To the lovely soul reading this,
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my thoughts. I sit here writing to you, sipping on a nice cold brew (coffee of course), and celebrating the end of a very fulfilling junior year. Now back to the writing… this past semester graced me with 18 credit hours of philosophy and religion courses. While I didn’t even try to calculate all of the pages of reading, I did make the mistake of adding up the pages of paper I have written the past couple of months. 103 pages. Not that anyone really should be counting. After all, I picked this major in the first place!
18 hours. 103 pages of writing. However many more pages of reading. *Insert more numbers and personal statistics here*. Maybe my GPA? Anything here that “defines” me. Oh and don’t forget about those service hours required for the honors society that is going to “look good” on my resume.
But Morgan that’s it? Really? Don’t you have more to offer? I mean you don’t have a “real” job so you could/should be doing this and this and this… STOP.
If there is anything that this semester has taught me it is that I really should stop trying to justify myself. Comparing myself. Now I am not saying that a good GPA, hours of service, and career success are bad things. They are wonderful things! Until we use them to hold ourselves higher or lesser than others and find our worth solely in our achievements.
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And when you think about it, isn’t your life composed of different seasons? Some of you may be feeling like your life is an endless tailspin of busyness. I mean busy to the point where you can’t seem to breathe. Or maybe you are in a season of waiting. Waiting and itching for new relationships, new opportunities, and maybe even a new direction.
So who are we to compare our seasons? While you may be in a season of planting seeds and preparing, someone else may be receiving the benefits of a long-awaited harvest. And we are not always called to a busy season believe it or not. God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He reflected on His creation and RESTED. And what about Jesus? Even our Savior took time to go up the mountain. Alone. He went to pray and seek guidance from the Father. To reflect and separate Himself from the world’s chaos.
But yet our society drills busyness into our heads as if it is the determining factor of our worth. When you aren’t working you really should be and even when you are working you could be working harder. This seems to be the case for many Americans today. We have forgotten how not to work. We have forgotten how to treat rest as a necessary aspect of spiritual growth. We have forgotten the verses of Ecclesiastes and the importance of seasons in God’s design for nature. Or what about His design for the pinnacle of His creation? That’s right, us!
Everything Has Its Time
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
For me personally, these past four months have been a season of discerning. I have continued to thank God for the call to ministry He has placed on my life, but in this season I have been more concerned as to why I feel this call. There is not a day when I do not in some way feel insufficient of my abilities to lead and speak words of life and truth. I have realized, however, that this doubt may be used for a greater good because while I do not always have confidence in myself, I have confidence that God will use me as a vessel to further His Kingdom.
It has been a season of me coming to terms with the fact that I harp too much on my inabilities and shortcomings. I am slowly learning how to accept the compliments of others because I have realized that blowing them off is nothing but a disservice to the ways in which God is working in my life. (I know I am not the only one guilty of this).
And in this season God did answer my question. Why am I called to ministry? I now know I am called because like God knows and cares for each fallen sparrow, I feel called to watch and care for my people. I am nurturing, easygoing, and I want people to feel loved when they are around me. I’m not called to the world’s definition of success. I am called to love, place the needs of others before my own, and share the grace that the Father has given to me. I am thankful for this “in-between” season. A season of slowing down and listening to that still small voice more closely.
So what season do you see yourself in at this time? Whatever it may be… I hope that you embrace it and find hope in it. But your worth? Remember that it does not come from what you produce. Your worth is found in your being and not your doing. You were created for a purpose. You were created to work, but you were also made to rest.
The peach doesn’t magically turn plump and pretty before our eyes y’all. Nope. It too has to rise from the dirt.
In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
-The Hymn of Promise
Peace and blessings,