Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Lesson Learned

One of the lessons I learned this summer is that God often works by moving people in and out of our lives. This is something that part of me really didn’t want to learn, especially the part about people moving out of my life. In the past when people moved out of my life, it was not necessarily in a permanent sense. For example, when I moved away to college, my friends from home had “moved out of my life” according to a broad sense of the term. I no longer was able to see them regularly, but I knew when I came home from school, they’d probably be home too. When people moved out of my life in a more permanent sense I sometimes didn’t notice or wasn’t greatly affected, such as when a lady who often checked me out at the grocery store stopped working there. Other times when people moved out of my life permanently, such as because of death, I was eventually able to come to the conclusion that the situation was in God’s control and there was nothing I could do but accept it.

This time, things were a little bit different. I spent the summer working in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I lived with four wonderful roommates, three of whom were dedicated Christians. We spent a lot of time in fellowship and really got know each other pretty well. It was one of those situations that God clearly showed his guidance over our lives. When it came time to leave, I wasn’t ready to go. (This was my mortal perception; however, I suspect that God might have seen things differently.) I knew that these people were moving out of my life in a more permanent sense and I didn’t want to accept it. This situation was different than the others because there was and still is the possibility of seeing these people again on Earth (hopefully in Heaven too), but our connection is Albuquerque. None of us live remotely near to Albuquerque and there are very few people for us to go back to that part of the country and visit. The probability of us meeting again, at least statistically, is pretty slim. I think that because the possibility is still there, I initially struggled to accept learning this lesson.

I have now come to realize that my time in Albuquerque was a blessing. God gave me the opportunity to fellowship and learn from some wise and wonderful people. Instead of initially resenting the fact that it was time for them to move out of my life, I should have been rejoicing because of the many gifts God gave me this summer. There are lessons I probably would not have learned had these people been permanent fixtures in my life. God knew and understood that, while I simply wished it wasn’t the case. I now understand that, at the moment, these people are not exactly in my life, but in the future, at some unforeseen change or turn, I may have the chance to see some of them again. Without God’s guidance in learning that people must move in and out of our lives, I may not have been able to come to peace with this reality in my life.

Scripture: Acts 17:26-28; Matthew 6:14; James 4:14-15; John 3:8

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