God has been speaking to me about a number of things, and I am trying to at least listen to some of them…
1. Listen more often than speak;
I like to talk, a lot. I like to argue, even more. It is in the rare, although more often as of late, moments that I shut my trap that I can actually learn something. This is most true in my prayer life. I can visualize the Holy Spirit banging his head against the wall and saying “why won’t this dude just shut up and listen? Just for a second, listen you fool!”. Thankfully, I am getting better.
2. Lessons taught are not often, hardly ever even, what you were expecting to learn;
While my family and I have been attempting The Experiment, I expected to learn the value of generosity and the blessings of being faithful. Of course these were things I learned and I am continuing to learn, but I gained far more wisdom in other areas. The primary lesson was not to move forward expecting God to follow along, but rather, look to where He is and move in that direction. I am still trying to figure this out but I am pretty sure that is what the Christian walk is all about, so I’ve got time.
3. Living out mission in public has its pluses and minuses;
The goal of our Experiment was to live out Gods word for others to see, hopefully bringing in others as God displayed his love and faithfulness. What I failed to see, in my own arrogance, was that there might just be something that God wanted to teach me that had little or nothing to do with the outside world. Faithfulness and motives are what really matters. All I have to do is live the best way I can, and God will do the rest. If there is an impact to be made, he will handle that. I am not God, he is, and that something I always need at the front of my mind
On the other hand, there has been some great advantages to the whole thing. I have had the chance to meet and talk to some really awesome people. I’ve met new friends locally that I cannot wait to get closer to. We received encouragement from around the country, which was awesome to experience.
4. There is more than one way to be broke;
I have been poor most of my life. There have been many instances when I thought that I didn’t have any money. The last few months pretty much beat all the others. We have been so broke that I was bringing toilet paper home from work because we couldn’t afford to buy any until the following Friday. We’ve missed church because we didn’t have the gas to get there. Our refrigerator and pantry have never been so bare. My wife is awesome in her support and creativity, we wouldn’t have made it without her imaginative ways of getting things done with little to no resources. My mom is also awesome. I’ve gained new perspective on what she must have gone through all those years when I was growing up. I thank the Lord for blessing me with some great women to show me what sacrifice really looks like.
5. There are seasons in life;
We just went through an extravagant season of giving and sacrifice which is now being followed up by a season of renewal and the catching of our breath. I have learned that it is acceptable and necessary to change things up according to the circumstances at hand. Leadership requires us to be nimble while remaining faithful. Legalism removes grace and abdicates the sacrifice of Jesus. I pray that I can remain faithful and obedient while never turning my face away from what really matters; a loving savior who gave up everything for me when I deserved nothing or worse.