I told you yesterday I'd write up on my favorites of the ten I listed. As you've probably read in my last few posts I'm struggling with who to call "friends." I'm at a crossroads in my life where I'm changing and the people around me are staying the same. I like what Emily said about friends and the age we're at now, "It's so weird that people our age can be in such different places in live: single and loving it, single and lonely, engaged, married, married with children, divorced, divorced with children, homeowners... I know exactly what you mean. " I agree with her totally. We are at an age where we're surrounded my people who are after different things. It's not like high school where you'll all just in high school, waiting to graduate and go to college or find a job.
So this "Ten Characteristics of the Crucified Life" stuck out with me. All of them did, but a select four really hit me with the things I'm struggling with at the moment.
1. Few will understand.
Few understand anyways but it is becoming harder by the days. I want certain things out of life, church, etc so I'm putting my best foot forward and doing them. But the people I once called "friends" (and still do to a point even though we barely talk) can't understand my motivations for doing certain things. I'm the same fun-loving, optimistic person I always was, I have just turned my focus away from them and turned it on God. I feel they don't care enough about what I'm trying to accomplish because they're immature and selfish. I'm moving on with life. People can jump on the train with me or get off.
3. Your intimate spiritual companions will be few.
This pretty much goes along with number 1. It's happening all around me, it's inevitable. I feel I've always been on a different road than most of the people around me but I've been a little more tolerant of behaviors, until recently. I've felt I've been on a different road because I did things differently with my life than most of the people around me. I went away to school for four years, that made me grow up. I'm not saying I'm better than these people for going away, I'm better for me. I see things differently now because of the decisions I made earlier in life. I'm fortunate enough to have parents who love me and were financially able to pay for me to go away to school, I know there are people who aren't. But this and other things have put me on a different life path. I feel I truly see what is important in life. I'm not so much focued on myself now. I am looking out for others who want and need a change in their lives.
4. Intense times of aloneness with God are required.
I know the only way to truly worship God and know Him more is the quiet time I spend with Him daily. I've gotten into a routine with that. I come home from doing whatever between 8 and 8:30 and have my quiet time for almost an hour. It really depends on what I'm reading and writing. The Beth Moore stuff I'm doing takes about an hour, other studies don't take as long. I hear people all the time saying, "I just don't have time to do those studies." My answer now is yes you do, you just choose not to. You have to be disciplined. Leave your friends, you see them all the time anyways and go home. Sit at a desk or somewhere where you aren't laying down and you have the possibility of falling asleep. I tried that excuse too, but now I see it as that, an excuse. Yes, some days and weeks are busier than others, stuff happens, stuff comes up, but don't get down on yourself, pick back up when it slows down.
5. You will be constantly on the witness stand.
I don't like being on trial for what I believe. I believe what I believe. If some don't like it, it's not my problem. I'm not going to let people get me down. I'm going to stand firm in my beliefs and do my best. I'm going to study and pray and watch my speech and actions all the time because I know people are ALWAYS watching. That's how I view it anyways. I've made an effort to do these things because I know they are important in my growth.
So there are my select few that are with me right now. Can you relate to any of these items, listed here or in yesterday's blog? Let me know if you need further explanation, I can at least tell you what Beth Moore says on the topics.