|Our house threw a New Year's Eve party, and three guys from my junior year core showed up! From left to right: Andrew, [Me], Bogdan, and Stephen
"As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.
Night is coming, when no one can work."
John 9:4 (NIV)
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Before the semester ended last month, Sirak (my ministry supervisor) and I met up to talk about how the semester had been for me as a staff member for FOCUS. I asked what his biggest growth goal for me was, and he said: "I want you to turn ideas into actions."
He said this because he knew that no amount of creativity and excitement and ministry can replace discipline. I am notorious for coming up with ideas for helpful habits, conversations, and events for our students, but not going through with most of them. Over the break, I was reading a book by Gordon MacDonald called Ordering Your Private Life, and in it, he quoted an excerpt of William Barclay commenting on Samuel Coleridge:
"He lost himself in visions of work to be done, that always remained
to be done. Coleridge had every poetic gift but one- the gift of
sustained and concentrated effort...
...No one ever reached any eminence, and no one having reached
it ever maintained it, without discipline."
Discipline is obvious in the life of anyone worth imitating- especially Jesus. Imagine the discipline it would have taken to heal people one-by-one, late into the night, and then wake up before sunrise to pray! This kind of discipline- or lack thereof- is what I've spent time reflecting on over the last few weeks.
What have I been up to during the holidays?
I've gotten to spend a lot more time with family than I usually do, which was a huge blessing! I'm very thankful to have a generous, supportive family that loves God. The more people I get to know, the more I realize just how unusual that is.
A handful (is 78 a handful?) of people from FOCUS at UTD read through the Gospel of Luke over Christmas Break, answering the question: "what is God's will for my life?" For the past 24 days (there are 24 chapters in Luke), I've been posting to a Facebook group to share my thoughts from that day's chapter. This has been so good for me (and for a lot of us), and I'm currently working on more ways for our community to spend time in Scripture together.
One thing that has forced me to grow in discipline is working on music. I've used music as a way to decompress and work through my relationship with God for 7 years now, and over the last few years, God has nudged me more and more towards sharing that with people. Last month, I rented an AirBnb with a friend named Akwasi to record some of the music we had been writing together.