Every Friday we’ll take a break from topical posts and will post some random personal thoughts.
It can be interesting and helpful to look at what you’re going through and ask, “What’s the lesson here, and what’ll my homework be?” Everything we experience is, after all Father-Filtered, in that God allows it with some purpose in mind. (Romans 8:28) So Renee and I are trying, with some success, to break the pattern of reflexively stressing over the different situations getting thrown at us, and instead examine them for clues as to what God’s trying to teach us. Here are a few of my class topics and assignments:
Weight loss – I’m a glutton who can out eat just about anyone, any age, any body type. That was OK when I was running right miles a day and pumping iron 6 days a week, but it’s been years since my body saw workouts like those.
Lesson? There’s a difference between my appetite and my genuine hunger signals. My appetite lies to me – it tells me I need much more food (and the wrong sort) when, in fact, I simply crave it. My hunger messages are much more honest, telling me what my body truly needs.
Assignment? Endure the discomfort of going without the things my appetite insists on, and thus prove that it (my appetite) is a liar. It’s working – another 2 pounds lost this week.
Sexual temptation and accountability – I meet weekly with a close friend/accountability partner, and allow him to question me about my life in general – moods, sexual temptations, health issues, follow through on projects, whatever. He can go places with me I wouldn’t allow most people to touch. But the past three weeks, different things have kept us from meeting, and three weeks is a pretty long time for me to go without the accountability experience. It’s not that I need a baby sitter, but I find keeping my inner issues out in the open with at least one person helps keep me on track, clean and honest. Mental temptations are up these past few weeks; no surprise. And my general thought patterns are out of whack.
Lesson? I haven’t arrived, and in this life, I never will. After 27 years of sexual sobriety and 23 years of marriage, I still need to keep things up front with at least one person. James said “Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another” (James 5:16) There’s no expiration date on that verse.
Assignment? Be more diligent about accountability, seeing it as a necessity, not a nice luxury. And be especially diligent when meetings have been missed, seeing myself as especially vulnerable. Hard experience has taught me that if I ever consider myself to be above a fall, then it’ll only be a matte of time —
Writing projects – I’ve had the honor of writing 8 books, 5 of which are still in print and available. And now I’ve got three new book projects and one large online video project inside me, waiting to come out. But so many other “gotta do” items are on the weekly menu, so the long term critical projects get pushed aside making room for the less important but more immediately demanding tasks. My bitten down nails testify to my frustration.
Lesson? The longer I wait for more free time to drop out of the sky, the more these projects will be delayed. I’ve been charged to manage my time, so I can’t expect someone else to dump more of it on me.
Assignment? By next week, I will have graphed out the time I will take off from work to get these projects off and running, believing that if God has placed it on my heart to do them, then He’ll surely provide the practical and financial resources my family needs in the meantime. After all, if He didn’t put it on my heart to do these projects, there’s no point in doing them. But if He did, then to keep sitting here stressing over them but not getting them done is nothing short of sloppy stewardship.
I’ll keep you posted. Have a blessed and terrific weekend! And thanks for stopping by.