A quote by our pastor & friend in reference to studying the Bible (Romans) that seemed to go along with what I’ve been thinking about lately:
I love starting things. I start projects like I eat Oreos – 20 at a time. And then feel sick and overwhelmed and regretful when I realize 20 at a time probably isn’t a serving size of projects.
I love being in the middle of things. I love having a mission and a reason and a why. Like right now how there’s a stack of 12 books to read by my bedside. Yes! Goal! I can do this! *Insert Rocky theme song here.*
As a part of that liking to be in the middle of things, there’s another aspect I need to talk about: I drive people crazy that I talk to a lot (and know well enough to ask…) because I’m always asking why? If you can’t tell me the ultimate why of what you’re doing, I’m not interested in being a part of it. That is so snobby to write, but it’s true. I analyze people’s why’s as one of my hobbies. It’s so intriguing to dissect – and watch people and their interactions with their why‘s… or their lack of why‘s.
But I hate endings. I hate being done.
First of all, I’m sentimental and afraid I’ll never see the people again or that I’ll never be able to experience things again. But also, it seems so scary to finish something and hold it up for judgment. “So, yep, my best try – here it is. What do you think?”
I’ve been analyzing my why of this:
Definitely 14 years of piano lessons is one reason. One teacher I had gave me one gold sticker if I finished the song in a week, silver if it took me 2 and blue or red if, heaven forbid, it took me more than two weeks. This drove my inner little kid crazy – this sticker affirmation system.
When I was at my last piano lesson with the great teacher I had in high school – a man I highly respected and was highly respected in our city as being a great teacher (and NOT the sticker teacher) – he said, Well, I wouldn’t say you’ll ever be a concert pianist, but you’ll be fine for church music.
Um. I don’t know why, but I officially titled my piano skills in that way for the rest of my life. It was like I was finished with piano lessons (although I went on to them in college for a year), and that was my title: Not Quite Good Enough, But Meh, She Tried! Blue sticker!!
This year I finished two years of school. School about God and theology. But now that I’m done with an objective goal (Get My Masters!)- I don’t know what to do about it. I’m finished. Done. No assignments. But I feel a little worried about being done. Done. “So what are you going to do with your school?” “What plans do you have to use your degree?”
Well, nothing apparently. I prayed all the way through and even now that God would show me the next step after I finished. I don’t even know if that’s a good prayer. But now I’m tired of praying it, because nothing’s happening. I’m slightly bored and eating too many Twizzlers (haven’t moved on to Oreos yet…) and reading too many books. And scared that I have to hold up my finished project and say, well, here it is.
Then I realized every time I pray about it I’m afraid God is going to say, well, that was not really concert pianist level theology, but you’ll be fine as a mom. Afraid to hold up what I consider “finished” and be judged on it. I’m afraid I’m going to have to pick between a blue or red sticker. Afraid I’ve lost my mission and reason. I hate being finished.
Then I read my favorite verses:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ… And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:6, 9-11
See that amazing answer to my prayer in those verses? Learning and growing in my love for Him is never finished.
Yes, there are some parts of me that are finished: Justified! Saved! And I have my Ultimate Why (Jesus). But along with that why comes the best thing my heart could read: that I’m not finished. And He’s not finished. This is one project I can work on and improve on for the rest of my life – that I can continue to grow and learn more and more about God and His love. I’m always in the middle of this project and that gives me a mission, a reason and a why.
Pass the Oreos.