Thursday, August 15, 2013

What is Success?

I will receive final paycheck today at midnight.  After it is deposited into my bank account, I no longer have a source of guaranteed income.

The world says I should be freaking out.  The world says I should be looking for a job.

Instead, I am resting at the feet of Jesus.  I am giving myself time to relax.  I am choosing a different life.  I am making a conscience decision to trust in the Lord, knowing that He has called me to this season for a purpose.

The road to success doesn't look like it is 'supposed to' because the idea of 'supposed to' is a lie.   My timeline is not going as I planned.  The funny thing is, I wouldn't change where the Lord has brought me.  There are moments of worry.  There are moments of doubt.  And in those moments, I cling to HIS truth (and then watch You've Got Mail or a Meryl Streep movie).  But then, in ways I could never imagine, He comes through.  He gives me enough to remind me of His faithfulness, but not enough for me to forget my desperate, daily need for Him and His grace.

One of my favorite photos I took in Uganda was a picture of a small girl eating her lunch of beans of rice staring at a wall painted with different pictures.  What struck me about this wall, was there was nothing about it that made sense.  I'm sure over time, children drew a picture on it when they were bored and then carried on with their day, not knowing they were contributing to a masterpiece.

Each picture was different but together it made one of the most unique pieces of art I have ever seen.  I see the Lord doing that with each of our lives.   Each experience at the time may not make sense, but in the end, each of our lives have become a work of art that the Lord uses to bring us to the Cross.

After I was laid off, I had to redefine what it looked like to be successful.  You know what I came up with?  To love the Lord, to be willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of the Cross, to make disciples, to love His people.  Scripture never once specified how I am to do that.

Nothing goes as planned. The beauty of that is, is it actually does go as planned.  It goes as planned according to a Heavenly Father who loves us more than we could ever imagine.  It is a process of sanctification.  It is a process of making me more like Christ.  Who am I to question what the Lord using to get the various levels of sin out of my life?

So here I am.  Living in a small mid-western tourist town, pursuing a teaching degree because my heart for this place has the power to keep me in a town, unemployed.  But I am willing to stay because the Lord has called me to something greater.  He has called me to love His people where I'm at.  He has called me to trust Him with my income.  He has called me to where I am at.  And I am following in obedience.