Today I keep stopping and thinking that there must be something I’m forgetting to do because the past two days have been verrry busy for me. Monday I left the house at 8:30 and went non-stop from class to my internship to the library to the gym to my apartment for 30 minutes to my small group, and didn’t get back for good until 10:15. That is a long day! But, it’s time for mid-terms around here, so I guess extra busy days are to be expected. Thankfully I got my exam this week out of the way on Tuesday morning and then tried to catch up on reading between classes yesterday before writing a paper last night in the library. Anyway, today all I have is some regular reading for tomorrow, and I feel great ’cause it seems like nothing. I even got to watch a show on hulu (yes, already!) even though it is only 2:00! Needless to say, I am so excited for Fall Break which is
starting in less than two full days for me! It is going to feel so good to be home.
The other night at my small group we were talking about learning how to say “yes” and “no.” If we want to be intentional about this, it is more complicated and takes more effort than, at least I, usually think. We read the chapter “Saying Yes and Saying No” by M. Shawn Copeland from the book Practicing Our Faith and it really shed some light on how our decision making is like a spiritual practice and should help us grow. One passage reads, “Learning when and how, to what, and to whom to give our yes or our no is a lifelong project. It is learning to live not merely in dull balance or tedious moderation but in passionate, disciplined choice and action.” When we make a decision or commitment to do something regularly (or to pass on it), we need to sustain that “yes” (or “no”) through our daily actions. When thinking about making decisions, I think it helps me to remember to consider whether or not my goals and commitments are helping me to grow into the person God wants me to be. Also, remembering that there is nothing I can do to make God love me more or less is reassuring in this time when I feel like “the world is [my] oyster” and I don’t want to waste it, but I also want to do the “right” thing (I don’t know what that is, of course).
While we are practicing this discernment that occurs each day of our lives, and then sustaining and reinforcing our decisions with our actions, we should also remember to acknowledge our human limitations. We can’t do everything, especially not at the same time. It’s ok for me to acknowledge that I need work on one thing, but decide to focus on another first. The other night, Max, the leader of our group, expressed how important it is for us to embrace GRACE. This is extra important for ourselves, because as we accept God’s grace more in our own lives, we are able to express our actions and words toward others more gracefully.