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Posts Tagged ‘selflessness’

The various temptations of a single woman’s life:

1. To want companionship to cure the loneliness: just a friend who is so often there that it doesn’t matter so much when he isn’t, a friend whose conversation is lively and intelligent and equally willing to listen to and interact with me.
2. To want the security of having a major point of the future decided and knowing exactly what is required of me. On a spiritual level the Bible answers this question sufficiently for each day’s choices, but on a lifestyle level, the Bible is frustratingly silent about the activity of an unmarried woman.
3. To want romance: flowers and notes and special attention and stories to share with friends, to have the flutter of expectation and the thrill of affection.
4. To want a leader, someone to follow and help and believe in, who is capable of leading, strong and visionary and full of faith. A girl sometimes just wants a man to tell her what to do.
5. To be sad, full of pity and despair and just wanting to stop hoping so that I can cry.
6. To be aloof, proclaiming disinterestedness in anything I don’t already have, lying so that hope is kept silent and so that life is a series of functions. To lose passion, releasing it for the safer state of not caring.
7. To fill the various temptations with temporary flirtations or imaginings, books or movies, or the stories of the romances and lives of friends.

There comes a point when guarding against all these various temptations is impossible. I stop being pitiful, only to be assailed with the temptation to watch a chick-flick to fill my yearnings. I applaud myself for not wanting romance and find that I want security.

So instead of trying not to fall into this trap or that snare, I need to focus on what I know I need to do. Love God. Talk to Him. He is leader, companion, listener, giver, refuge, planner, lov-er, and passionate. Serve Him. Don’t think about myself and all those wants. Take them to Him when they overwhelm me. Share with Him the poignant ordeal of waiting. And be ok with the reality that nothing I expect has to happen except what He has promised.

I don’t want anyone to think I want to be single forever. Hearing friends admire my patience drives me crazy; I don’t want them to imagine that waiting is easy. But I will wait, if only because I know that I cannot get what I deeply want any other way. The question is: will I wait well? Waiting is sacred, an activity of God who created time and invites us to imitate Him in it, to share in what He feels as time marches on between beginning and end, desire and fulfillment, initiation and consummation. But waiting is not a virtue. Patience is a virtue, and contentment, kindness and selflessness. Will waiting produce and demonstrate these in me?

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Do you ever have the problem where you finally get inspired or convicted to do something, and you have other commitments?  Even in little areas, like last night I’m inspired to worship, but it’s like 11 PM and I had an early morning?  Or I finally get a break to call and just set up a time to discuss some things with my pastor, and I realize the weekend is here; it’s my pastor’s “day off,”… 

Wait!  Why on earth, thought I, do pastors have days off?  Why do they want them?  I don’t want a day where I don’t get to do the ministry God called me to, or where my friends don’t call me if they’re in need.  I don’t want to be ever inaccessible to my Christian friends. 

Now, I’m not saying this in judgment of my pastor, because I’m projecting an unwillingness to disturb him onto him.  I have not been told not to call or email him on “days off.”  But I have experienced church leaders and staff who felt annoyed when their co-heirs with Christ asked them about co-labors on a day when they weren’t scheduled, or on Sunday morning, at church.  Is our view of the purpose of gathering so distorted that we really think Sundays are all about getting fed?  Sitting in a chair and hearing music and a lecture?  I know that Mary chose the better thing (believe me, I relate to her!) than Martha, but doesn’t God want us to be at His service, ready whenever He calls?  Is this about loving each other, or isn’t it? 

And, as is a good practice when such thoughts carry me away, I consider: How does this apply to me?  In what ways am I too busy with my scheduled ministry or my expectations for a day to be sensitive to what God wants me to do?  Why, just last night after a Bible study I looked around and wondered who I wanted to talk to, and why didn’t anyone talk to me?  Only afterward did I realize that I had been self-focused, not seeking opportunities to be a blessing to the new friends around me. 

Thankfully, God has been pointing these things out to me more frequently.  My prayer is that God would take away the self-thoughts and unkindness that sneaks into my life from out of the blue.  I need to be more diligent in that prayer. 

To God be all glory. 

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