“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me…When you bear a lot of fruit, it brings glory to my Father. It shows that you are my disciples.”
John 15:5-8, NIRV
A couple of weeks ago, I got to share with my pre-teen students about how to continually keep learning. This is something that I have learned over the years, I always want to be a learner no matter what season I find myself in. I want to grow in wisdom and maturity, because God calls me to follow Him and not become satisfied by being stationary. I think we can all look back at past versions of ourselves and be thankful that we are not the same person. I know for me, I’m thankful I’m not still middle school Joshua, high school Joshua, or even early twenties Joshua (turning the bog 27 in October, what what!). When we look at our younger selves, we weren’t as mature as we are now, and we should never stop learning and growing.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
I’ve been feeling angry recently. Not at a person or a certain event, just a general anger that has been bubbling underneath the surface. I’ve been frustrated with my plan, and that’s the root of it, my plan. It might be easy to miss what I mean, but it’s the truth. I sometimes fall back onto my plan, what I think is best for the current state of my life and my life moving forward. Things aren’t unfolding the way I would want it to, and that’s frustrating, but I need to redirect my focus. I’ve been focusing on the things that have or have not yet happened to me, and how that doesn’t fit in with the way I wanted my story to play out. The truth is, there is a mad titan messing with my head, telling me it’s all about me, I need to know the battle plan of the enemy, and I need to remember that there is a God bigger than my faults who knows my name. What I just referenced was what I have been writing on for the past month. I’ve been writing it because I believed it’s what you, dear reader, needed to hear. What I have come to realize is that it wasn’t simply just for you, but for me as well.
This past weekend was fantastic. I had a chance to be involved with our children’s ministry event called FX (family experience). I was able to help re-write the script and help with the production, but I was also able to be in different aspects of the night itself. From the many costume changes I went through to the getting out of breath from being a wacky game show host, I loved every aspect of it. The feeling after that night was hard to describe, but the best way I can quantify it was that it felt like home. The feeling of being home is a feeling that you are in a place where you belong. It’s a sense of peace and comfort, where you can feel safe and secure. It’s the feeling I get in the presence of God. I think that’s a beautiful thing. We feel at home when we enter into our passions because God has given us these passions, and he calls us homeward.
We’re tired. Running around all the time, not standing still longer than a three minute video on your Facebook feed, and spending so much time pouring into others that we forget to fill ourselves. You see we all get tired. As leaders this can be dangerous, we have a duty, a responsibility towards those we lead to guide them. In your personal life, physical rest is vital to simply functioning as normal people. In our social lives it can make us not enjoy the moments in front of us. So, what do we do? The past two weeks I have been tired, but I found a source of renewable energy. Now before I continue, yes the title of this post may be a little deceiving. So if you came here thinking this was about the hot topic issue of finding renewable resources, hehe, I’m talking today about renewed energy that comes from Christ. The past two weeks I have been on a high school camp one week, and the next on an Elementary camp. After the camps I took a journey up to Virginia to see my brother-in-law graduate, and then participate on serve day with our church. It was a lot, I’m still catching up on sleep (ish). The past two weeks have been incredible and God has taught me so much in the midst of physical tiredness. In that mindset of needing energy each day, I had to come each morning and ask God to give me all that I need for that day to lead and serve others the way he wants me to. You see, God gives us all that we need when we abide in him, he is the source of our renewable energy.