Sunday, April 1, 2012

Audit #2

The months are flying by. This is my second checkpoint regarding my New Year's Resolutions. I said in my last checkpoint post that my focus for the coming (now past) month would not so much be getting back on track with my resolutions, but simply getting back on track in my personal relationship with God.

Unfortunately, it's all too easy to shelf even such an essential, fundamental goal, to put it on a back-burner when life gets busy.

This past month has been one of stress and struggle, leading up to and coming away from the Thailand trip. There were some good moments: Forming new friendships, sharing how I use technology in the classroom with a group of enthusiastic parents, turning 26, spending a week in Thailand with the Seniors, spending a week with my parents.

There was also a tremendous amount of overwork (to the point of physical illness, sometimes), loneliness, and in general, feelings of despair and hopelessness. I live, for better or worse, by comparison. So, my natural point of reference for how I define success this year is last year, and when the way things turn out this year differs from the way they turned out last year (the way I think they ought to be), I lose hope.

I also tend to overlook the love and support of my friends, my students, my colleagues, my family--the wonderful community in which I serve, and feel totally isolated and lonely if the social reality doesn't meet my (often skewed) expectations.

In the midst of all of these struggles and doubts, I've failed consistently to turn to God, to accept His love, to pray for His will to be done. I'm a control freak, and want things to be so specifically my way that it scares me to let go, to turn everything over to Him. The thing is: trying to hold on to my way and my will clearly doesn't work--it's left me burned out and the year is far from over.

So, now I look to the months ahead and I pray for healing. Perhaps it's my exhaustion. Perhaps it's the attitude of one who is weakened by illness and stress. At any rate, I look at myself and my way of doing things and I realize just how powerless I am. I cannot do anything on my own, but I can endure, can persevere, can accomplish and succeed through the mercy of Christ.

Recently, I told the Seniors that they were loved and cared for, even as I had questioned the truth that I myself am loved and cared for. No, life will not turn out as I planned or hoped and yes, there will be times when I do not have close friends nearby, times when I feel lonely... but I'm never alone.

My goal for this month is simply (and profoundly) to let God's will be done. Make no mistake, God's will WILL be done no matter what I say or do, but growing in discipleship means following. Following means listening. Listening means letting go of what I think needs to be said or done next.

I appreciate your prayers as I endeavor to live out these reflections and ideals, as well as prayers for an awareness of mercy and grace when I stumble or get caught up in my own agenda.

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