Thursday, February 16, 2017

Here's to Not Being Fully Grown!

There are times I wish I had gotten my PhD. I think, probably, I would have found it helpful in some arenas.

For example, as our team was repacking all the items to head to Cuba (we had to divide up our "goody-gifts" among us), one of the members asked me to help her change the combination on her suitcase lock. 
We had the instructions in-hand. 
They came complete with pictures. 
Both of us read the instructions. Both of us looked at the pictures. 
It looked easy enough; but, alas... 
Many minutes later, we slapped our heads, and clapped our hands. Got it! 
That night, I think a PhD would have helped. 

It's how I've felt about the lack of life-instruction for aging well. 
Not many Christian authors have engaged in instructive and thorough mapping of this part of the journey. 
Maybe I should have gotten a doctorate in Gerontology, with my dissertation on God's perspective. 
I didn't, though.
The thought that I might need awareness never crossed my mind.
I've always done life as it happened, with a nod at the future-to-come, as if we'd meet at some point down the road, but I didn't care to be introduced in the present.
"Why borrow trouble?" seems to have been my life motto...until now.
So here I am, blindly entering this world of "ziqna and seba," and asking the Lord to open my eyes to His teaching on the subject. 
But I want to do the last leg of this journey called life to the fullest. 
I've had my eyes opened to some who have, as well as some who haven't. 
The difference leaves my jaw on the floor.

This week I read this promise in Psalm 25:14(a):


The Lord's loyal followers receive His guidance... (NET)

He's doing just that for me. I don't need a PhD. I have the Spirit of the Living Lord, who gives me the mind of Christ.

So, here's a recap of what I've learned so far.
God has a purpose for our lives, even into old age and gray hairs.
He is still dreaming big dreams for our lives. Still imagining and creating the direction of our days...
That purpose never wanes.
He promises us that He will "carry us," His presence will be with us, all the way to the end.
That means He empowers us to do what He wants us to accomplish.
However, there's an "if," a "condition" to the promise.
We are to be good stewards of our "spirit, soul, and body."

Theologians argue over those three words - trichotomism or dichotomism (is man triune in nature or dual in nature?). 
Right now, I don't really care.
I just know that I'm to do all I can to care for my whole being.
It's that simple!
That's what 1 Thessalonians 5:23 -24 says to me.

It says to me that I am responsible for this entire temple that houses the Spirit:

So after wrestling through some deeper theology-questions this week, here’s where the Lord settled it with me on the mat:

I was to set some goals that answer this question-

Goals that involve growth in my whole-self: spiritually (first and foremost), mentally, emotionally, occupationally, environmentally, socially, and, yes, physically. The Lord has challenged me in His sweet, soft, tender, and unassuming way to start small and do-able.

Find Five. Those were the words that He whispered to my soul. I don’t know why five. I can’t even be sure it was His voice. But, just in case…that’s what I spent time doing this week.

I’ve picked five ways, straight and simple, to keep growing.
Because if I’m not growing, the opposite will become true: I’ll decay.
There really is no such thing as “stagnant.”
If I’m not doing one, I’m going the other direction.
This is the one thing I’ve learned about “ziqna and seba” from the few authors who do map out growing older.

So.... Here's to Not Being Fully Grown Yet!

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