So I withdrew from my classes this semester. I feel really great about that decision for a number of reasons. I think that my heart is to really just seek the Lord and find out what He wants me to be doing. I am still working and doing ministry, which takes a lot of time, but is a very good thing.
My roommates and I just had an intense conversation about what it looks like to pick up your cross and follow Christ, to love the 'least' and the broken, to live simply so that you can serve others, etc. It is a lot to process, and honestly, was slightly overwhelming. I feel really tense, maybe its just because I couldn't match the passion of my dearest friends, or because it's just a heavy thing to think about.
What does it look like to serve others with your whole life and yet have Christ honoring boundaries? Do I want to live a radical life that looks different and set apart, even or especially, in where or how I spend my time and money? This aligns with the Kingdom perspective I have been desiring. To focus on the things that matter to the Lord, to seek first His kingdom and righteousness.
There is part of me that whines, "But what about my coffee, new clothes, shoes, etc.?" And some of those things are important when I need them. I am not saying that buying coffee or shoes is a sin. But the question I am asking myself is why am I buying coffee, shoes, clothes? I can justify all these things. And yes, when I buy new clothes, generally I clean out my old clothes and donate them, which is good. But what do I need?
It's hard to have the self control to say 'no' to good things, especially a Vanilla Latte or a pair of shoes or a dinner out. However, if I am reminding myself of what I need or even maybe what I could use that money for instead, I would think twice and act differently. And if I had some one other than myself to hold me accountable to my finances and how I use them, that would probably help. I am getting ready to go to Ethiopia on a mission trip, if I had not purchases Starbucks coffee I would have at least $100 saved by now, that's a sobering reality.
Priorities. Where are mine? Instant gratification or future reward? I am not swearing off coffee or shopping, but I think I want to reevaluate some things. I can buy some one else coffee when we go out and fellowship, like my youth girls, that's a good investment. I can treat myself every now and then. But what about my daily life? What about my time? Where does it all go?
What does my money and time say to others about what is important to me? Does it reflect my hearts desires(to love the Lord, do ministry, serve and love people, etc)? If it doesn't, then maybe what I call my 'heart's desires' are really just lofty ambitions that I will never work to see completed?