September 19, 2010

Humble Beginnings

As a child, I was always excited to learn new things. It didn't really matter if I knew anything about my new hobby.  I was a child, and nobody expected me to know much about it.  Plus, there was usually someone who could guide me in my endeavors.  Sometime around middle school this changed.  Suddenly, I didn't want to participate in activities unless I could be the best!  I guess I was afraid to fail, and as an adult this hasn't changed much. 

For some reason as we get older, the concept of having to be a "beginner" causes us to quit trying, give up quickly, or pretend like we already know.  Usually, we just avoid those things that make us feel uncomfortable, insecure, or ignorant.  You know the phrase, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks".  Many of us proclaim this proudly.  We get stuck in our ways, and anything that is going to require us to learn something we don't already know is just not worth the effort.  The problem is, we aren't old dogs!  We are humans created in God's image!  When we became Christians we weren't signing up for an easy life with free give-a-ways from God.  No, when we asked God to be Lord of our lives we were actually asking Him to mold us into what He wants us to be.  We asked him to chip away all the yuck and make us more like Him.
Becoming more like Christ is a journey, and for the rest of our earthly lives God is going to be shaping, molding, stretching, and testing us so that our character reflects that of Christ.  This means that we are going to be challenged with things we aren't familiar with.  We will, indeed, be "beginners" for the rest of our lives.
Right now, I feel incredibly inadequate and ignorant about homesteading, and a great many other things.  My natural response is to say; "sorry, this is just too hard."  "I don't know anything about this."  "I can't do it!"  "Why me?"  These are lies from Satan, and he desperately wants us to fail.  The truth is, I have been given the Holy Spirit, and "greater is He who lives in me, than he who is in the world." - 1 John 4:4.  I must remind myself of this each time I am tempted to give up.

Slowly, my perspective has been changing.  I am learning to embrace my failures, as opportunities to learn.  I am seeking advice from others, and willingly admitting that I don't have a clue.  I have found that all the mistakes actually make the successes sweeter!  Finally, I am getting excited about learning new things just like when I was a kid.  Perhaps this is why Jesus said;

  "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."-  Matthew 11:25

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3

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