Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm, Like, Totally Buggin'

Wow. I can NOT focus on studying for tomorrow's mid-term to save my life. Really. This is ridiculous. I am in this awkward position where I remember all the stories we've read for 19th Century Russian Literature (I know the look on your face, but it's really not bad at all) but I'm not sure how much detail I'm going to have to pull out of my butt to get a good grade.

Frankly, I just don't feel up to memorizing a ton of things, or rereading everything that I've already ran my eyes over in the past. If I make myself reread anything right now, my brain is far too loopy to absorb anything.

On the other hand, for the first time in my life, I just want to pray. I want to get into my bed and pray for everything on my mind. So many things are on my heart: the girls in my bible study, my own personal walk with Christ and my understanding of God, my friends that I want to trust Him to reach through me and their surroundings, the circumstances in my life that get me down sometimes, the problems my closer friends have shared with me about their own lives, and the list could go on forever.

Yet that mid-term is nagging me in the back of my head.

This makes me wonder how much I've really entrusted the Lord when it comes to parts of me that I believe I control. I've made great strides in handing Him my relationships, for example; whereas in the past, I might obsess over working at making friendships or romance bloom somewhere through my own efforts, but now I am far more faithful that He will bring into fruition what should by blessing me with wisdom in how to conduct myself and interact with them. That sounds so deep and meaningful.

I'll be honest, though, when I say that I sure do not trust Him with my schoolwork.

Getting a "B" is surely not the end of the world. The vast, vast majority of people would say that this is a good grade and indicates future success at whatever I want to do. Getting a "C" isn't really the end of the world, although it'd make me shake my head.

Getting a "D" would make me cry, but this would not literally be the end of the world.

Even failing a class would not immediately poison my body and let me die. I would sob, and fret, and hate myself, and mope, and worry and obsess.

But life would not be over.

I mean, imagine the life of King David. What on earth could possibly be worse than losing an infant son? If I were presented the choice of failing a class or losing a child, I would not think twice about choosing to fail a class. The comparison is absurd. In the face of human life, something as flippant as a mark on how well I did on some tests and assignments doesn't stand a chance as something deemed "important."

And even though his son died, he managed to write over a hundred psalms in praise of the One True King. He was called a "man after God's own heart." He found reasons to celebrate with the birth of his next son, Solomon, and did not dwell in God's seeming injustice and cruelty in allowing that to happen.

Life did not end for him.

So, which is more important to me: getting an "A" (not even "A-," which definitely pissed me off last semester when it brought my GPA down to a 3.97) or having an intimate connection with the Lord, where I continuously share with Him my heart and petition Him to stay true to His promises and reveal to me what wisdom He desires for me to know?

The biggest thing I have ever seen up close is probably Big Ben. Standing next to it, I felt so small. Imagining God as at least as huge as Big Ben is daunting. I picture myself standing before this awesome, majestic God, as a tiny little loser at His feet. He looks down at me and waits for me to speak with open ears. I tell Him anything that I'm thinking about -- if I'm mad at Him, or joyous, or confused, or sad -- and He cares for what I tell Him. He's glad that I chose to share with Him what is plaguing my brain, and will reciprocate the honesty that I showed Him.

That image in my head is so, so, so powerful. What in the world could a grade at a public university mean in comparison to that?

I've read more than once in the bible study material the phrase that the Christian life is characterized by repentance and faith, repentance and faith, repentance and faith, over and over, until we are called home. Slowly, we find new lies that we believe about the Lord or ourselves, and come to confess our misunderstanding in exchange for a new faith in Him. The idol of success in school is hardly one that I had noticed until fairly recently, and I pray now that He will absolve me of fears that I will perish without being top of the class. I hope one day I can honestly say that He could do anything to my transcript if it would ultimately bring Him glory and move along His kingdom in some way, however ridiculous it might seem to me.

I already know that I have this issue believing that God will let me taste a blessing for a moment, only to take it away from me. I suffer from believing the stupid lie that He would bless me with gifts and desires to do certain things, and then pull the rugs I stand on from under me just for some sick, cruel sense of enjoyment. Because scripture does not promote such an idea:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." -- Romans 8:28

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." -- Psalm 37:4

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" -- Matthew 7:11

Just to scratch the surface of the truths that I need to fill my head with. He will give me good gifts if I ask for them.

I guess asking through prayer should come first then, am I right?

I know Russian literature well enough to get by, and I have the morning to continue getting through that. But right now, I want to sit down in the radiance of God and take advantage of my privilege to speak to Him and have reason to expect an answer.

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