…but sanctify Christ as Lord in you hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…”1 Peter 3:15
As I’m continuing to work through 1 Peter to write a new Journal and Doodle study over it, I got to 1 Peter 3:15 today. As with any passage, I read it in context–over and over, and then I start defining words.
set apart for God, hallow, the opposite of common.
Okay, I’m to set apart Christ as Lord in my heart. That means that my heart is controlled by Him, not the world, and not myself. Continual, ongoing submission to Him in all things. Got it. Okay… next?
Christ has the power and authority. He makes the decision, because He created me PLUS redeemed me.
So I’m to set apart Christ as my boss and owner. If he says to do something, I do it. Great, check!
I was thinking that over in light of this new season in life (all my boys have graduated homeschool, and only my youngest is still at home. But he’s so busy with work and volunteer hours, that he is rarely actually here). Right now I have a lot of open time that mysteriously gets filled with– I’m not sure what. There is nothing I wanted more when the boys were young, than to have tons of time to do things like Bible studies, read books, etc. But when I get it, it’s easy to let it slip away, day after day, on nothing important or valuable and be super busy all day doing it!
Setting Christ apart as Lord in every area of my life includes letting Him be the boss of my calendar. And my commitments. And my desire to control of all that. My natural tendency is to be busy and booked with so many good things, that I don’t have any time at all to squeeze in relationships. Even with people I love and enjoy. I want to be busy… and just move on to the next busy thing in life. And with finances tight (and prices for normal life skyrocketing!) I know Corey wouldn’t object to me taking a part time job at Wendy’s–it’s close and it seems like that would be the next, good right thing to do, and it would certainly make life easier in the financial department, and would fill up that calendar.
But in a weird round-about way I can’t really explain, all of that led to me realizing that having an open calendar and very few commitments is probably what God wants from me right now. Staying open and available is both uncomfortable (slightly terrifying because what is He going to ask me to do?!) and inconvenient (because making burgers at Wendy’s sure seems like a simple answer to a lot of problems).
I don’t really love where this seems to be heading… Trusting Him again, all over, in a brand new season? When I was just getting used to the old season? So hard, and I don’t like hard! But, He seems to be calling me to just “Be Available.” To be open and ready and willing to whatever He calls me to. That’s scary! So after I threw a little internal “I don’t want to!” fit and questioned “Was this just something I made up?” I sat down and started to think and pray about what this might look like if this really was what He wants me to do for now. (Which it probably is, because it’s not what I want to do… )
Here’s what I scribbled down in my notebook:
1. Be available financially: That means not living fully in pursuit of making more money. For me, it’s probably not investing a lot of time in learning how to increase my “followers” or figuring out sales funnels. But it also means not being broke either. I need to use the limited resources He has given us wisely and leave room to give generously and regularly. That means stick with the budget, and do the work He has given me right now with this blog and writing faithfully.
2. Be available mentally: This means not being distracted and busy on my phone. Also not distracted when people are talking to me–either with a book, or scrolling, or other thoughts in my head. That means I take care of my responsibilities as soon as possible, not procrastinating (because then those things I’ve put off become distracting thoughts in my head). Getting my work (blog and writing) done in the morning, when the fewest amount of people are around or need me so I’m fully there when others need me.
3. Be available physically: Go see people! Be willing to drive (I hate driving, I hate traffic, I can also find a zillion reasons not to leave my house.), look for ways to encourage, help, and share with others. Also, not be so out of shape physically that I’m always tired or lazy.
4. Be available emotionally: Forgive others fully and quickly. Don’t meditate on wrongs done to me or those I love. Don’t anticipate hard things I might be called to do that I would never have the strength to do. (Like: “What if God asks me to forgive that person, I could NEVER do that!”) Live in the moment He has me now. And, reach out to others, even if their life is a wreck and I’m scared to enter into that.
5. Be available schedule-ly: Keep living with very few commitments, even very few good commitments. Whatever does come up, no matter how good, and no matter how badly I want to jump in with both feet, needs to be well thought out, prayed over, and discussed with Corey first.
6. Be available prepared-ly: Have a few meals frozen and ready to share with others who might need it. Have cookie dough frozen for when people drop by. Glean wisdom from Scripture and good books (memorize scripture so it’s in my head and part of my life. I know from long years of experience, I’m only as helpful to others as what I’m reading and thinking about.)
7. Be available spiritually: Enjoy God (no one that will ask me about the hope that is in me if it doesn’t show!) Be profoundly thankful for everything! Pray more about things rather than thinking of ways to fix those things (or fix those people). Seek Him! Learn how He works. Learn what He loves and do it. Abide, Obey, Believe!
I don’t know what God is up to, or what this might mean, but I’m willing to take the next step and see where it goes. I’m also not sure if this was helpful for you, but it always helps me think better when I write things out, so thank you for reading! If you have any wisdom, thoughts, or advice about new seasons in life, please share below!