As it so happens my spiritual studies are converging on a central theme of being rooted in God lately. I’m studying Ephesians, reading a heavy hitting book on contentment and yesterday I think I heard one of the best sermons of all time. Last week I took an unplanned hiatus from blogging because I found myself engaged in a mind battle that dried up my flow of funny truths (because even if you don’t think I’m funny, I think I’m hilarious and that’s good enough for me).
My brain kicks into overdrive sometimes- it will latch on to something and just keep bringing it to the forefront of my thoughts. I’m not even sure when it started or when it stopped, but I was hanging in there, going with God’s flow and then I saw what appeared to be an outcome forming (like a promise of an offer on the house) and I was like “YES! It’s perfect God, an offer before we go to the RV show and before we go to California” and then the offer didn’t come immediately. Somewhere between then and two days later my mind was my worst enemy. It wasn’t very pretty inside and then the ugly on the inside came out of my mouth and countenance too and that wasn’t very pretty either. But, God showed me something that I kind of already knew but BAM there it was clear as day, I try to find my hope and happiness in my circumstances, not in Him. And you know what, it has to stop.
Here’s a long-ish paragraph from Stephen Altrogge’s book that I think is worth the read,
” When Jonathan Edwards was fired by his church, the church he had faithfully pastored for many years, he responded in an astonishing manner. He didn’t lash out at the church, didn’t write an op-ed piece in the local paper, didn’t start throwing out names like ‘narrow-minded pagans.’ The following observation was made of Edwards after he had been removed from his position: ‘Edwards received the shock, unshaken. I never saw the least symptoms of displeasure in his countenance the whole week, but he appeared like a man of God whose happiness was out of reach of his enemies and whose treasure was not only a future but a present good, overbalancing all imaginable ills of life, even to the astonishment of many who could not be at rest without his dismissal.’
Is your happiness out of reach of your enemies or daily disappointments? Not me. I’ve got some work to do! And obviously any work worth doing demands a well drawn diagram. This is directly paraphrased from Stephen Altrogge so don’t go reporting me for plagiarism. It’s just a thought map of half of the book and I already ran out of space on the paper.
Out of all that I have two real take home messages, 1. To focus on my only goal (which is bringing God glory – aka obedience) and 2. Spend time lingering in the presence of God & the gospel . If I work on those two things, probably in reverse order, all the other fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control will flow out. It seems basic but just look at that complicated diagram it took for me to get two simple points.
So I’m counting the disobedient grumbling and circumstance surfing parts of my week as joy. Not the happy slappy I’m playing with baby kittens kind of joy. But joy because the week produced something that is good, helping me to develop godly Christ-like character.
The real highlight of this week was what I gained spiritually. But I would be leaving out some pretty epic news if I didn’t say that we totally bought an RV on Saturday! Here are some low quality pictures I took as we
danced measured every cranny inside our Fifth Wheel. If you look close you can see Geoff dancing in the hallway to the master bedroom. #mostlykidding