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learning in the last 365

What can I say about the last 365 days??  A LOT. That’s the problem. So much I’ve been wanting to say about this year and not nearly enough time to sit down and get it all out. As I’ve looked back at what the past 365 days have been about, I’ve had a hard time putting any sort of rhyme, reason, or theme to it. There has been a lot of hurt and a lot of healing. But mostly a lot of learning.

I’ve learned that a person who has given himself over to substances that manipulate the mind actually becomes just a shell of his former self. He stunts his own growth, mentally, physically, spiritually. I’ve also learned that God will meet that person right in the middle of the filthiest place he takes himself, look him in the face and ask: “are you done yet?” I’ve seen God’s redemptive work before, lots of times. In my life and in the lives of many others. But this year, I got to see his resurrection power at work. It’s been so beautiful.

I’ve learned that your family isn’t just the people you share blood with. Sometimes they’re the ones that treat you least like family. But that’s okay. Because God made us not for family, but for community, and that can happen anywhere, whether or not you share blood or last names.

I’ve learned that just a small step of obedience can set us on a path of big impact. Such as been my experience this year. I don’t pretend to believe that my little contributions will solve the world’s problems, or even one problem. But I know that we’re all responsible for fitting our pieces of the puzzle into the overall picture. And sometimes we just stand there because we can’t see what the big picture is supposed to be. Instead of trying to fit some of the pieces together, we think it’s best to just wait until someone else–someone more qualified or wise or “together,” perhaps–gets all the edges matched up, then we’ll be able to help a little with the rest. But sometimes we just need to do something to get started, then we can see how our contribution helps the whole thing come together.

I’ve learned that some traditions just die with people.

I’ve learned that no matter how little I think I have, I am so ridiculously, terribly rich.

I’ve learned that “Whatever your work is, do it gladly. Do it as you would do it unto the Lord and not for people” is harder to live out than I thought.

I’ve learned that while I can be pretty generous with my stuff, I haven’t quite learned not to be stingy with my time. (Jesus, work on that one, please??)

I’ve learned that I feel most “right” when I am creating something.

I’ve learned that there truly is such a thing as God’s Economy, where people just use what they have for the good of others, and just receive just what they are in need of. And it just works.

I’ve learned that garbage in really does = garbage out. That goes for what I see, hear, think, eat, and surround myself with. The good news is that the flip side of that is also true. Yay.

I’ve learned that having too many things on my plate usually means none of them are done well, and that I need to remember my first and foremost responsibilities, then let everything else fit in around those things (or not).

And maybe most of all, as you’d expect, I’ve learned that I still have a whole, big lot to learn.


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