Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 216 - Inklings and changes cont.

Hm. I haven't posted 4 days in a row since... probably right after Anderson passed. I didn't think I'd have any more thoughts or excitement to share today but... what do you know... I still have thoughts. I didn't sleep well last night. I kept waking up in the middle of my dreams and even in my dreams, my phone was interrupting my conversation with my UCI professor who was showing me which part of Maui they were going to be moving to... and I remember that for some reason, Maui on the map looked a whole lot like the shape of South America. Anyway, so I was super fatigued this morning which led to me talking less... and talking less usually means I'm thinking more.

Had a few thoughts... I'm so physically tired... let's see how coherently they come out. Not feeling so bubbly today so I think this post will be more mellow in general.

Just a continuation about following "inklings"... and about actually turning thoughts into action... I think that, for me, I am never more motivated to do something as when I first have the idea to do it. If I let that moment pass, it's quite likely that it will get ignored or postponed for a very long time. Kind of like when I first get an email from someone... I reply right away because the first time I read it, that's when I'm impacted the most. If I don't reply right away, it just moves lower and lower down my inbox and then I might not get around to it until I clean out my inbox once a month, if at all. Actually, the inbox phenomenon is pretty accurate as far as motivation goes. The longer you wait, the less important it seems, and it is very likely that you'll never end up doing it because you either forget about it, end up rationalizing that it's been so long it's not relevant anymore, or you tell yourself that it's not as important as it once was so it's not worth doing. Sometimes it's true. Sometimes things truly aren't worth doing and the passage of time only confirms it... but what about for the things that ARE important, but get ignored or pushed aside? Especially the things that are hard to do?

I have an example. At the very beginning of orientation, all of the people in my new grad cohort met at HR to finish up paperwork, take pictures for our badges (yay, badges!), etc. etc. It was the first time that all of us actually saw who was hired and who was not. Those of us who had met each other at the open house luncheon grouped together. I can't remember if I blogged about it, but my luncheon table won the medical mystery game and we were each given a pretty large gift check as our prize. Two people from another table were talking about how they didn't care if they got the gift check... they got hired, which is even better. And then I made a comment about the two of us who got the gift check AND got hired. We were all laughing and joking, but after I said it, I immediately regretted it. Not the greatest first impression to make... if it came off as more snobby than anything else... as if I were trying to one-up her. I guess behind every joke there's a truth and I wasn't even thinking about what I was saying. I regretted it. I had an inkling to apologize to her. But I ignored it. I even made it a point to look at her name badge to get her name so I could apologize to her by name... but I didn't do it that day. And then I forgot about it.

I remembered again that I'd ignored the inkling when I was blogging about following the inklings in Day 215's post... and I wondered what I could have been missing out on by not doing what my heart had so gently prompted me to do. It really is a still small voice. It wasn't a loud one. Just a quiet whisper. Very easily ignored if I choose my pride or my rationalization over being humble to apologize for something that could even potentially be perceived as prideful or snooty. And who knows how damaging a first impression could be. Anyway... so I told myself that I'd apologize for making the comment today.

So I'm sitting in class... really tired... trying hard to focus on charting and paperwork... but I don't care who you are... charting is not an enthralling topic. And with paper charting... it's even more forms, more headaches, carbon copies, tearing off, filing away, recopying... I'm dreading having to read physicians' handwriting and I'm getting writer's cramp just thinking about all the writing I'm going to be doing. Anyway... the girl to which I'd made the comment... she's not one that sits next to me or around me... nor is she someone with whom I'd even talked to at all the past 2 days. I really contemplated just letting it go. She might not even remember. She might not even care. But... I would know and I care. And God knows my heart too. At the end of class, we did evaluations and we were free to go after we were done. I walked out of the room and almost walked out of the hospital with one of my classmates when I remembered that I hadn't apologized yet. I could have kept on walking... but I chose not to ignore the little voice and to just do it. I waved bye to my friend and went back to the classroom. And I just walked up to her and apologized. 2 days later... I apologized for a comment I made. She was gracious and said not to worry about it, which is always a nice response. I walked out to my car alone, but with a smile and a glad heart knowing that I didn't let this one go... no matter how small a matter it might have been. And I don't know what impact it made on her. It might not have made one at all. But between me and God... I think that the impact was more for me and my obedience and my own humility.

I remember a Sunday School teacher saying to us once that if you're faithful in the little things, God will put you in charge of the bigger things. Big things, small things... should be faithful in all things. The small things are training for the bigger things.

Hm. I think this is shaping up to be a longer-ish one.

I've been reading through Numbers. I've never appreciated Leviticus and Numbers like I do now. One of the things that hits me the most is Moses' heart. He had such a humble, servant's heart... a heart that interceded for his own people who hated on him... a heart that plead for healing for his sister who was being punished for speaking badly about him. God offered a few times to wipe out the Israelites and start again through Moses' seed, but Moses wasn't about to take that. Even when other people had the spirit of God in them and Joshua told Moses to rebuke them... Moses didn't... he wished that God's Spirit would dwell in everyone. Such humble leadership. I think he's considered the greatest leader in Israelite history. And even when they were on the very edge of the promised land and Moses knew that he wasn't going to be allowed to enter because of his sin at Meribah, he didn't complain or say that it wasn't fair. He asked God to provide a leader for Israel so they won't be like sheep without a shepherd. His thoughts and heart were for Israel... forgetful, ungrateful Israel. That's awesomeness.

And God chose Joshua, son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit (Num. 27:18). That was his only qualification. I like Joshua too. In Ex 33, there was a tent of meeting outside the camp (before the Tabernacle was built) where people would go when they wanted to inquire of the Lord. And it says that even Moses left the tent but Joshua didn't leave. That says to me that he wanted more of the Lord. And he was chosen to succeed Moses... to lead the Israelites into battle... because in him was the Spirit. And in Joshua 1... it says many times that God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. Be strong and courageous! Leaders aren't always born that way... Moses started out making excuses and questioning God... and Joshua had to be encouraged a lot too.

I was thinking about my new grad cohort... and about how one of the girls... a more timid and quiet one... probably would not have been a natural leader, but because she'd done her preceptorship at the hospital, she was the only one who was familiar with it so she was the one who led us and showed us around. She was placed into a role of leadership because her experiences prepared her for it. And even me... I think something about me or my personality kind of just... pushes me to take on leadership roles. I've found myself in leadership roles all throughout my life. Not so much at school, but more at church. I think early on, it was more a status/worth thing and then it became kind of a habit. I don't think I was ever an extremely effective leader... at least I didn't really feel that way. You're not really a leader unless there are people following you. Because of what happened in 2009, my experiences and who I became as a result of them and what God did in me through them is what has equipped me to do what I've been doing in now.

I think if you were to describe the type of leader I was/am... my strength is in administrative leadership. I'm responsible and I'm not afraid to remind people of what they said they were going to do. Passionate.... no... well at least not about anything other than emails, spreadsheets, and now google documents. Charismatic.... no. Joyful... no. I was pretty consistent and I worked hard. I think what was really missing was the human aspect of it all. I was more machine than human. Pretty much unrelatable, I think.

So God likes to use those who are really weak... those devoid of a certain attribute so that when He uses you and changes you, it truly manifests and glorifies Himself because you know that it's all Him and none of it was your doing. Using the "worldly wimpy" to do amazing things is how He shows us His power. Like... I'm sure it's no coincidence that the Israelites were in the wilderness where there was no food and no water. They got food that came from the sky and gathered it off the ground everyday. They had water that flowed directly out of rocks. God provides food from trees and water from streams, but in the wilderness where there was none of that, God's power to provide for His people just became so blatantly obvious. That's what I feel like God's done in me and I know for a fact that it's all Him and none me because who I am today... is so blatantly obviously NOT "me". Major changes.

Colossians 3:12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I don't know how you would describe me now or if you've noticed that I'm a different person now than I used to be. And no, it wasn't that you just didn't know me before... I'm definitely different now. It's extremely obvious to me, but I'm me and I've grown up with myself all my life. I know the thoughts I have now and I know the thoughts I had before... I know my heart now and I know my heart before and the difference is day and night. I wrote once before about when we choose God rather than choose ourselves, our true potential is revealed... we start to become the people that God intended and created us to be. For me... to be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience... those are 5 attributes that I really never thought I'd have. People don't change... at least not without God's help. Even if they change their actions on the outside, the inside is still the same. Those attributes were things I had just accepted that others had but they were just "not in my personality". But... they kind of are... as I follow Christ, I become more like Him and those attributes start to show themselves.... not because I'm TRYING to be them... but because my heart has begun to love and love which binds all of these things in perfect unity... manifests through these attributes. INTJ, ENFJ, ISFJ... and more recently back to ENFJ... I don't even know anymore. My personality is changing.

I talk a lot about heart and love nowadays. That's just how I've come to understand God more, the world, my life... through love and the heart... all the world makes sense... all of history makes sense... the Bible makes sense. Love truly does bind all things in perfect unity. God loves us, love God, love others. It all makes sense now. And I want to be known by my love. My love for God and my love for others. More than whatever legacy or impact I leave on this world... I want to be known as someone who loves... with a passion. Wow. Brain is dead. Don't even know where I was going with that one.

I'm sorry there's so many different thoughts in this blog post. I actually have a few more things I wanted to write about, but I think I should just stop now. So tired. Sorry if none of it made sense.

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