The Inevitableness in Life

I love fortune cookies.  You know, Chinese proverbs and all.  Okay fine, I may as well admit that I love Chinese food and the fortune cookies are just something that comes with it.  A couple years ago, my fortune cookie told me that “Change is inevitable except for vending machines.”  I had this little saying taped on my desk for a long time till finally I got tired of it’s mockery.  I HATE change.  Strong statement, yes, but so true.

John C. Maxwell goes deeper with that.  He says, “Change is inevitable.  Growth is optional.”  I’ve got that down pat.  That is if growth is equivalent to wanting to pull the covers up over your head and tune the pending changes out.    What does growth look like?  Growth is acceptance.  Trust.  Faith.  Continuance.   For me the hardest part is to accept the change and trust that God’s got this all figured out already.  Change is not something I can stop.  It’s going to happen. Change is scary.  Unsettling.  Uncertainty.  Uncontrollable.

I’ve had some major changes.  My dad, not here with us anymore.  An extreme change that seems to have started a domino effect of changes.  Changes in the business.  Changes in the dynamics of the family.  Nursing school is another major change in my life.  Some days I get all jelly-kneed just thinking about this huge change.  All I’ve ever known is my family business of mulch making.  It looks huge to jump from that life into a totally unknown field that couldn’t be further from mulch making.  To change one’s career is, I think, one of the most unsettling changes.  The questions snowball.  What if….I can’t find a job; what if…I fail miserably in school; what if…I make a mistake – this is someone’s life in my hands.  There’s nothing more sobering than that.  A mistake in the mulch world wasn’t a life or death matter.  A mistake in the nursing world could easy be a life or death matter.  What if….and on and on I could go with all the uncertainties.

There’s times, I will admit, that I fervently wish that I wouldn’t feel so called to this field.  God’s got a habit of calling us out of our comfort zones though.  I can’t deny the fact that God has called me to this.  Otherwise I would have chickened out a long time ago.  God gives me promises though that He equips me for what He calls me to.  

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)  And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will.  May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. 

Isaiah 45:5 (ESV)  I am the Lord and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me.  Yes, I know God but sometimes I act as though I don’t know the fullness of who He is and the impact of His power in my life.

I’ve applied for a part-time job as nurse aide at our local community hospital.  The uncertainty of whether or not I will get the job is unnerving.  The uncertainty of whether or not I would qualify if I do get the job….oops, here I go again with the what if mentality.

I just ask you for prayers in this season of my life.  And I commit to pray for you in whatever changes you may be facing or find yourself mucking through right now.

Not only is change inevitable but our God is inevitably all-knowing, unchanging, and everywhere present!

As an aside….I also absolutely love the Dove chocolate sayings, well actually the chocolate itself but anyway…I just recently unwrapped this saying from Love, Dove: “You should charge for your great advice.”  That’s displayed prominently on my desk but somehow my family colleagues don’t find it near as fitting as I do. 

Snapshots of the Sky

I love the fact that I’ve now joined the “smart” world of smart phones because of my phone’s capacity to capture moments on camera.  I’ve found though that no matter how good the camera, I can never capture the skies quite as impressive as they are in reality.  The sky speaks to me so many times at the end of a hectic day.  I look at the intricate designs and I wonder how much fun God has playing with colors and designs.  And to think I then forget to revel in the raw beauty displayed in the broad expanse of sky.  

I’ve noticed that the stormier the clouds look, the prettier the sunset.  What about me?  Do I display God’s glory better the rougher the circumstances?  What if the sky would be like me and tell God, “hey wait, I can’t display Your beauty tonight because my circumstances are way too dark and heavy today?”  How many people am I cheating out of the blessing of God’s beauty and glory revealed in me because I’m too stuck on my dark, heavy circumstances?  Or what about the clouds that are broken and fragmented?  Does that detract from their beauty?  Then why do I assume that my fragments, my brokenness, disqualifies me from displaying God’s glory and presence?
What would it be like to one night be looking up and admiring the skies in time to see Jesus bursting through the clouds?  Am I ready and watching like Jesus tells us to be?  I gotta admit that I lose sight of that end goal.  In the middle of living this rat race, I lose sight of the fact that the purpose of my life is to prepare for Jesus coming to take me Home.  And since I don’t fixate my mind on this consummate event, I fail to tell others about the need to be ready for Jesus.  
The more time I spend looking up, the more I’m reminded of God and His might.  Of His love for beauty and vivid colors. Of His extravagance for us, His wayward children.  Of His tenderness in giving us a visual of His presence in this world gone awry.
Thank you, Father, for Your work of art in both the world around us and in each one of us, masterpieces of Your loving mercy and extravagant grace.