Happy Spring Break! Or belated spring break, or pre-spring break... or just... HAPPY SPRING!! Isn't it lovely and sunshiney and robin-esque and practically tulip-y? Utterly make-up-wordish! Never mind the mud! I'm happy to have it!
Sunday I had the opportunity to talk to my church about intentional faith development. I felt silly because as I looked out over our congregation, 99% of the people in the pews could have been up there instead of me. Talk about preaching to the choir! This is the gist of what I told them:
I grew up in the church, but I was a "quiet Christian." I went to church and prayed, but didn't want to appear too excited about Jesus because that was weird, right? When Jim and I moved down south, we quickly joined a church and small group. The pastor outlined a Bible reading plan for us and my faith began to swell and grow. But I was still asking what God could do for me. How was being a Christian in my best interest?
Then we moved back to Michigan and luckily found our current church. It's only been in the past few years my relationship with God has really grown. It's in large part because God planted the most amazing people in my life. It finally became clear to me that Christianity is not a Sunday morning religion. As it turns out, God's main goal is not for me to happy (shock!), but to live a Christ-like life. Super exciting, super scary. So I began picking the low hanging fruit, if you will. Doing some things that were manageable for me like: spending more time reading my Bible, memorizing Scripture, reading books to address lingering questions and doubts I had floating around, keeping my prayer journal, and joining a Bible study.
Then, God began softening my heart to some things that used to be much scarier for me: how to allocate my finances, talking about my faith, and the ways I use my time and other resources. God knows just what He's doing. He keeps dropping fruit for me to grab. Sometimes I have to stretch a bit to reach it and that's not always comfortable, but He is constantly providing new ways for me to serve Him and serve His children.