i just spent the past three hours at barnes and noble by myself: reading, writing, and people watching. mm that's what i love the most.
i was thinking about picking up a trashy People magazine with elin nordegren on the cover after about two and a half hours.. but i wandered over to the christian inspiration section instead and picked up rob bell's 'drops like stars.' it's the only rob book i haven't read and it's short enough.. so i found a comfy chair and started reading.
it's a weird little book, pretty unconventional. he writes a lot about suffering and references art quite a bit. but one section he writes about stripping away things in life.. and he quotes mark twain as saying,
if i'd had more time, i would have said less.
that blew me away.
because for me, it's just the opposite. if i could do things over again, i would have said more. if i'd had more time, i wouldn't stop talking.
that's when it hit me.
it's not about what we say. it's never about what we say.
IT'S ABOUT CHRIST.
it seems so obvious now. why would i ever think it was about what i say?? what i do?? of course i can't be a good anything.. duh. everything i do is inadequate if it is done without Christ.
i keep forgetting that and over and over again i'm reminded of how thankful i am for His grace.
and then rob bell writes about going to a counselor and how every time he mentions the word 'mistake' or 'failure' or 'sin,' his counselor says:
the God who wastes nothing.
He wastes nothing! nothing is failure! even the failed pieces are essential. rob bell writes that it isn't just a failure, it's an opportunity.
to be bitter or better.
closed or open.
more ignorant or more aware.
more or less tuned in to what God is doing.
we have a CHOICE to make, a CHOICE on how to react when we mess up. there are two ways to see things, two ways to respond, and we have a choice on how we are going to let things unfold from this point on. will we humbly admit where we've wanted control, where things have veered, where we can learn and grow? will we become more aware of God's presence and be open to how He's shaping us? will we rebuke satan by the fact that we're loved and secure in Christ's blood? will we accept the reality that we're forgiven?
there's a choice.
(and when i read rob bell, i start to write in sentences instead of paragraphs).
and then it reminds me of francis chan and forgotten god and this big lesson of discipline i've been learning in this season of my life.
it all comes down to discipline.
if i'm not disciplined in seeking God first, then none of my life makes sense. if i'm not disciplined in getting on my knees and asking for help, then i invite God to take part in my life, to see and approve of what i'm doing, instead of willingly asking to be a part of what He's doing.
sometimes i get on these 'freedom highs' and feel so pumped to be free.. but what kind of freedom am i living if i'm not being disciplined? a lazy, unorganized, unmotivated, me-seeking kind of freedom. a freedom that fits God in.
and i'm left with realizing that it's not all about what i do or say, but about what Christ does or says through me. i can't be a good anything if i'm not actively pursuing the Spirit and if i'm not humbly abandoning myself.
there are a lot more thoughts still brewing on francis and discipline..