Back here in Lakeside, we are in full swing after just one day. We have a full schedule for 3 weeks-all gearing up for the big send-off on outreach. It’s easy to get overwhelmed a little with all that was explained yesterday, especially for people who tend to take it all on at once. But the fact remains that we are training and this is preparation for what happens next. Conditions will not always be ideal as far as ample preparation time for preaching and teaching.
It made me think of the adjustment coming back here for me. Having done my School of Biblical Studies here last fall, I’m familiar with the base and how it works. But that’s not enough. Since I left in June, I have been all over the place in all sorts of situations. Staying at Mom’s house for a while caused me to get a little lazy; maybe we call that “resting.” Either way, it is an adjustment to “re-enter” community life. For example, arriving Sunday night, I was greeted by two guys from my SBS. They are my room mates; awesome guys, but in SBS I had a room all to myself. My bedding is the sleeping bag I brought for outreach to Armenia. There is always a bit of stress getting used to a new routine and a totally new situation. When I arrived, there was a “welcome basket” with all sorts of goodies and a card written just to me. It had encouraging words along with a verse from the staff. They spent time in prayer for me and among other things, got this…
“…whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:7a
As read it, I thought about it in relation to change and why sometimes, we go into panic when things aren’t they way we are used to. Isn’t that about control? When I have room mates, do not have a car, get a schedule dictated to me, and eat meals at specific times after waiting in line; I realize that I am more selfish and rigid than I thought. It is easy to be calm and cool when I’m in total control. What about when I’m not? AS I read the above verse this morning, I applied it to that kind of defective thinking on my part. The question really is simple. Is Jesus enough? Is he enough for me or do I think and say he is enough because I have my artificial comforts stacked high and wide around me acting like I have the peace of Christ. This sounds like I see coming to attend a training seminar preparing to go on a teaching outreach as a burden. I don’t. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be setting out on this adventure with my fellow-teachers. All I am saying is that THIS training process is all just part of LIFE’S training process.
I believe God trains his people. Circumstances are meant to train us to be more like Jesus, but we have a choice. He is the leader. He is the one who asked that the cup be taken from him. It was not. He walked the path the Father had for him to walk. He was obedient.
Am I the kind of person who tries to change my circumstances to fit my liking or am I a person who walks the path God has for me to walk no matter how “different” it is from what I had planned? Can I really say the words, “…the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want…” ? Do I want? It is true there are some things we are to change. Jesus changed the world. He died to save it actually. Hopefully I have the wisdom to know the difference between the things I should change and the things I should leave alone. Lately its me that needs to change, not my circumstances.