word of the day: milestone \ˈmī(-ə)l-ˌstōn\ a significant point in development
As of yesterday, this blog has been in existence for one year. And, as someone who is infamous for not following through with things, I feel as though that is a pretty good statistic. (Remember when I said I was going to hula-hoop every day? Yeah right.)
Anyways, being the nostalgic sap that I am, for the past few weeks I've been reading over my blog's history. And with this milestone in mind, I realized that some others have been hit even since this blog was born. We adopted Ginny and celebrated our second wedding anniversary I started my career as a teacher and Jake received his acceptance into medical school. For the Flinkmans the milestones have been many in this past year.
In addition, I feel as though I have also reached a milestone in my faith. A significant point in development in my relationship with God. A point at which I feel called to take steps forward despite the questions that continue to linger in the back of my mind.
Recently I heard a sermon preached out of the book of James on conflict, and as one who generally shudders at the thought of any form of argument, it especially hit home for me. However, the main thing I took away from the sermon didn't really have much to do with conflict itself. The pastor focused his sermon on James 4:
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
As he read, the following words stood out to me: submit, resist, come near, wash, purify, grieve, mourn, wail, change, and humble.
That's right all you English grammar nuts. Verbs. In that moment, I suddenly realized that I had been feeling disconnected from God because I was living a life of inaction and passivity. The verbs required of me were collecting dust on the shelf.
My train of thought quickly took me back to a passage I remembered reading in Forgotten God by Francis Chan:
You are most likely familiar with the 'fruit passage' in Galations 5, which says, ' But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law'. You may even have the list memorized. But look over those traits right now and ask yourself if you possess each to a supernatural degree. Do you exhibit more kindness and faithfulness than the Mormons you know? Do you have more self-control than your Muslim friends? More peace than Buddhists? More joy than atheists? If GOD truly lives in you, shouldn't you expect to be different from everyone else? (146)
At that point, I remembered my chalkboard dream and realized that my commitment to love more faithfully had dwindled almost as quickly as my dedication to the hula-hoop. I had succumbed to inaction. I had loved halfheartedly, cared lackadaisically, and prayed dispassionately.
I am called to live a radically different life; although, I'm not entirely sure what that looks like yet.
And so I begin a new journey that will ultimately bring me to new milestones. A new journey that asks me to live a life of action and commitment despite the roadblocks that I find in my way.
A journey that I hope to be unexplainable without the Holy Spirit (Chan 142)
A journey that, if you read this blog for another year, you will no doubt become very familiar with.
Chan, Francis, and Danae Yankoski. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009. Print.