I listened to two things today that made my mind start turning, and in a funny way they kind of tie together. The first was a sermon at church. Pastor is away and a friend was filling in for her. Her sermon was about not dropping out of life, about always continuing to grow and learn. She pointed out that those we admire (and I would add, those that really touch our lives in meaningful ways) are those that are always seeking to better themselves and their lives. How true! And it seems that those who have that mindset, that life is about growing and learning, are also those who are likely to encourage others to step out of what is comfortable... and grow and learn. I know that those I admire and respect are those who not only are always learning, but that are always looking to help others do the same. And what a difference they have made in my life... and to my faith. Because the more I learn and the more I look to grow, the deeper my faith becomes, and the wider and stronger my foundation becomes.
The second thing I heard today was the song "The Rose" (originally by Bette Midler, this version was sung by Francesca Bertecelli...not sure if I spelled her name right). I have always loved this song. Today as we drove home I was thinking about the sermon and I heard this line "It's the soul, afraid of dying, that never learns to live." It's so easy to put up a wall between ourselves and the world, to protect ourselves from the pain that comes with living sometimes. But when we do that we miss out on so much of the joy that comes with life too. It's so easy to choose not to do something new or different or hard, because it might hurt us if we fail. It's easy to make excuse that we are unqualified or unequipped, and so we just continue on in our little comfort zones, missing out on all the blessings that come with putting ourselves out there.
When I was in school I was not the most successful student. I struggled to pay attention in class, struggled to do my homework each evening, really just squeaked by thru much of my high school years. I convinced myself that I was just not a good learner, and so I didn't go to college. I figured it was pointless to try, since I hadn't really ever succeeded. So why try? But then this summer I finally listened to what GOD had been trying get thru my stubborn head. 'Become a pastor!' HE was telling me. Ooookkkkaaayyy. 'Really, are you sure?' and it seems HE is, so I am determined to obey. One thing... it involves going to college. And so it also involves a major change in my thinking. I have to make a decision to trust that GOD will help me with the learning part, that HE will help me focus my mind on the work assigned and complete it well. I have to be ready for this great adventure HE has called me to, and not drop out of it if (when) it becomes challenging.
Heavenly Lord, thank you for the great adventures you set before us each amazing new day. Thank you for giving the courage and strength to learn to live, to never drop out of the life you have so generously blessed us with! Please help us to always see Your hand in each new day and to trust in Your will and grace. In JESUS' blessed name, Amen!