February 5, 2012

Five Days into February

Posted in Blogging, Faith, Just Life, Singleness tagged , , at 4:05 pm by catsinboxes

All right, first a confession: I’m having a hard time starting this post!  That said, and the post started, I hopefully will not have trouble continuing to write.  I feel like February has brought in the reality of 2012 much more than January.  It just feels like it is here to stay, and life has settled down after the rush of Christmas and New Year’s and the sudden plunge back into work and normal life.  I look back at January and think “one month gone already, what am I doing with my year?”  As a Christian single, in the middle of what cannot in any way be classified as a college town, I have some thoughts I’d like to share with anyone reading my blog who is in the same boat.

1.  Cherish your time.  Living at home during this time has really cemented for me the importance of small joys, and the importance of selflessness.  As a single it can be really easy to get me-focused.  Goodness knows, there is enough to do; jobs to work, tests to study for, spiritual growing to accomplish . . . we all have a long list.  But really, take a deep breath and step away.  Step away from the technology that is so good at drawing us in, pull your eyes away from the computer screen, and make eye contact with a real person.  For me this comes in spending time with my younger siblings, but if you’re not living at home, my biggest piece of advice would be find a good, healthy church which is a perfect lead-in to my next point.

2.  Join a healthy church.  If your first reaction is “why?”, I’d really recommend one resource.  Alistair Begg preached a great series on the church that is available for free download here: http://www.truthforlife.org/resources/series/what-is-the-church/

On the other hand, maybe you are agreeing with me yet thinking, “The only problem is, I don’t have a good church to join!”  Please believe me, I’ve been there.  I know what it feels like!  If you haven’t already, I would really recommend that you read Mark Dever’s 9 Marks of a Healthy Church.  They’re summarized on the 9Marks site, so here they are in a nutshell: http://www.9marks.org/what-are-the-9marks/  Maybe this gives you something new to think about, but maybe you’re just saying, “Amen to that, but I don’t have a church like that near me!”  All I can say is, don’t give up.  Pray; pray a lot!  I know this is a hard time right now, but when you do eventually find a good church, you are going to appreciate it so much more.

3.  If you are attending a good church, get involved.  I don’t mean, “get involved” by making it to church each Sunday.  Get to know the people at your church.  Honestly, as a single, it’s easy to get self-absorbed.  I know I can get focused on college and future and just plain being single when it comes to where I fit in the church.  Don’t let that stop your involvement!  Get to know the senior members of your congregation, get to know the staff, get to know the young families.  There is so much you can learn from these people all in different stages of their faith.  I can’t articulate this nearly as much as I want, but I hope you get my drift.  Don’t lose out!

4.  Most of all, draw closer to God.  This morning at church we sang a bridge that puts everything into perspective.

“Oh praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.”

Really, that should be the core of our life as single Christians .  . . how can it not be?  Paul understood that, read Philippians!

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain . . . But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  (Philippians 1:21, 3:7-8)

So, as you start off February, look to God.  His grace is sufficient for you, no matter what your situation.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)  He has placed you where you are right now, and He is never going to give you more than you can handle.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)  What a wonderful God we serve, how can we not live our entire lives for Him?