Monday, June 21, 2010

Racing Ahead

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

Last night I had a dream that I didn't think was significant in any way at all- and then I found this verse staring at me from the computer screen. Huh. I wonder if it was significant after all? I need to spend more time thinking about it, but the gist of the dream was that I was back in college. I remember that I was sitting at a table looking through a course catalog, making out my plan for the next year's classes. I only had two more classes to go before I had my degree, and I felt the thrill of writing those two courses down on my sheet of paper. Then my dream fast-forwarded a bit, and I remember feeling joy and a sense of accomplishment because I had completed those two courses and now held my degree.

The dream is strange at best to me. Because I never did finish college. I was literally one course away from my degree, and then I got the dream job with the opportunity to advance as far as I wanted, and the degree wasn't really necessary. Work got in the way of actually taking the one class I needed, and so I never took it. Time-wise, it's actually impossible for me to go back and get the degree, as it's been way too many years since I've been enrolled. And anyway, I have absolutely zero need for that degree in my life now. And I also don't see a need for it in the future either.

And yet, I do wonder about that dream. I don't really think it's telling me anything about going back to school and getting a degree- but I do think that it might be metaphorical, encouraging me to keep moving forward with what I've been learning about God. Back in the day, it was very easy for me to decide to not take that last class. I figured that if I needed the degree, I could always go back and take it at another time. But the things of God... do you know that while I can't go back to college and just pick up where I left off, that if I took a break from church and God, that I could pick up right where I left off?

But I think the thing that I need to focus on was the task of finishing the race. In my dream I finished the course requirements and received the degree I was working towards. It makes me think that if I keep moving forward with God, that there will be results- and in my dream I found joy with the results of the degree- how much more joy will there be for a real scenario with my Heavenly Father?

I'll admit that sometimes, I find myself wondering if it's worth it. Well, maybe not so much if living for God is worth it, but it's more that I think "who am I?" I am such a plain jane, and I live the basics- I am raising my children and trying to manage a household- what on earth could God want to use me for. As I read books written by great people of God, and even as I see other people and friends growing deeper in their relationships with God, I just wonder about my importance.

I think that those days when I have those thoughts, that maybe those are thoughts being dropped in by the devil, because when I think about that, when I think about me just being plain old me, and I feel unimportant, than some of the things in my day slide. True- even the housework slides sometime, because its kind of like, hey- I could do this anytime, and I can just sit around and do whatever I want today. But more importantly, some of the other things slide- my prayer time and my Bible reading specifically. And if I'm not reading my Bible each and every day, I'm not filling my mind with the thoughts that God would have for me.

And this morning, I think that God is telling me that it's worth finishing the race. It's worth it to keep moving forward, to keep plugging away and taking that extra time each and every day. It's worth it to turn the page and see what He has next for me- because there will be great joy there. I also think that there is a lesson here for me this morning that keeps coming back to me and I have to keep reminding myself of. It's not about me. Life is not about me at all- it's about Him. It's about doing the best that I can to live for Him each and every day. And sometimes, to live my absolute best for Him, it simply means being the best mom and housewife that I can be. I don't need to be important in man's eye- or even in my own eye. Because in God's eyes, I am important to Him.

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

13 planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,

15 proclaiming, "The LORD is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him." Psalm 92:12-15

I will flourish right where I am planted, and I will keep moving forward, because this race is so worth finishing. I will not give up partway through, and I will see it through to the very end of my days.

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