Following the Leader

Following the Leader

Here’s the thing about following God: you don’t know where He will take you.

I remember a particularly sunny day in kindergarten when my teacher decided that we should play “follow the leader.” My teacher, wearing a hula hoop as a sash that reminded me of suffragette Winnifred Banks, marched us up the stairs, out the door, and under the big tree.  As five-year-olds, we didn’t know where our teacher would take us, but we weren’t worried.  We knew that our loving leader would never put us in harm’s way.

On Tuesday night (New Year’s Eve, 3 days ago), as I reflected on 2019, I realized that following God through life is a lot like following my kindergarten teacher around the school.  When we surrender our lives to Him, we do not know where He will take us or how we will get there; all we know is that He will use every experience to sanctify us because that is His will (I Thess. 4:3a; I say more about that here).  We don’t know the joy, the hardship, the blessing, or the pain that we will experience along the way.  Like children following a trustworthy teacher, we follow our Lord blindly. (Ironically, this was also the lesson in My Utmost for His Highest on Wednesday, January 1, but that’s off topic….).

Last February, I heard about some ministry needs at a Christian school in Spain, and I began praying about how God could use me.  As I continued to pray and follow Him through 2019, I felt the growing desire to teach in Spain.  A few months ago, I completed the application process, and I committed to teach for 2 years.

I am telling you all of this for two reasons: (1) I want to look back on this post throughout 2020 and remember that following God is uncertain, but it is safe, and (2) I needed to close this blog with a good post.

I am not saying that I will never blog @ kats9lifes again, but I don’t plan to keep up with this blog for much longer.  I have started a new blog where I plan to share all about my ministry in Spain.  I hope to see you there!

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On the first day of Christmas break…

On the first day of Christmas break…

…I went for a really long hike.

Hiking, in my opinion, is one of the most peaceful ways to spend a morning.  I love feeling the crisp, pure air on my face and hearing nothing but crunching leaves and chirping birds.

Hanging Rock, NC in winter

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Two Roads Diverged

Two Roads Diverged

two-roads-diverged

It’s providential that I came to a personal crossroads at the same time that I am studying Robert Frost for grad school.  “The Road Not Taken” has a new meaning when you are the person choosing between “the first” road and “the one less traveled by.”

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It is Finished

It is Finished

Friday was heinous:
His body bled,
Thorns pierced his head,
His skin in shreds.
And then, “It is finished.”

Saturday was anxious:
Filled with affright–
Dark had killed Light–
And nothing was right
Because it was finished.

But Sunday was glorious:
Death had been hacked–
Life waged an attack,
Supreme comeback,
And it was finished.

death_has_no_victory

Be Ready Always

Be Ready Always

It was my third time at the doctor in a single week, and I had rattled off my name, birthday, and address so many times that I had started writing 1995 as the current year.  Yet, the nurse caught me completely off guard when she asked, “And what is your religion?”

Be Ready Always

I must have looked like a heathen because she prompted, “You know, like, Christian?”

If I had a quicker brain, I would have replied, “Sorry, I was just trying to decide if I should say dispensational premillenialist or if I should keep it simple and tell you that I hold to a literal hermeutic.”  Instead I said, “Oh…yeah…Christian.”

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Studies of Humility: Conclusion

Studies of Humility: Conclusion

I don’t want to call this post a conclusion.  To me, conclusion brings the idea of the end a story or the closing of a presentation.  But this post is not a conclusion because our desire to live humbly should not end after we read this post; we should clothe ourselves in humility for the duration of our lives.

That being said, this series has lasted several weeks, and I think a summary is in order.

Humility

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Studies of Humility: Paul

Studies of Humility: Paul

When I worked at Pine Cove, I sometimes felt like an impostor.  I listened silently as my peers compared their their family vacations in Italy and France.  In stark contrast to their Patagonia shorts, Chacos, and trendy t-shirts that “only cost $20,”  I donned my second-hand shorts and free volleyball tees.  I came from a world vastly different than that of my coworkers.  If America had a caste system, they would be kshatriyas, and I would be sudra.

Yet, the three summers that I spent as a photographer at Pine Cove were the best summers of my life.  My coworkers were hospitable, gracious, and selfless.  Despite our differences, we worked together to further the Gospel.  In my opinion, the collaborative attitude of camp staff perfectly exemplifies the Apostle Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:16 to “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”

Humility

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