I've been a bit down lately. Just in the mood to be in no mood at all. Family stuff. Friend stuff. Me stuff. My heart is heavy. I have a tendency to feel the pressures of everyone else's burdens on my own shoulders. It fits the personality, I suppose. And I'm glad. But regardless, I'm feeling kind of blah. God has a plan. He is a healer, a comforter, and a director.
So, I read My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers as much as I can. Here's today's entry...
The Devotion of Hearing
"Samuel answered, 'Speak, for Your servant hears'" (1 Sam. 3:10)
"Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says. I show God my lack of love and respect for Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says. If I love my friend, I will instinctively understand what he wants. And Jesus said, "Your are My friends..." (John 15:14). Have I disobeyed some command of my Lord's this week? If I had realized that it was a command of Jesus, I would not have deliberately disobeyed it. But most of us show incredible disrespect to God because we don't even hear Him. He might as well never have spoken to us.
The goal of my spiritual life is such close identification with Jesus Christ that I will always hear God and know that God always hears me. If I am united with Jesus Christ, I hear God all the time through the devotion of hearing. A flower a tree, or a servant of God may convey God's message to me. What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don't want to hear God, but I am not devoted in the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don't hear Him. The attitude of a child of God should always be, "Speak, for Your servant hears." If I have not developed and nurtured this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God's voice at certain times. At other times I become deaf to Him because my attention is to other things -- things which I think I must do. This is not living the life of a child of God. Have you heard God's voice today?"
Well if that isn't a kick in the rear. Not only the part about being devoted to service and MY own convictions... but I can relate it to the little things too, not just my summer plans and summer-after-that plans...
On Wednesday I felt like I was being bombarded with chances to be a servant. And I was shocked at my ability to turn them down. You know those times when you think, "What the heck?! Why did you not help that person?" Here's the rundown of Wednesday (and this is probably only half of it - that's how much God kept putting things in my way just to make me think how I would "ethically" handle the situation. Figures I'm taking an ethics class :) )...
1. While sitting in the hallway at school, waiting for the teacher to come unlock the door, I saw a lady walking down the hall. She was on her phone and clearly preoccupied. I looked ahead of her for some reason and saw a cute little spider descending from the ceiling. My first reaction was Miss! There's a spider! It was a silent reaction. Then I thought maybe she'll miss it. My guess is that she didn't and she probably found it on her shirt in her next class. Seriously?! I was disappointed in myself.
2. K, so THEN I went to Panera, as I usually do twice a week on my 3 hour break, and on my way in the door, I saw an older couple approaching the building. They were far enough away that I could get in the door and all the way to the counter before they would even touch the handle. Once again... first reaction: I'll wait and hold the door open. Psh. No, that would be too high and mighty for little old me to do.
3. Then as Stacey and I are sitting there, working away at our homework, an older woman walked over to the table next to us. Mind you, half of the restaurant was empty and this particular table was covered in the last customer's scraps, but nonetheless, her heart was set on this table. She looked over at a couple sitting nearby and asked if they knew if the staff comes around to clean the tables. Then a few minutes later, she asked us. Oh Shannon... really? could you not have gotten up and wiped off the table for her?
There was something else too, but apparently it's escaping my mind. That's enough harshness on myself though, I suppose. My point is that God calls us to serve EVERYWHERE. Even in the smallest ways. My mind is so set on Youth Haven and World Vision and all of these other great organizations. And I feel like I put on a mask when I tell people about Youth Haven or my hopes of being involved with World Vision. Because that's at the surface. Yes, I believe that God called me to be at Youth Haven this summer. Without a doubt, I believe that. But the question is whether or not I take that reliance on and direction of God into EVERY other arena in my life. I don't want what's deeper in my life to simply be me "devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don't hear Him."
I can't write enough about who I should be portraying as a Christian. I find myself judging the hypocrites that call themselves Christians. But is this not the same? Is it not myself that I am judging? Once again, I am reminded... I am no better than anyone else.