black and white elastic bags packed full of the waste of New Yorkers. I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about seeing it; I mostly just stood there like an idiot with my mouth gaping open.

Tomorrow I will (hopefully) be seeing Leah, hopefully as in I’m not entirely sure where I’m going just yet. But I shall prevail! I’m really excited to see her and to see what BBC is doing in the Big Apple. Meanwhile, I shall do my homework, which is working on my Christian novel and reading Frank Peretti. Thank You, Jesus 🙂

 

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”   —James 5:16, NIV

 

Advertisements

About newminority16

Hi, my name is Hunter. I very often make random comments about bacon and how chocolate is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy :) So, before I started this blog, I was getting ready to make one of the biggest decisions of my life: college. God led me to go to a secular college in New York City, a place I was deathly afraid of. It's followed me through those years at college straight into married life and becoming a military spouse, all while seeking to following Christ and know God better and share Him with others. This blog is a way for you to go with me through these adventures, through being a Christian in a world that's forgotten its Creator.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Lay it Down

  1. Hannah says:

    Awesome, Hunter!

    Like

  2. Pingback: That Moment When Your Homework is to Read Frank Peretti | ChristianBookBarn.com

  3. DuVall, Elizabeth says:

    Amen to that last scripture, Hunter.

    ________________________________ De : Soft Clay Envoy : vendredi 21 fvrier 2014 23:34 : DuVall, Elizabeth Objet : [New post] That Moment When Your Homework is to Read Frank Peretti

    newminority16 posted: “Pride.This nasty thing always seems to be what trips me up in my relationship with God. Even fear is a form of pride, believing that God isn’t capable of doing what He says He is and believing you can get things done by worrying about them. Today the prid”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s