Ten days into the new year, and I am learning more and more about who I am as I seek to grow spiritually and intellectually. I reflect each day and gauge my growth in a couple of areas each week. It brings me great joy to experience progress — even slow, steady progress.
As I mentioned a few days ago, I accepted the Bible in a Year Challenge from a childhood friend, and we’ve been progressing nicely. I’m also serving as a facilitator in a six-month study of the so-called forgotten God — the holy spirit. Full disclosure? I only wanted to be a participant this year — not a leader, so that I could secretly learn more about the spirit that dwells in all of us. I feel that I was led by that same spirit to step up as a servant leader and show others that it’s OK if you don’t have all the answers or even some of them. The level of discomfort in this group of nearly 200 ladies is palpable, but there’s also a silver lining of comfort in knowing that we will all continually grow, change, bend, and break if we stay the course. I, for one, am interested in discovering just how flexible I am.
Flexibility is too rigid. We need to be fluid. ~Janice Green
I can say with certainty that I am not fluid yet, but I’m slowly getting there. In the interest of growth, I have taken a rubric directly from Galatians 5:16-25. As you know, all good teachers start long-term projects with criteria for success. So I studied the rubric carefully. I noticed an if/then relationship, and it’s clear. If I allow myself to be led by the spirit, the rewards are great. If I don’t, the consequences are dire. This is by far the greatest challenge I have accepted, and it’s full of scary unknowns. One thing I do know, however, is that I need to suit up, prepare for battle, and review the strategy that I shared on the third day of this month. Another thing I know for sure is that the enemy is not pleased with my progress, and he will do his best to beguile me. To that shady character I boldly shout my battle cry, Not today, Satan! I know many of his tricks, and I’d venture to say that I’ve glanced at his play book as he executes his strategy in the lives of others. It’s easy to identify his snares when they’re aimed at others; it’s not as easy to spot them as they stealthily advance toward me camouflaged to fit in nicely with my earthly desires. Though I’m not excited about going to battle each day, I do have a pugnacious spirit, and I vow to fight every day. I am excited to see where I’ll be with regard to my progress in six months as God calls me to go deeper still. He’s a good, good father, and I only want to please him. For that reason alone, I challenge you all to continually stretch, bend, and break in the name of progress and to hear those melodious words once the battle is won: Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done.