Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stolen Laundry and Spritual Switzerland

There are days when I just don't want to listen to what God has to say.

I don't just mean that I don't want to read the Bible. I mean that it's really hard for me sometimes to find the application that a 2,000 year old book can possibly have to my life, let alone how a God I can’t see could exist. As well as being passionately in love with me. What could a carpenter from Nazareth have in common with me?

Tonight my laundry got stolen. Not just one load, but two loads, and all of my favorite clothes and pants and undies now belong to somebody else. Which, besides being a little bit creepy, really didn’t make me feel very thrilled. I called my Mom. I cried. I made lame jokes about looking like white trash and wearing only sweatpants for the last month of school. But most of all, I just felt bad for myself, and began to reflect on my day.

I went to church today for the first time this semester, which was very refreshing, and the pastor talked to us about Paul. He was abandoned, imprisoned, contracted a disease, mocked, shipwrecked on a desert island, and on top of everything else bitten by a snake. “It would be nice to think we can go off someplace and find some ‘spiritual Switzerland’ without problems or hassles,” the pastor said. “But whether you love God, or you hate God, life is still hard.” We are all hurting in different ways, and sometimes in the midst of trying to get our pain noticed we forget that others are hurting deeper.

I’m complaining about having one pair of pants. Someone lost a loved one tonight. Someone is broken hearted. Someone is weeping.

I know that everyone interprets things and messages differently, but what I took away from what was said… is that it’s not all about me. It’s not. And it never will be. I may have to wash my clothes more to make up for missing underwear, but the world will still wake up tomorrow to a new day. I may be worrying about finances for my internship this summer, while forgetting that few have the opportunity to even dream of such things. I still get to come home at the end of the day to a warm apartment. A shower. A few dollars in my bank account. Friends and family that love me.

A life worth living isn’t measured by my fame or reputation. It is in the awareness that every day I will face decisions. I want to be able to look back and say that I did my best. That I was a good and faithful servant with the things that I was given.

I am selfish and I want my underwear back. I want things to go my way. But knowing that the plans God has for my life are bigger than even the plans I have for myself… makes the irritations and hassles of this world seem worthwhile again.

James 1:1"Consider it joy when you encounter trials of different kinds, knowing that when your faith is tested it produces endurance, and endurance will have its result – you will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

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