|Photo: Ted McGrath, Creative Commons, cc license|
Spring in Minnesota looks like red-winged blackbirds and rust-colored robins swooping in to join the black-capped chickadees and blue jays at the feeders. Snow's sandy residue leaves grass lawns matted and pebbly, but more and more green strands of slender grass slip through. The air is fresh, warmer, and Midwesterners bounce expectantly out of doors, trailing dog leashes, running gear, and even the occasional shorts and sandals in defiant glee and shivers.
I've been reading Holley Gerth's book, You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to all God Has For You, and just received Jeff Goins' hot-off-the-press book, The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do. Pencil in hand, I've been underlining Gerth's book and making plans for this summer, determined to zealously protect disciplined chunks of the day to work on this new book project when my school duties are done.
And throughout this week a Bible verse has grabbed me in a way I've never seen before. I was familiar with the first sentence in that paragraph and the next sentence there too, but had never put them together. In Second Timothy 1:6-7, I read For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you... and the next sentence adds a curious twist, For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
There are topics and things that excite you, I'm sure of it. If we could grab hot coffee and sit around my scuffed, map-laminated cherry-wood kitchen table to talk, I know that we would get to them. Those topics that make your eyes shine and flash, and your voice raise in pitch excitedly; those passions, dreams, and favorite hobbies that make you come alive. It might be an innovative idea you have for work, or your plans for a summer garden, your secret dream to adopt, your love for decorating on a budget, or your love of writing and learning. And I know that God has shaped you uniquely. Anything that brings him glory and makes you come alive is something he carved deep inside of you. He invites you to use that, to dream excitedly about those possibilities, and to step out obediently into using those gifts, talents, and passions for him.
Whatever it is, God invites you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you. And, knowing our many hindrances, he answers the very next words from our mouths: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
For me today, this means to set a plan to start writing three-five days a week this summer (if not now), and it means I need to go talk to one of my teens and his mom who are hurting.
For you today? What's he telling you? Nothing else will bring such joy than stepping into whatever he has next for you. And I'd love to cheer you on from the side.