My husband and I spent this past weekend in the Wallowa Mountains with our friends (3 other couples and their babies). It was a fun and relaxing weekend away from home and away from cell phone service. Plus to top it off, my favorite team, the Green Bay Packers, won the superbowl!
The 8 of us adults decided to play my new favorite game called “Imaginiff” while waiting for the football game to start. To explain how the game is played I will quote the back of the box: “To Win: It’s simple! Just imagine what the other players are most like. The most popular answers will advance to win.”
It was all fun and games until this question came up, “Imaginiff… we were interviewing for a new job. Which player would most likely arrive to the interview fashionably late?”
All eight players including my husband and I voted for none other than…. You guessed it…. Me. While to date I have never been late to an interview, I have basically been late to any and every other occasion. Not only did everyone vote for me, but nearly everyone was also able to tell a story that involved me being late. I didn’t try to deny any of it (obviously since I voted for myself) because it was oh so very true. And also very humbling and… embarrassing.
As much as I would like to pretend that this is a recent problem, it isn’t. Tardiness is a trait that I have possessed basically all of my life. It isn’t something I’m proud of, in fact, I hate it. Seriously!
So we are sitting around the table and I’m trying to put myself back together after being blown with a reality check and I say, “Maybe that can be one of my new year’s resolutions next year…” then someone jokes “Yeah because you would hate to change that this year…” and then I explained “I’m already working on way to much right now. I have like 15 goals….” (What I thinking was, “I can’t handle another character builder, God is already working overtime on me right now.) Then the play in the game that seemed to last 15 minutes but was more like 90 seconds ended and we all went on to the next question.
Later that night... after the Packers won the Superbowl... after visiting with my friends and loving on their babies... after the poker game... after getting my P.J.s on and my face washed etc… I spent sometime with the Lord…like I do almost every night before I go to bed.
I was actually desperately searching for some answers (in the Bible) as to why I’ve been called to fervently pray for friend and to also allow Jesus to love this person through me while simultaneously setting my personal desires and hesitations aside… which by the way is much much much harder than it sounds (as if that sounds easy).
I was becoming frustrated because instead of hearing from the Lord I heard nothing except my repeated questions over and over. In desperation I started reviewing my prayer journal, which holds my prayers, quotes from the Bible and other books that have “spoken” to me… in a nutshell my prayer journal is basically a recording of my conversations with God (by the way I highly recommend you keep such a journal).
So there I am lying on our bed, which is upstairs of our beautiful cabin. My headphones are on... listening to Matthew West, Josh Wilson, Jars of Clay, and Jeremy Riddle (so I won’t get distracted by what’s going on downstairs)…. To my complete joy… words of wisdom are jumping off the pages that I had filled (actually God gets the credit)…
- Micah 6:8, Ephesians 1: 4&5, Ephesians 4:14-16 and basically the entire chapter, Isaiah 49:16
- And then I was reminded how I really want to pray for that Ted Williams guy (how is he doing anyway? :) )
- 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
- “Jan. 2, 2011 Dear Heavenly Father, Ryan and I are driving mountain roads and are going to discuss our goals for the year... you are invited to join our conversation. Ryan’s goals: 1) Closer walk with God 2) Out of debt 3) Spend more time with each other in the mountains and or fishing. (And then we came up with an action plan for each of Ryan’s goals) `Vanessa’s goals: 1) Spend more time with Grandma Ryder 2) Be a better home/school leader. 3) Designate time for mom/dad 4) Eat better 5) Draw closer to Jesus 6) Be on time – especially to church 7) Keep Sabbath better 8) Exercise more 9) Study the Sabbath School lesson together 10) More pure 11) Put our business receipts in daily – latest weekly 12) An unmentionable 13) Be a better friend 14) As least 2 souls for Christ 15) Better wife”
- James 5:16, 2 Corinthians 10:5
- “It might come as a surprise that Christ asks our permission to come in and heal, but he is kind, and the door is shut from the inside, and healing never comes against our will. In order to experience his healing, we must also give him permission to come in to the places we have so long shut to anyone. Will you let me hear you?” pg. 100 from the book Captivating.
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Reading my journal entries had really helped put things into perspective for me.
I was gently reminded that being on time is a new year’s resolution for THIS year. And while I’m doing horrible at goals # 1,3,11 and ok at 2, 7, 9, 10, 13, 15…and pretty good at #4, 8… I’m soaring in the #5 department.
And because of my #5 goal I’m feverishly praying for my friend and learning to love this person UNCONDITIONALY. And because of this mission Jesus has sent me on… I’m learning so much about our Heavenly Father… in fact… I’m being romanced by God. (Never thought I could or would say that)… I’m falling in love with God in a way that I have fallen in love with my husband (in addition to all the other ways I have grown to love God). And because of this growing love I can apply
- Revelation 21:5
- 2 Cor 5:17
- Matthew 19:26
…to myself and my goals…
Who knows maybe God will change my tardiness.
Or maybe my 16th goal, that I added a week or so ago... to become like more Enoch (check out chapter 6 of Patriarchs and Prophets)...Will come to pass and God will take me home where there is no such thing as time or tardiness.
Or maybe Jesus will come and we can all go home.
Thanks to those who love me despite my frequent lateness and to those who read this entire thing!
GOD IS LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!