How many other words can I come up with to describe what my every day life feels like right now? For 7 weeks, I've done the same thing every day. Internship, work, sleep... lather, rinse, repeat. This past week it started to wear on me. I told my friend Sarah on my way to work last Monday that I was getting restless and ready to move on to the next thing.
Then I went to church that night to a "young adults" worship service I've been going to the last few weeks. For lack of a better term, it was a swift kick in the ass. But a good one! I needed it... I needed an attitude adjustment. During worship, my heart was prepared for the message I was to hear. After the first couple of songs one of the guys on the worship team said, "I see so many tired hearts out there. You guys need to rest."
So I laid down on the floor and rested in the presence of God for the rest of worship. Sometimes singing, sometimes praying, and sometimes just laying there--just being. And then came the aforementioned "swift kick" via the sermon.
She started out with this statement: Your life the way that you live it is your message. If you were to say nothing about Jesus, would people know by looking at you what you belong to?
My first thought was, "yeah of course." Then she started preaching straight at me. I mean, I felt like I was the only one in the room. First she talked about honesty and integrity. Living your life with no gray area, and delivering truth with love and grace. "Alright," I thought. "I think I'm OK in that area. Whatcha got next?"
Then she started talking about patience. "Oh great," says Sara's brain. "Here it comes... God, be gentle with me. Please?" She defined patience as waiting for the appropriate moment and working with time and seasons. Here's the kicker: she tagged on, it ALSO means no whining or complaining in a season of waiting. And echoing in my head were the words that had come out of my mouth to Sarah that afternoon. "I'm starting to lose my patience with work... I'm ready to move on." I'M ready. Ugh. Gross. Listen to yourself. She talked about how patience is a 'fruit of the spirit' and that it says something about what's inside of us to the outside world. What a great definition of 'fruitfulness.'
No time to catch your breath, here we go with ass kicking number two: Hard Work. Oh, man. She didn't even have to say anything besides those two words. I already felt guilty. Let's just ask God what he says about working hard:
(1) Colossians 3:23
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not men."
(Yeah, that's tattooed on my wrist. Good job, Sara. Way to live out that daily reminder. Idiot.)
(2) 2 Thes. 3:10
"For even when we were with you we gave you this rule: if a man will not work, he shall not eat."
And then she said this: you're not working hard to be loved, you're working hard because you are loved. It goes back to, "the life you live is your message." Being fruitful, because our fruit says something about what's inside of us to the outside world. And then she said this: even when there are no jobs, there is always work. Go bless somebody. Work for God for a bit and see what he does.
All this left me feeling grateful for the job that exhausts me. It left me feeling refreshed and ready to take on 3 more weeks of it. It left me wanting to always be conscious of my "fruitfulness." To not let life, stress or monotony get in the way of living a life that says, "I love Jesus. Jesus loves me. And me and Jesus love you." And 'you,' as we learn in English class in elementary school, is an all-encompassing word. You=everyone. It made me stop and take a look at all that God's doing in my life right now and say, "3 more weeks? Bring it on. What else will you bless me with?"
Long story short: Love Jesus. Love people. WITH patience. Work hard because you're loved. Bear fruit that is noticeably delicious. (That sounds like a commercial for breakfast cereal. Fruit that's noticeably delicious! Haha.)
Love to you friends. Be blessed this week. Maybe even by blessing someone else.