Friday, April 29, 2011

blessed is this life & I'm going to celebrate being alive

Sometimes I see jobs that I never, ever want to have, and I start thinking about how horrible it would be if I was forced to have them, if I didn't have a choice. Yesterday I was looking at the fashion section in the Wall Street Journal and I started to panic, because what if I was forced to be a super model on the runway? What if I was forced to wear makeup on my eyes like scary space raccoons, grease my hair onto my head like a skullcap of snot, and wear a swarm of fake butterflies around my head to complement the runway's "nature" motif? Then, when I saw these shoes, I started to hyperventilate:

"Help us! We are trapped in giant mole heads!" - Feet
I had to close the newspaper and watch the Weather Channel to get my mind on something else. I would never, ever want to be a runway model. I like my hip bones softly enfolded in revolt of the vegan lifestyle, and not protruding from my body like permanent javelins.

I had a what-if-I-had-to-have-that-job panic attack a few days ago, too, when I starting thinking, What if I had to work in a daycare for the rest of my life? I have loved a few small children in my life, this being one of them:

"William, can you do Down Dog?"
But in mass numbers, little tots are not my favorite thing. People like to tell me, "It's different when you have your own." After watching several episodes of SuperNanny, however, the only difference I see is that, when it's your own kid, you're allowed to lock him in the basement after he's colored on the walls with a permanent marker because you told him he couldn't have more animal crackers, whereas if you were just the daycare provider, you'd get fired & sued. (Note: Locking in basement has never been a Super Nanny approach. I myself do not recommend this approach on a human, but it works very well with demon cats.)

I have actually been thinking a lot of jobs recently. I've been thinking about the talents and gifts God has given us, and the ones He hasn't. One of the RDs at Asbury spoke this in chapel a couple of years ago:

Don't you know that I have made you in my image? Anytime you degrade yourself, you degrade me. Anytime you deny or misuse the gifts that I have given you, you are no better than the one who hid his talent in the ground and waited for the master's return. Will I not bestow on you the same fate as him? Why do you compare yourself to others upon whom I have given other talents? Don't you know that all that I have is yours if you will just open your hands, heart, mind, and soul to receive them? When you hide the ways I bless you, you fail to expose me. No amount of false humility or religious jargon will hide these facts from me. You honor me by living life to its fullest. You honor me by speaking truth about how I have kept you. You honor me by being who I have created you to be, and I called you to be you, not [anyone else]. It doesn't matter how much you have felt you messed up things or failed in the past. You fail to humble yourself when you refuse to acknowledge how I have redeemed you. You refuse to be humble when you meditate on your insufficiency, and not on me.

I have learned this, and it has made all the difference. For the longest time I thought I had to try to be someone who would please the Lord, to change myself into someone who could be a servant of the Lord. But now I see He is most pleased when I live in the fullness of all He has created me to be, and I serve Him best when I use the very talents He has given me.

This week I am getting ready to begin a new job at one of my favorite places on earth. I feel incredibly blessed and humbled to be a part of the VCC team. And I am thankful that, when we give everything to the Lord in surrender, He gives right back to us even better.
"This morning was...great. We went to the Vineyard again, and for the first time I lost self-consciousness and felt longing to reach God. See, the sermon explained Jesus' purpose and what he did in a better way than I've ever heard, and when we began to sing "Jesus Paid it All" I felt engulfed in praise to Jesus....Wow. I simply walk into the sanctuary and I feel the presence of the Lord. I don't know if it's I who's changed...or is it the church? But Jesus seems so much more real...alive...close." - journal entry from Sunday, December 2, 2007
And 3 1/2 years later, I get to work there. :)

Vinefest, 2008


Sarah said...

Thank you for all the e-mails. Don't ever stop.

As I loaded your blog just now, I thought about its address. I'd say you are leaving behind nets in the best way you can...freely and unreservedly. The new nets Jesus has given you are such a blessing. You get to catch people, and I know you've already "caught" so many. Look at how enamored the staff is of you, already. And the best part of it all is how you give the glory where it's due: to God. God has given you so many talents & God gives you another gift, another outlet in which to use those gifts. I can't wait to hear more about your life!!

I'm going to write you a massively long e-mail tonight and try to send it tomorrow morning. I love and miss you. As always.


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