Suffering? Outpouring? Joy?

What am I doing here?

     Why am I here?

My first week here at Spring Arbor University has been both overwhelming and stretching.

There have been times in which I have felt purpose, felt meaning, felt close to God and where He wants me to be.

There have also been times of stress, times of doubt and times of what felt like the absence of God’s love and hand in my life.

Much of that absence has been my own doing. I’ve found a cycle that is often followed in my life to be that of God seeming to provide an opportunity, challenge, prodding or something of that sort. What I tend to do is try and take hold of that wholeheartedly- but with time, my intentions are nearly every time subverted. I lose that feeling of quickening and without even realizing it, muddle my aims for something lower, easier and more immediate. I’d attribute this to several things- one being neglecting to stay in the Word- something essential for growth and a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ. Several Catholic mystics and monks I’ve been reading advocate contemplation before scripture as the primary means of God’s revelation to a seeking heart, but I think I’d have to disagree. Yes, that simple act of “listening to God” is so powerful and so important, but it so easily can be a misguided and divisive practice if it isn’t utilized with a preemptive understanding of core Biblical tenets.

I’d also attribute it to a simple trust that God is endeavoring to produce in me. The mountain-top experience as opposed to the valley is so often used to depict this. Several persons have written regarding the “dark night of the soul”. Whichever illustration is used, the truth underlying each remains the same. We are called to Christ in times of happiness as well as times of trials. To forsake him when he doesn’t seem to be close is an unfortunate way out, one that prevents much spiritual growth.

There are other reasons, but-

It’s late. I feel I’m rambling.

I’m so thankful to be here. I fear I may be painting an inaccurate picture of my experiences here so far. I’ve met good persons here and have been blessed immensely. I am learning much. I have developed a very different perspective in these past years and months, which is so clear when I look at my mindset regarding these classes as opposed to that which I had a few years ago. That’s nice to see I guess. Anyway though- back to the point-

As a professor prayed simply this evening- “Not I, but You”. 

That’s why I’m here. That’s how what is intended for me through this school is going to be brought about. I hope to gain a better understanding of how I can implement that “doxy” into “praxis” while I’m here. To have a heart broken by the needs and hurting persons in this world and the understanding- words- choices- convictions- decisions- and actions to allow God to work through me in his present redemption of humanity on Earth today*.

I pray to be constantly reminded of my intentions as well as my purpose in being here. And that love, that burden, that meekness, that thankfulness, that patience, that gentleness, that hope, that sorrow- that those would fill my innermost being and flow outwards as well.

-Taylor

*I understand this is a theologically loaded statement. I don’t mean it to be. I don’t have the energy to reword it right now. I just want God to work through me in the lives of others as he intends to.

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