reading Joseph’s story after yesterday’s sermon on the 2nd reason for taking a Sabbath… well let’s just say there are more similarities than i previously thought. and i’m the one who scoffs, thinking “oh what does reading Genesis have to do with my life, other than entertaining myself with well-known stories and/or lengthy genealogies”

well, thanks God.

the past two weeks at Stone have centered on the importance of taking a Sabbath.. firstly, because it’s a blessing from God, given to us to rest and renew ourselves physically and spiritually. to reconnect with God. to stop trying to do and achieve so much and children of God.
ok so everything about it sounds good, right?
except.. i can’t justify taking a Sabbath because.. well, i’ve never been one to be productive over the week. even after last sunday, when i was “convicted” about its importance and how good it is for us – i promptly sat in my room and wasted all my time, skipping classes to study and being carefree the rest of the week, as no other deadlines were imminent.

it’s always a struggle – knowing i should make use of my time and get stuff done so i don’t panic last minute or do a sloppy job. there’s a difference between knowing and mentally wanting and actually doing. you’d think that if i knew and wanted something, there’d be no problem. but when i look around me, i see work that i could do another time, and a book i would rather read now. a sports article. tv to watch. a movie. emails to write and send out. even now, as it’s almost time for class and i have a paper to write for my group due this afternoon… i choose instead, to blog.

shouldn’t it be an easy choice? why do i not have the desire or motivation to even start? because i think once i actually start and reach that point, it wouldn’t be as hard to stop, wouldn’t be as easy to get distracted. but… i never want to start. regardless of what’s around me. i’m a pro at finding nothing to do.

a friend told me – God is glorified in your grades and scholastic performance as well; not just the “spiritual” stuff. which then kinda stinks, because God wouldn’t be glorified in my performance, would he?
people marvel at how i pull off “decent” (by average college standards) grades without as much effort. they claim i’m smart. but then, am i really? who am i to brag about myself, if i don’t put in the effort?
all i can say is that God has been really gracious to me all my life, and i’m always afraid that one day He’ll give up on me and tell me that i’m on my own. but i guess then everyone will see that i’m really not smart, but that God has been giving me countless chances, that i keep squandering.
again, you’d think this knowledge and revelation would make me more willing to do work and study, right?

i pray without taking action, as if i expect God to suddenly sprinkle upon me “desire dust” or “motivation dust” so that i’ll miraculously become the energizer bunny, willing to work nonstop, to get things done. sometimes i don’t even want to pray for that desire anymore, just because i’m not putting in the effort. but then i don’t want to completely give up either.
was i not meant to keep studying?

i think i need it continuously pounded in my head. God can be glorified by all aspects of life, and me being a lazy bum is not glorifying Him in any way.
could someone please share with me how they keep motivated to do their work? and no, “because i have to – my grades will plummet if i don’t get it done” doesn’t work – because i do get it done, just at the expense of going to other classes and other stuff going on right before the due date/time. i wanna know, how do people make themselves start work in a timely manner?

anyway, that was a long tangent. it’s just been in my mind this whole morning as i’ve procrastinated to no end. my team is going to hate me.

but as for the second reason for taking a weekly Sabbath: to learn, bit by bit, to trust in God. to trust that He’s working for us even if we cannot see it. because by taking that time out of our weeks, we trust Him with our grades, our responsibilities, our duties. so that eventually, when the big push comes, we’ll be able to trust Him with the “big disaster” – the day/moment when it seems like all hope is lost, that life couldn’t possibly get worse – that’s when these Sabbaths will remind us that God has it taken care of, in His own time.
which shows us that all of our accomplishments, victories, successes, are not because of us, but because of God working in us and through us. we don’t get things done – we’re lazy and definitely not miracle-workers – not in and of ourselves anyway. it’s only because of God that all things are possible.

so back to Joseph. He was imprisoned for years, betrayed and forgotten. and though God was with him, God never spoke to him and said “don’t worry about these years, I’ll be making you the most powerful kid on the block after this.” Instead, Joseph chose to put his trust in God, and to obey Him in his dark and uncertain times. and what do you know? God was working all along, revealing His master plans in the end. and all the while Joseph continually gave credit to Him- “i can’t tell you what your dreams mean, but God can.”

anyway, time to get to class.