It’s funny all the questions one can get from students: “So why would you need a guide in life? Can’t we just know good from bad? If you pray with your eyes open…does he hear you?”, or my favorite, “Wait, you believe in getting married? I thought all Christians like… never marry.” Haha Was he so shocked with my response! Apparently when he searched the term “Christians” the top result was priest and sisters/nuns. Life on this side of the world can best be described as “interesting”. I find new things that never brought me joy now do and where I have a set expectation brings to light an undiscovered fear. What to do? What to do?
By the time this is posted and you read it, I would have taught in front of my American friends. I’ve been thinking, that if one day I’m called back to America to put down roots, I would maybe be a pastor. Though, with the amount of fear and anxiety I experienced leading up to the teaching, I don’t think that will be the case. Who knows though? During the teaching the Holy Spirit was with me. I felt his peace which was so helpful for me to know I didn’t speak solely out of my own will. I’m learning to walk out with and in Him. When did we forget that is the type of “Christian” the bible teaches about? Where and when did you, I, all of us let the subtle evil this world offers have a lock on our hearts and twist our thinking?
Before the world began and the fall of man
You unfolded the drama of salvation’s plan
And though we violate
We’re cursed by the law
He sent his son to die
And he absorbed it all
We covet, we kill
Our throats are open graves
We lie and we steal but he still saves
It’s happening now
New hearts will burn
All creation yearns for the King’s return
These lyrics are pulled from the song Covet by Beautiful Eulogy. “All creation yearns for the King’s return”. The sermon I gave to the Americans revolved around the idea that our Hope needs and should be grounded in Christ. I even began with this point in the introduction, “During my procrastination of sermon prepping I felt a pull to watch a movie, TV show or read one of my books. In all the great series: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, even Walking Dead they have this idea of hope. The world they live in has evil running wild. Everybody is in distress and longing for a champion to come and restore it all back to good. Someone that will rescue them from the evil.” Forgive the cheesiness of the set up, but I think you know it’s true. We chase a life that is all about our pursuit of happiness and achievement. Living my life to the fullest, making sure I achieve the most so that I know when I finally go to rest with my fathers, I can look back and say I lived. Yet, I wasn’t and you aren’t truly living.
The life I was living, well, I won’t bore you with the details since you may already know them or have read them in a past post, was going know where. My hope rested in finding the perfect career. Success and money would cure all my problems since what I see on videos and TV and all the parties communicate that.
I realized that, sometimes, life takes on the “abnormal” when you’re in transition, when you’re moving between one kind of “normal” to another. Accepting and embracing “abnormal” helps you do what needs to be done without losing heart. — Charles Swindoll
My hope stayed grounded on a failing and unsatisfying pursuit. My normal was running circles and grasping at some means to escape the situation. I was in tune with the wrong things.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” — Romans 12:2
Well compadres, that’s what I’m going through: renewing my mind since it was, and at times is, conformed to the world. Switching to a new normal which feels abnormal at times, and discovering this new heart that yearns for the King’s return. I shared a couple months back how I am returning to work here in China as an auditor with my friend in starting his new company and organization. Some unforeseen events occurred which made me reevaluate my decision and led me to spend 4 days trying to “discern the will of God” for my current season. He has led me to discover that auditing is not my path for this season. He wants me in China to keep on growing and discovering this new normal of life. That being said, I am committing 4 years of my life to come on and serve as a long-term staff. The amount of weight to say that out loud as well as write it down….feels freeing as well scary because who knows the unknown. God, duh! If you would have told me when I started college that I was going to be serving overseas in China as a teacher of the Word, I would have laughed in your face. This new normal is starting to feel right, exciting, freeing, satisfying, and purposeful.
Does your normal provide that? You don’t have to be a teacher of the Word on the opposite of the world to have it. God has a purpose for everybody in every field. Shoot, we need people bringing His Good News, the Light, into the dark places of this world: I hope one day to be one of those pioneers into the music festivals. film, law rooms, businesses, government offices, school rooms, etc. If your normal doesn’t satisfy, give you a purpose, or excite you, please reevaluate your normal. We aren’t meant to survive in this world. We are meant to thrive.