Sunday, June 24, 2007

Confused and Loving the Commission

This sign seems very fitting for my life lately. I'm so lost. I have no idea where God wants me to go or what He wants me to do. Over the past week I have gone through so many ideas it's not even funny. Most of them are falling through. So, what does God want of me. It's too the point that I'm not even sure about the next step any more.

I wish I could share with you all of the possible future plans that are unsure, but I cannot. Arlen and I have decided that for right now, we need to pray and leave room for the Holy Spirit to work. We don't want our decision to be based on the ideas and opinions of those around us, but rather on the clear leading of the Holy Spirit. So, on that note. I solicit your prayers.

I do, however have an adventure to share with you! Last night Arlen and I were driving home from taking care of a friend's animals. I felt a sudden urge to go downtown to check out the houses we had been looking at online. It seemed like something fun to do. We don't know much about the safety of the "neighborhoods" so we decided a Saturday night might be a good time to check it all out.

We went home, picked out the four houses we were most interested in and printed out directions. At 8:58 (I think that's the right time), we set out on our grand adventure. We maneuvered our way around the city to come to the first house. As we turned onto the street we were delighted to see children of all ages and ethnicities playing together. There were people socializing. That was a good sight. The houses were not very big and were diverse. Some were in bad shape, and others had obviously quite recently been remodeled. As we approached the house, we looked inside and were very pleased with what we saw through the windows. The yard was big and the house was surrounded with trees (kind of). It was like a little piece of heaven at the end of that street. Our next step was to talk to the people who actually lived there. Would they be friendly? Would the neighborhood be safe?

As we talked with one guy we learned that the street was very friendly indeed. Everyone knew each other and enjoyed spending time together. That was exciting news! We felt very safe on the street, which was good. We loaded back in the car, and prepared to search for the second house on our list.

This house was less than a mile away, but felt like a completely different part of the world. As we turned on the appropriate street, we noticed immediately that strange men were randomly wondering around. I quickly locked all the doors in the car. When we realized we were going the wrong way on the street we turned around, and this guy (he must have been drunk), tried to flag us down. We still hadn't found the house yet, but at that point we decided it didn't matter. We did NOT feel safe in this neighborhood, so we headed to our next destination.

The next house was in a nice area, definitely more middle class. While this neighborhood wasn't as friendly as the first, it did seem safe. People seem to keep to themselves (like typical Americans). The house was nice. It's nice and big, with a separate apartment option on the top. It also had a nice big deep yard. We looked at what little we could see and resumed our journey.

Suddenly, we were redirected on our trek. As we got to a crosswalk, Arlen was letting a guy in a wheelchair cross, but instead of crossing, he came to our car and tried to get a ride. We looked at each other, and thought "why not," so he skillfully and quickly got himself and his wheelchair settled in our back seat and gave us directions on how to get to the Tennessee aquarium (that's where he wanted to go) from where we were. By this point, we were totally turned around and confused. We successfully dropped him off, got our bearings and headed out again.

As we got closer and closer to our destination, we felt more and more the suffocation of the city. We were exhausted, and confined and we wanted out. We quickly drove by the last house, and we were ready to go home!

What an experience. It's amazing how much diversity there is in such a small area. I think the biggest impact our Saturday night exploring had on me was the realization that there is a whole world out there that I am completely unaware of. I have lived my life in a middle class, Adventist community my whole life. There is so much to experience in life. There are so many ways that God can use me! So many ways I want Him to use me. (I just wish I knew His plans.) I'm eager to face life head on and experience more than comfortable suburbia. I feel the incredible inspiration in the great commission, and that is what I leave you with:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
~ Matthew 28:19-20

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