Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Last night’s devotional thoughts: bits and pieces from my mind.

First off this is long, and goes on and on. I was going to try to type about something else but my mind wandered and this came out. I didn’t mean for it to turn out like this but it did, and it’s typed so I’m posting it. Enjoy, or ignore, or laugh at it ( I know I will if I ever go back and read it) … just my silly mind churning.

Selfless. I’ve struggled with this word a lot in the last year. What does it mean to be selfless when it comes to working for God? With my current life I get a lot of “If other people were as selfless as you our world would be better.” It makes me feel weird and think about what being selfless looks like. In my mind a selfless person gives from every area of their lives for no reason other than following God’s teachings in the Bible. The selfless person is not rewarded for giving, they don’t give in a manner that is boastful or self-serving and their actions are driven by the will to please God, not the will to please themselves. Unfortunately when I lay down to go to sleep at night, if I’m not completely exhausted, I lay there and think too much. Lately I’ve been thinking about how God works when it comes to his plan for us. After I came from Haiti the first time I wanted SO bad to go back. I prayed that I could go back. Nothing happened; it wasn’t until way later that RHFH rescue center came into my life as an option. The dictionary definition of selfish:

1.

devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

2.

characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives

…By this definition I can honestly tell you that me being in Haiti is purely selfish. I like the people here, the kids here, the culture, the music, the lifestyle, the fact that everyone is thankful for everything. It makes me feel like life is more than worth living and that’s why I come here. I know the drastic difference between a kid who has gotten food and love and one that has been neglected and starved. I know that a child who hasn’t received proper care will benefit from even just an hour a day of my time. It makes me SO happy when these kids take their first step at the age of 3, or mumble their first word because I taught them it. I love working with Henley, Trey and Carmelo and being able to teach them in Christian books, because every day I'm learning too. These are ALL selfish reasons… Does good come out of it? I think so, yes. Do I deserve this life? No… Am I thankful for it? SO much- but I hate the fact that what I love is looked at as a “good” thing in our society; something that a selfless person would do. It might be, but that doesn’t mean I’m selfless in any way- no one is. It makes me wonder if I am doing it for me or for God. Would I be doing it if people thought it was wrong? Would I move here if everyone saw it as a foolish thing and if I had no support back home? I don’t know, I like to think yes but I really will never know because that’s not my reality.

I have often prayed for God’s desire to become my heart’s desire. Did God answer that prayer, or am I just content doing this because the people in my life support me… and it’s easy to think I am doing work for God when I’m really just going through the motions. And if God did answer that prayer, and my desire and love for this life is through Him then what’s next? In my mind, giving should not be easy. It should be sacrificial, and from the heart I don’t know if this is what God has in mind, but I’ve always felt that giving should be hard. I don’t have a whole bunch of money to just give up and stuff to sell. I don’t know what to give. I have nothing to give except time. I am giving that time to something that brings me joy, I get to hang out with kids all day… think about it! My current life could not be any more perfect in my eyes, but what about in God’s eyes? I drive myself nuts with these questions and thoughts, and I think sometimes revelations come out of it and other times I just don’t get much sleep. So far, no revelation. How do we ever know if we are doing stuff for God, or for ourselves; is it possible that it can be for both and the same?

Sometimes I feel God’s presence so strongly that it makes me smile in the middle of whatever I’m doing. Other times I just don’t feel him. I think all Christians go through ups and down in their relationships with God, just as we do with friends, or just as couples do. If we know in our hearts that God is there, but struggle with our faith at times, would God rather us turn away until we fall and then return, or go through the motions until we “feel” him? I feel like a lot of times I go through the motions. Like I know what the bible tells us to do, so I do it because I figure that even if I don’t feel really close to God I’m still working for Him. Or is everything based on intention with God… if we give, but don’t do it with the right intention does it matter to Him anyway? Or are our motions without good intentions just as pointless as not doing anything at all. Some of the strongest Christians I’ve met all have a great testimony, one of huge trials, where they weren’t living the Christian lifestyle and then made a decision to devote their lives to God at some point. Or they grew up Christian, went through a rebellious stage and then came back to Christ with a burning passion for Him. At this point they gave up their old lifestyle or huge house, or started work in ministry.

I have always believed in God. I never won’t, I know he’s there and it’s a fact I can’t deny… but there are times when I become a lazy Christian and don’t pursue Him and his work. I take God for granted, and sometimes I wish I knew what life felt like without Him because it might make me appreciate life with Him more. I don’t do the typical “bad” thing, I don’t murder, I don’t steal, do drugs, curse, drink, I try not to lie etc. But I also don’t always talk to people about God when I’m given a perfect opportunity, or treat people like I should, or give a task 100%. These are just as bad in my mind. So will I go through the "rebellious" stage? I don’t think so- it’s just not in me. I can’t deny God’s existence because in my mind that would just be ridiculous. So when do I change, where’s my big moment where I all the sudden can’t do anything but think of God in everything I do. Or do I not get one… or is mine gradual, just a continuous growth of love for God that will never be perfect but strengthen with time. I can’t wait for an answer, so in the meantime I work in areas that God’s words teach, and those times that I feel close to Him I know it’s all worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Anna,

    Thank you for sharing. It's great to see others really thinking through their relationship with the Lord and not being satisfied with simple answers!

    I don't have any answers or amazing advice. All I know is that God loves to see you happy and grow, just like you love to see those babies and kids be happy and grow! So know that receiving his blessings doesn't mean you aren't sacrificing. Maybe you're just hearing his THANK YOU so loudly it drowns out any other voices. :)

    Love you Anna!!! Thanks for blogging.

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