I've had time to think and ponder over the lessons I've learned so far this summer, so it's time to get back into the habit of writing them out. Guatemala is still processing in my brain, so I'll start writing these lessons I've learned, one at a time.
Waiting in the Dallas Airport for our plane to take us home, the girls and I were asked a few questions. We wrote them out in our journals, and then answered them. Sometimes, it takes writing it down to realize that God taught you something important. Scattered ideas and realizations were just a paper away! At least for me, when I begin to write down my thoughts on things I feel God trying to teach me, He brings new things to light and I end up writing way more than I had first intended, and gaining so much more insight from His special revelations.
The first question I chose to answer was simple enough: "What was the most difficult?"
What I chose was maybe not the most difficult thing for me, but it was something that had been floating around in my brain and I needed to figure out my feelings on the topic. I'll write down what i wrote in my journal, and then expand on it.
I found that it was new and hard to adjust to a schedule. We were SO busy, and we never stopped going! But that taught me something. At home, I almost always run on my own schedule. I arrange things for myself, I organize my own agenda, but it started changing on this trip.
We were told what to do and expected to comply with the authorities. At home, if someone else's schedule contradicts, interrupts, or rubs against mine and forces me to either change plans or move aside, I feel angry. I feel like that's not fair. I feel like I should be in charge of my timeline. Though difficult, this trip was a good lesson in submission.
It's true. From sunup to sundown, we were always on the go. We tried to ask questions, sure. "Where are we going?" "What time is it?" "When will we be back?" "Do we have to?" A couple times, when we were informed of the following day's plans, we actually requested that they exempt that particular event. At first it sounded reasonable to me. I mean, I am so used to that! Here in Canada, we are in charge of what we do. We make our own schedules, and only do what we want. We make sure everything is okay with everyone, rather than charging ahead with plans. So I saw nothing wrong with asking for a change in the plans.
Sometimes our reasons for switching were good, but a few times it was just out of selfishness. Yes, we were all totally worn out and exhausted, but I still wonder if we missed something big that God had to tell us. We were debating, for example, whether or not to go to the greenhouse. But in the end, we did- and I was SO relieved. It was just what I needed to hear, and the story we were told moved me completely. I still ponder the truths revealed to me during my time at the Greenhouse, and it pains me to think that we almost didn't go, simply because we were tired and hungry.
I've gotten so used to running my life exactly how I want it. I always want to be in complete control of what's going on, when and where. It's hard if I am just swept along by someone with authority over me, and have to just blindly follow along.
It was through that new way of living that God showed me part of Him. It was a perfect example of what He wants to do for us. I was forced to put my faith in my leaders, even though I didn't know what they were planning on doing. I followed them blindly, not sure where they were taking us. But, they always knew the way, and their plan always worked out! Sometimes I thought "They're crazy! Why would they take us there?" But in the end, the way they had our schedule set up was pretty much perfect. We just couldn't see it at first, because we were newbies. We didn't know better... we just thought we did.
And isn't that how a lot of people are with God? They call Him Lord, but if you think about it, that doesn't mean anything if you cling on to your life and your control. Calling Him Lord literally means you are giving Him your life, and letting Him have complete control. Guatemala taught me what that means and what it looks like. They told us "We're going here, today." And so, we got in the car and went there. Sometimes, we didn't even know where we were headed, we just know we had to go there. It was hard and sometimes frustrating and annoying, but it shouldn't be. They knew best, and it all turned out better than it would have if I had had my own say.
So often we try to take time into our own hands, which is a complete waste of 'time.' (Haha...) Because time is already in God's hands, he IS the beginning and the end. He's known since before the beginning of the world exactly how our lives would play out. Sometimes I wonder if He finds it humorous- us humans trying so hard to make our own schedules perfect. Really, we may be missing out on some of the best, most exciting, most important detours and road trips that God had in mind. We need to step aside, crumple up our to-do list, and replace it with God's. I firmly believe it will turn out best that way.
Psalm 39:4-5 ~ “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!"
James 4:13-17 ~ Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a verse that I've memorized at a very young age, and is a very popular verse. But now, as I think over this topic, I realize that it makes perfect sense! Don't you love when verses you know so well suddenly... click?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths!
I want to be less in control of my life. It's hard in Canada with all these different programs and school activities- there's never a dull moment in my busy life! But... though I'm not quite sure how yet, I know that I want God to direct my life. I'll just have to follow along.
It'll feel like I'm blind, but that's kind of the point of faith.
2 Corinthians 5:7 ~ For we walk by faith, not by sight.