let me be an instrument.

As much as I enjoy breaks from work or from school, they start messing with my head after a while. I like having something to do by a specified time, something that’s meant for something outside myself. Deadlines make me happy. For some reason, though, whenever I give myself a personal project to do, I can never get myself to get them done. I fudge with self-imposed checkpoints, put things off, leave things by the wayside.

The accumulative effect that this has had is that I’m starting to get a little stagnant.

It doesn’t matter what they tell you about creativity being spontaneous and free-form–no, making things is work. It takes making mistakes and editing and cutting and actually sitting down and fiddling with the stupid thing. It takes effort. People who say otherwise are either full of crap or superhuman. No, spontaneity is born of discipline. Get the framework up first, and then feel free to play around with it. The same goes of service and of loving others–it takes work. It takes intentionality.

Now, I’m not very good at this. Discipline and structure are not my strong points, even though when they happen, I thrive on them. But this has to change. Whether I like it or not, God’s given me certain gifts, and I need to use them and refine them, to honor Him and to bless others. And that takes work. And that takes a certain kind of courage. That takes faith and hope. And to be honest, my faith at the moment is small.

I’m 24. In the long run of things, that’s still really young, especially in a country where the average life expectancy for women is nearly 81. But you want to know something? In the span of eternity, even 81 years are just a drop in the bucket. Life is short. I don’t want to waste mine. I want to be an instrument of beauty and truth, of healing, of bringing in the kingdom in my own small way.

What does that mean, then? That means getting off my butt, not surfing the Web mindlessly, not doing nothing. I want to be more intentional about this–being out in my community, making things as a person made in the image of a creative God, bringing order and peace, telling my story to tell The Story.

But truth be told, that’s going to take some prayer, some getting outside of myself. That’s not easy at all for me. But I have a calling to follow. I have a Savior to declare. So pray for me, brothers and sisters, while I try to do this in my own small way. And I challenge you to do the same, using whatever gifts God has given you to honor His name. Do things that spark your affection for Him. Do things that help others do the same. Whether that’s teaching, making things, writing, speaking, serving your community, listening, or even just buying someone a cup of coffee, go and do it. Be an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands. That’s my prayer for all of us in 2009. Let it be, Lord.

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