Streets of asphalt... streets of gold.

I was reading through some of my journal entries from a year ago, and I swear I don’t believe I actually wrote them. The maturity I expressed in my writings a year ago far outshines the musings of my heart now (or so I feel). Literally, I am in awe of who I’ve been. I remember every situation, I remember all the pain. Yet somehow through it all, the yearning of my heart remains the same: the abundant life.

bricks
The first words that come to mind looking at this are "foundation" and "time."

I am a citizen of heaven. I was made to walk on streets of gold. In the meantime, I will treat this asphalt as though it were gold. Let the eyes of my heart awake to wonder. I may not live in heaven right now, but I will very soon—why not act like I already do since that’s who I am?

Ah, yes, here is the tension I’ve been feeling. It masquerades as boredom. It veils the face of my Beloved. It traps my mind so that I cannot remember how a citizen of the kingdom thinks. Is it any surprise then that I’ve been asking myself who I am today? Looking back through pictures of myself from the last two years, I could not find any that reflected who I am now. I kept questioning and looking and nothing seemed to fit. So, I took some new pictures. Slowly now I remember who I am. I’ve been fighting for two years to not lose myself, and I almost lost. Abba, sustain me!

I was out walking earlier and came upon this view:

restoration project
The city is restoring oak trees.

When I saw this I started thinking about how much this is like life. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a part of who we are is missing or destroyed. God then, when the time is right, sows the seeds of renewal in our lives so that we can live abundantly. However, just like these trees will take many years to grow and mature, so God’s work in us is very gradual. He has created us to operate in space and time and He knows that much of our growth and maturing comes through waiting.

If nothing else then, take this away: don’t be in a hurry to grow. Take time to gaze on the beauty of the Son, Whose light is our catalyst for proper growth. Store up in your heart the good things God has provided for you: thanksgiving is our nutrition. Lastly, look at other people around you and be gracious to them: everyone is growing in some way or another. 🙂

I struggle from making mountains out of molehills. My natural tendency is to be overly emotional about the things that I think I need, and very jealous about the things that I don’t have. It’s kind of like my reactions to the weather today. When the sunlight is shining brightly, I feel at peace and productive. Then clouds come casting their shadow over me and I become unsettled and depressed. Huh, I guess that just means I’m human.

I had a chance to talk with my friend Brittany today after choir rehearsal and I have to say that it was one of the most refreshing conversations I’ve had in a while. Now that I think about it, I seem to have a tendency to feel refreshed by my conversations with practically anyone who lives off-campus. I have a feeling it has to do with the maturity that comes from the responsibility of total independence. Perhaps that’s why I crave responsibility so much. I want that maturity. But for now, all I can do pray for change, so that’s what I’ll do. After all, with God all things are possible.

Ha! Come to think of it, I had a chance to talk briefly with another off-campus student today at lunch as well! Guess what we talked about? Maturity. So weird. I think God is telling me that He is about to begin a work of great maturity in me. Let it be so, Jesus!

Path in front
Oh yeah, this is my inspiration to be encouraged today.

I just want to be mature and complete! I feel like I am constantly learning and re-learning the same lessons in life. How long will I go through this cycle of repetition? How long will I so stubbornly stick to my old ways of thinking? Change me, O God! Create in me a pure heart.

I see other people pass me by on the road of maturity, learning the lessons that I somehow never fully grasped and I mourn for my own lack of understanding. Perhaps I should stop thinking of maturity as a road. Maybe maturity means a little bit more than simply comprehending life lessons. Maybe maturity is found somewhere in accepting gracefully the ebb and flow of living in the Spirit of God as He takes us to the places where He desires us to give Him Lordship.

Search me and know me, O God! Create a pure heart within me! Renew my mind with Your truth—overflow me with Your love. Show me Your heart. I want to hear how it beats. I want to know how it hurts. I want to feel how it delights. Let me know Your heart, Abba!