Seriously? Now? It's My Day Off!
I'm a routine gal. To the nth degree. If there were no variables in my life to shake things up for me, every day would probably look the same and I would probably be perfectly content with that. I like things predictable. I like to be prepared. And when I do something out of the ordinary, I like it to be on my terms.
I say all of this not to recommend my habits: in all honesty, it's more of a confession. This is how my mind works, and it's far from ideal. Allow me to give you an example.
The other day, I had the house to myself and a list of things I wanted to get accomplished. I was in my glory—knocking items off the to-do list, enjoying a lecture by my favourite author, when BAM.
A text. Someone needed my help. Right then. A drop everything and come situation.
And though these situations are where Christians should shine, though these moments of need are where we are called to step up, though this was my chance to practice all the love I've been reading so much about in God's Word—what was my first thought?
It's my day off!!!!!!!
Now, am I proud of this kneejerk response? Absolutely not. It's shameful. It's selfish. It's human, a reminder of how much I need God's grace to equip me for the love-work He calls us all to. That reminder, I am thankful for. I am also thankful for how quickly my spirit kicked in to check my attitude, reminding me that this was an opportunity to do God's work on His terms, even if it didn't fit into my routine.
That, to me, is progress. My human nature still wants to hoard time like I own it; my human nature still wants to protect my routine at all costs. But God's work in my heart has equipped me to see the flaws in my own thinking and to check myself when that human nature gets too loud: thanks to Him, I chose to be thankful and to embrace the opportunity. And you know what? It was worthwhile. Time well-spent.
In II Thessalonians 3:5, Pauls says, "May the LORD lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ." I loved this verse when I came upon it for two reasons: it frames God as both the root and the fruit of our love. Our love for others comes from Him—He is the source—but He is also the destination, actively drawing us toward that love, deeper into that love, further along in that love.
We have only begun to scratch the surface of God's love, but He is actively growing us in this area. That day, my understanding of love was solid, but my expression was unpracticed: God gave me that opportunity to practice a more full expression of love—the kind of love that is inconvenient, unexpected, and out of the way. I may never have a "full" mastery of love before Christ returns, but there's something exciting in knowing that God is at work in me—in all of us—to bring us closer every day.
Every day, class is in session. We are learning to love as God loves. Let's give thanks for every little bit of God-given progress where we find it, and let's open our hearts to His sanctifying work day by day.