Wednesday, May 04, 2005

my current curriculum

As I’m reading through the Psalms, the fragments to which I’m especially drawn right now are about learning / being taught. "Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, And teach out of your law," I read this morning (verse 12 from Psalm 94 - NKJV), and was taken immediately to the verses I’ve been stuck on for weeks:

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you." (Psalm 32:8-10 NIV)

Instruct: to impart knowledge or skill in a systematic method. To give specific orders or directions, information or explanation.

Teach: to impart knowledge by lessons; to train by practice or exercises.

Counsel: to give advice to; advise, advice given as a result of consultation; opinion on what to do; guidance.

Part of the ‘required reading’ for this course I picked up on Sunday. When hubby headed off to the church bookstore after the Sunday service, I bee-lined to the library, where the title of the book I was to read jumped out at me the minute I parked myself in front of the ‘biography’ section: Rees Howells, Intercessor by Norman Grubb.

Oh my. There was a man completely abandoned to God and in His school for years, learning lesson after lesson as God prepared him for exploits. I’m still in the middle of the book, but feeling more like a horse or mule the farther I read.

Some of the lessons I’ve been learning.

1. Abandon to God:
- my blog. I’m not talking about quitting it, but rather abandoning concern about its well-being. E.g. I’ve been impressed with the notion that I should no longer watch traffic numbers and study ‘referrers.’ Rather, I am to listen to God about what to blog, then leave the results to Him.

- my writing ‘career path.’ What ‘path’ I ask lately. I used to sell bits of writing. I haven’t for a while. Of course, how could I when I’ve stopped submitting the short articles which have sold in the past, as I’m working on a book-length. But this has birthed restlessness in me. I realize the source of that restlessness is the need to be affirmed.

Always in the past, I’ve tried to do both – work on the longer project and keep up with submitting short things too. However, lately I’ve sensed a check about doing that. As I was again considering trying to split my efforts last week, I was reminded of the story of Peter going back to fishing in John 21. After all that had happened I think he wanted the security and common sense of his old life. But Jesus intervened. Showed him his old fishing life was over forever. Maybe there is a parallel here for me.

- my kids. Abandoning the hands-on parenting of one’s kids is hard for a person who likes to be in control. Now I must, in a sense, let God be mother and father.

2. Listen to God for each day’s instructions, and then not beat myself up at the end of the day because I’ve not accomplished enough. This is hard, and an exercise in faith for a Type A person like I am.

3. I have taken some of these classes before – and must have failed them because some of these lessons feel very familiar.

4. My lessons are not yours, or yours mine. I must not impose on others the specifics I am learning.

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