I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Then and Now

Lately I've been doing a lot of sorting and rearranging (which, if you know me, you know I do not enjoy). Last night as I was filing some insurance papers, I saw a file that had my maiden name on it. I knew it was the file that my parents had for me and that lots of my old test results and certificates, etc. were in it. I took it out (anything to procrastinate). In it among the college report cards and high school transcripts was a career interest inventory I took in high school. After looking it over I was so disappointed in my high-school-self. How could I have not known myself like that? There were many things I listed that I would "like to do" that I would truly HATE to do. Some of my real self peeked through, though. At least I didn't put "NOT like to do" on what I now love, most of those just had the "neutral" marking. The disparity between my high school self and my 2011 self really bothered me and helped some fragments of thought about my past gel into something semi-solid.

The short version (and still only Jello-consistency) is that my high school view of myself was defined by my academic interests and achievements. I was good at school, and I enjoyed science. I measured my worth by my brains, and my plans were mostly defined by my academic interests. I had a relationship with God, even a "good" relationship with God. But He didn't really enter the "career interest inventory" process. Fortunately He did get to me before I made life decisions, and I listened to Him and went into the field of math education. I discussed on of the reasons here. Over the past months, though, I have struggled with this. Did God lead me to this because I had a narrow view of myself and wouldn't have been open to His true plans? Or was this progression His plan all along? I don't have answers for these questions yet, and maybe never will. That is fine. There are future reasons (my children) why I feel this is important to think about. It is not all about figuring out my past, it is about helping them for their futures.

After thinking about this last night, I woke up thinking "blog post," but didn't want to skip my Bible reading. I tossed up a quick prayer to the effect of "if you want me to post something about this confirm it in scripture." Guess what happened? Here is a passage from Amos (which I maybe wouldn't have ever read before, but because of my 10-chapters-a-day did).

Amos 7:14-15 (this is immediately after Amaziah told Amos to go away and stop prophesying to him)
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.' "

Amos then goes on to prophecy really horrible things to Amaziah, undaunted.

God changed Amos' career midstream! We don't know if Amos wasn't obeying God before, or if there just was a change, but Amos was SURE of what God had called him to NOW and he was going to DO IT! God switched him from a natural career to a supernatural one (and one that people uncomfortable and angry). But Amos was obedient and took action. May I do the same.