I’m not sure about everyone else, but I only feel like I’m getting closer to a goal when I take steps toward it. Can it be any simpler than that? It’s amazing how the events that seems to push us away from our perceived purpose might actually bring us closer. What’s even more amazing is how God speaks to us about what to do. Let me put this in context: I want to pastor people for a living (That’s the overly simplified version), I got hired at a church a year ago, which is a step in that direction. I loved working there, and had a lot of fond memories doing that. I got laid off from that church a couple of weeks ago, and that comes across to me as a step in the opposite direction. I don’t feel any closer to attaining that goal, and it’s mildly depressing.
Not only do I not have a paycheck coming at the end of any week, but I don’t have my amazing job anymore. That is horribly unfortunate! So these past few weeks, when my alarm goes off at seven in the morning, I’ve been asking myself, “Why do I need to get out of bed now?”
I don’t have school until later in the day, and am mostly caught up with my homework, so why do I need to get out of bed, what purpose does my life have right now? Add one part emo, two parts nihilism, shake well and top with a pinch of acrimony, and you’ve got me. Of course I know better than to sit around like that, because apathy grows exponentially under the correct circumstances, and that is not what I need right now, so I’ve been praying about what to do. I’ve got plenty of time to do more than only maintain my devotional life, I’m bulking it up with the most sincere and dramatic pleas of my life! “GOD, if you love me, You’ll get me a job that I don’t hate and that pays really well, and only make me stay in that situation for a little while….” Like I said, drama.
Well, as apathy grows, it strangles out hope like a weed in a flowerbed; it just takes too much room and annoys the stuff out of everything around it. Picture my mind as this flowerbed, where God has planted hope, peace, love and all that other warm fuzzy stuff that we strive for. Now picture a big, nasty dandelion-looking beast of a weed, something like a brier on ‘roids that just pops out of nowhere, and literally attacks all the other wonderful stuff that God and I have been cultivating. Everybody scream. Anyways, my hope needed a boost, and I was having doubts about this whole pastoring thing, I could always go teach high school or something like that. So, I asked God. I don’t like making my mind up alone, anyone who knows me would quickly agree with the fact that I’m not indecisive, but rather that I like counsel, and a lot of it too. He keeps telling me to pursue my dreams, because they’re his dreams too.
Well, bless Him, I just didn’t know what to do next, so I pretty much in my most apathetic attempt yet, asked Him to throw me a bone, anything. I need opportunity!! And it came in the form of my pastor asking me to teach his class today. Maybe I’ll elaborate on what I taught another time, but here’s what’s important: I had purpose! I needed to put together a lesson, do the research, think of some funny anecdotes, and put in all in an organized format, and then I needed to teach! I’ve taught plenty of classes in the past two years, and it isn’t anything new to me, but when I woke up this morning, and was excited to get out of bed! That’s a huge step, as ridiculous as it sounds, I need meaningful activities to fill my life, I’m not down with pointless time-filling junk! I got up today, after staying up late working on my lesson, and started praying, and was getting really excited about teaching today when God said, “Look at how happy you are about this: do you think that I’d have you do anything else? Just be patient with Me.”
I about lost it! The fact that I had so much passion, and was so excited about this wasn’t enough, but God found a way to revive my hope. He’s glorious, amazing, and all those other adjectives that we ascribe to good people and situations. I once again have been reminded that the dreams I have were placed there by God, and that even when it seems as though I won’t EVER get there, He’s doing part of the work for me, and I shouldn’t lose hope.