As a word of warning, this is a rather disjointed post. But hopefully the title gave that away. :-)

There’s something about sunset over the salt marsh that always gets my mind dreaming, imagining, and just generally thinking out of the box.  Contrary to the pattern of a “normal” vacation for my family, it has only rained one day in the past five (usually it rains every day) – which means I’ve enjoyed running barefoot on the beach, collecting shells, jumping waves, and soaking up sunshine.

More than once as I walk the beach I’ve thought of John Piper‘s line from Don’t Waste Your Life – “See, Lord, see my shells!”  Yes, vacation is important – but as much as I enjoy the tangy salt air and the almost-constant breeze, I’m not called to live this life permanently (though I wouldn’t mind if God called me to live at the beach someday!).

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of reading, and a lot of praying on this vacation.  As I alluded to in my last post, I’m rather unsettled at the moment – unsettled about the future.  While the near future seems rather exciting, what will be happening a year from now does not seem as sure as it once did (I realize that sounds absurd, now that I’ve actually written it.  Life, especially the future, is never sure.  As if I’ve learned that already or something…).  As I’ve been pondering life, journaling, and speaking with friends/mentors, I’ve come to realize more and more that there’s really only one thing I want in life – and it’s not something I can really do anything to bring about!  It’s also something that may never happen, especially when I go overseas.  So that gives me a daily (sometimes moment-by-moment) opportunity to trust Christ and to lay aside my desires in order to follow Him.  Strange how scared I am that He doesn’t know what He’s doing, that He doesn’t know what I’m feeling, isn’t it?  I’ve been feeling a lot like Much-Afraid in Hannah Hurnard’s Hind’s Feet on High Places...

So even amidst the unsettled-ness of life, my Shepherd has been abundantly supplying what I need.  I was crushed when my car died and God wouldn’t “let” me fix it.  I’m still learning from Jesus peeling my fingers off something that was really His anyway, but good has already come out of that.  Besides providing a car for me (I still say, ostensibly, to drive in the “interim,” whatever that may be), the Lord reminded me that He has His people in many places.  My mechanic, for instance, is a strong believer.  The day I went to pick up my unfixed car, I ended up chatting with his secretary daughter for a good 20 minutes.  She’s a little younger than I am, but has a wisdom beyond her years.  She said a number of things to me that day that made me really stop and think – the first being, “I was praying about your car over the weekend.”  (Seriously, have any of you ever heard that from your auto repair shop?!  What a blessing!)  But then she went on.  “Susanna, I really don’t think you’re supposed to fix this car.  The Lord keeps telling me it’s a test.  That it has something to do with where you’re going or what you’re going to encounter in the near future.  There’s a lesson in this that you probably will have forgotten by the time you get there, but the Lord knows you need this in preparation.”  Aside from not wanting to even speculate about what that could entail, I must say I agreed with her wholeheartedly.  My car left our driveway for the final time at the beginning of this month (I donated it).  As it disappeared from sight (the tears were streaming down my cheeks) I prayed that God would make it as much of a blessing to its next owner as it was to me.

In the past three weeks, a long-time friend has lent me two books by Don Miller.  So now that Blue Like Jazz is on my reading list (I’ve read A Million Miles in  a Thousand Years [loved it] and am currently reading Searching for God Knows What), I sense there are more changes ahead.  Mental and emotional – that kind of change.  Even in the little bit of time the messages of these two books have had to sink in (Million Miles talks about my life as a story and Searching is an insightful look at competition and God’s love and glory), I find that I’ve undergone a fundamental shift (again!) in certain attitudes about Christianity in general.  It’s not about me, it’s about God.  This is not coming into words as easily as I thought it would, so perhaps I’d better leave more ramblings about Don Miller’s books for a future post…

I’m anticipating a physical change of address in the next 2-3-4 weeks, but that deserves its own post.  Maybe next week?  Or when I get around to it. :-)

So then, today’s ramblings.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring…


One Response to “Ramblings”

  1. 1 Dave Chen

    I LOVE BLUE LIKE JAZZ. It is one of my favorite books, and was written (in my opinon) far better than Million Miles or Searching. =P Thanks for all your encouragement; I’ll be praying for you as well.

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