Is it just me, or does anyone else go along for great periods of time, heaping things onto their plates and then being surprised to wake up one day and feel no energy or zest for the tasks you've heaped onto yourself? I think "excitement" of moving and "adventure" of a new place have caught up to me and many things have piled on to my plate to bring me to a point where I am forced to just sit in solitude and contemplation with God (yet again.... seems I am constantly learning this lesson OVER and OVER.) You see, the decision to move here seemed pretty quick and straight-forward. Always up for an adventure, I hopped on the band wagon without all that much thought to what would lie beyond the initial excitement of a new culture, etc. In theory I knew we would all depend on one another more, all learn alot from new cultural experiences, all expand our boundaries and our comfort zones, and that growing pains are always just that... pains! So intellectually I embraced these things because I knew that on the other side of this adventure, we would all be different and right about the time I came here, different seemed to be a good option for many reasons.
Now, I am in the thick of the season. Not missing home as much as I once did because I've gotten over the restlessness of not filling my days with the "busy-ness" of life in TN. But in some ways, more scared than ever. You see, our stints here come in 90 day commitments. While this seemed a small enough bite (or is it bight?) to digest back in September, the uncertainty has started to wear on me. I miss my friends! Right now we are only signed here through April. But we were originally only signed through January. It could be April that we return home. If so, that means only 13 weeks left here and that seems like not much time to spend doing all the things we have come to love about life in Hawaii. But then again, there's a distinct possibility we will be extended through the end of June. If that is the case, then I don't feel the urge to start cramming things into life. And of course, there's always that looming thought, "What if they want us beyond June?" That bridge is just too far out there to contemplate, but I think if we do reach that point, I need bigger time chunks of commitment. It's very difficult to live life in three month segments. On the one hand, if I know I'm here longer, then I begin to put down roots and nourish new friendships and seek out community and establish different lifestyle, etc. etc. If we are leaving, then I start to disentangle myself from the few commitments I have already made. I'm sort of caught in this place where I have a foot in both worlds.
So, I've spent alot of time just seeking God's face on this one. I felt like Jacob several times where I THOUGHT that I was just in the dirt wrestling with the angel trying to not let him go until he gave me the answers. But... as is typical for me, I was sort of missing the point altogether. Listen to what Oswald Chambers had to say in today's devotional from My Utmost for His Highest. "Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected?....Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer." Duh! I've been looking hard for the answers, not for God Himself! How MANY times must I learn this lesson, Oh Lord, before you bash my feeble brain in with the message? Always the answer, Lord, always the answer, and never satisfied just to find You! Mr. Chambers goes on to say, "If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him." (emphasis mine) So, I did not have enough of this by the time I finished with My Utmost... I need more. Then Jesus Calling for today reads: "Come to Me for rest and refreshment. The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life." And I realize that I'm not really weary of the things I have been walking through, I'm actually loving the permission God has given me here to live ONE DAY AT A TIME. I realize that the uncertainty of having no defined timeline has allowed me to free myself from long-term commitments to committees and responsibilities I would have at home. I've squandered much of this freedom, but just because I'm a slow learner doesn't mean I can't learn! :) Thanks, God, for not letting go of ME (not the other way around) and sticking with me until I GOT the blessing, not until you RELEASED it. As with so many relationships in my life (and probably those in everyone else's life too) my perspective is always clouded by my viewpoint (looking out from in) rather than trying to see that not all paths are necessarily visible to me, but it doesn't mean they aren't there. Jesus Calling finished up with this and I absolutely loved it, "This sounds like an easy assignment, but it is not. Your desire to live in My Presence goes against the grain of "the world, the flesh, and the devil." Much of your weariness results from your constant battle against these opponents. However, you are on the path of My choosing, so do not give up!" Thank You, God, that sometimes when I am stubborn and dense, you are still willing to smack me in the head with the message, right there in black and white. Thanks for coming out for me today and not letting me sit here in the darkness.
‘If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the
wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry,
and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the
darkness, and your shadows become like noon’