So, on Wednesday morning, I sent Heather this txt:
Hey… Could you help hold me accountable to reestablishing my Thursday study nights? I really need to do that and make it a priority. It’s one of those “Do the last thing God told you to do” things. I’m thinking I’m not going to get direction for my “next thing” until I’m faithful with this. The other thing on that list would be a substantial blog once a week. Maybe those two will go hand-in-hand.
My lovely bride-to-be agreed to support my Thursday night commitment, and went on to tell of a dream she had that night:
I had a dream that I was in a class and I thought I was going to get a detention for being late. But I discovered I wasn’t late–the teacher was just giving me a low grade and letting me review my scores as to why. You know what I saw? I was passing the tests but wasn’t doing my homework.
Sure, the dream was probably mostly for her. But I wasn’t going to miss the lesson for me in it. I’ve been negligent in my homework for sure. There are (at least) two things I’ve felt God asking me to do these past 6-9 months and I just haven’t been absolutely committed to doing them: setting aside Thursday nights to study books and the Word, particularly concerning the end times; and blogging something substantial once a week.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned them both on here before, so it’s with a little humility and pride-swallowing that I report I’m still working to be obedient. Those are my homework assignments. And, as Heather pointed out in a follow-up txt tonight, we tend to under-value homework. We’re all about doing well on tests; that’s the focus of most education systems. I even remember some classes where the only things you received grades for were tests. But, for the most part, the keys to doing well on the tests were to do your homework assignments. They prepare you to pass the tests.
When I started accepting the Spirit’s conviction about not being obedient with studying and blogging, I talked to God about it and He showed me a few things:
- That it wasn’t too late to respond with obedience. Oftentimes, when I know I’m late with something, I tend to have a “Well, I missed it; too late now” attitude. Maybe that’s true some of the times, but I think more often than not, God’s going to want you to fulfill whatever it is He asked you to do, no matter how late.
- That I was too forward-focused. Right now, Heather and I are seeking the Lord on where He wants us to live once we’re married. Valparaiso or Jackson? (Or the remote possibility of somewhere else?) That’s something to commands quite a bit of my attention. But God reminded me that the key to understanding the next thing comes in being faithful with the present thing. Why should I expect Him to talk to me about four months down the road when I’m not doing what He’s asked me to do these past six? I’m reminded of some wisdom someone shared with me a few years back: “You want to know if you’re in God’s will? Think back to the last thing He told you to do and make sure you’ve done it.”
So, I guess my challenge is that each of us take a hard look at what God’s been telling us to do… and do it. And don’t just intend to do it as I’ve intended to blog more and study some. Actually make a plan to do it. Put it on your calendar. Schedule around it. Carve out the time and line up the resources. Be intentional. Make it happen.
The word “vital” came to mind regarding all this. Some definitions and a synonym for “vital” are:
- Concerned with or necessary to the maintenance of life;
- fundamentally concerned with or affecting life or living beings;
- tending to renew or refresh the living;
Doing your homework is vital.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.