Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coffee, McDonalds, Photography, Jesus, and Delayed Gratification

You may be wondering what coffee, McDonalds, photography, and Jesus have to do with each other. Well stick with me for a minute and hopefully it will makes sense.
This week I was challenged to figure out what my unique love relationship with Christ looks like. Take away expectations, molds, other people with their ideas, and figure out how to love Jesus. Not easy. As I've pondered that this week I have realized something about myself that I am not proud of-I am not good with delayed gratification. I like immediate results. This is partly due to my personality and undoubtedly due in part to the culture I was raised in. I can drive through a coffee stand and have my sugar free hazelnut mocha in 2 minutes. McDonalds workers can make nasty burgers for 25 people in 10 minutes (I don't want to know how). I feel inconvenienced when I have to stand in line at the grocery store for more than 4 minutes. For Pete's can get married at a drive through chapel in Vegas now! (not that I would EVER want to). I find myself hard pressed not to succumb to this fast paced society. This week I took a photography class and started doing some research on how to be a better photographer. Becoming a great photographer takes time and practice. I know this, but for some reason I find myself overwhelmed and feeling like I want to know everything there is to know and understand it right now. This mindset seems to permeate my every day thinking. I want the wisdom without the years of experience. I want to see the pounds melt away instantly when I exercise. This becomes a big problem when I project it onto relationships. I want to see change/growth in people, but it takes time. Time. In my efficient, every moment counts, rushed American mindset it's difficult to wait patiently and faithfully, but God has all the time in the world. Eternity in fact. He will take his sweet time fulfilling his plan and I've got to be okay with that. This idea of time, growth, and delayed gratification has affected my relationship with Christ, in that I somehow feel like I need to grow fast, understand more, love better. Instead of loving Jesus on a daily basis and let the relationship develop at a good pace, I find myself thinking about better Bible Study methods and comparing my relationship with Him to His relationship with other people. Ouch. Good thing He waits faithfully for me while I figure this all out and he loves me just the same. Always has and always will.

I don't have any idea how many days the Lord will allow me to walk this earth, but I'm trying to let go of the idea that I need to do it all, understand it all, accomplish it all now. It's about enjoying the journey, stopping to smell the roses, if you will.

So I took a lunch break to eat this gorgeous plate of fresh fruit and vegetables, while reading one of my favorite books...

I took mom to relax for the morning and get a pedicure...(I tried to load the pics here but it's not cooperating :(

and I am planning a weekly date to spend time with my precious Jesus as I grow to love him more each day...

Thank you to my African friends and their culture which have helped me to see the value of being more laid back. I'm still learning and I have a feeling God is going to send me to another country to force me to slow down and just live.

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