Going to Alaska and living the way I did for two weeks really changed my perspective in a lot of ways. Though there were a few things I don't personally agree with as far as what the people there do and how they believe, there were also many things that they do and believe that I'd never even thought of before in my Christian walk.
There is an artist my friend really likes that I don't care for, except for one song. That song has turned my world. The original writer of the song is a man named Ross King, but the man who sings it that I heard is Jimmy Needham. The song is called Clear the Stage. For some reason I can't get it to download so that I can post it on here, so I would like to strongly encourage that you go listen to it on YouTube before you keep reading my post. Otherwise, it just won't mean as much to you.
Idols. Anything I put before God, anything I want with all my heart, anything I can't stop thinking of, anything I give all my love IS AN IDOL. Wow. Why worship something that's not even worth it? Wow. The whole entire song wows me. The first time I heard it I wanted to run off somewhere private and cry out on my knees to God for forgiveness and mercy. It is a life changing song, a song that will continually challenge me all my life.
Then I get home and I have this book waiting for me at the library. So I go pick it up and started reading it last night. Again, I say WOW. Goes right along with not only what I've learned about living while in AK, but what the song talks about. Titled ' Almost Amish ' by Nancy Sleeth, the books talks about this woman ( and her family's ) journey to living a more simple, God-honoring life. I highly, highly recommend this book. Although I would not want or be able to do all that these people have done to de-standardize their way of living, it is yet another challenge to me. So much of what she brings to light in her book is from the Bible. I can see it plain as day, though I never did before. Or maybe I just never thought of it in the way she expounds. More homework: if you really want to get at what I'm saying so I don't have to write the whole book out for you, read it!
Through all these things, I have been really convicted about my life. Do I have idols? Have I put anything before God? Do I think of Him first each day and last every night - and every moment in between - or what is gonna happen next in the book I'm reading? Do I want a future life as a wife and mother more than a future in Heaven with Him? Do I think of certain people or circumstances more than Him and how He wants me to handle things and what will bring Him honor and glory - not my own? Do I love the idea of God and His wonders and the beauty of His creation or anything else - people, things, etc... - more than Him? Do I live conscience of what I say and what I do and how it will affect others, myself and if it pleases the Lord? Is my heart cluttered with things I need to ask forgiveness for? Things I need to forgive? Is my room, my home, filled with too much that is being kept for no apparent purpose? What do I use? What do I really need? How much do I have laying around forgotten and unused taking up unnecessary space?
These questions and more have been filling my mind. Take a tally of your lives, I challenge you now. What are you doing? Where will it take you? How much will a pleasure for today cost you tomorrow? I know these are not the things most teens and young adults think of. I don't care if I'm odd. I don't want to be consumed with the things of this world that will not matter in the next. Having fun and using the good things of this life are certainly okay, if you are careful they do not consume more time than you really have to give.
It's okay to slow down and live simple. I want to try to not use my computer every day, and on the days I do, not for more than an hour or two at the most. I want to learn more skills. Give more time to my Lord and my family. Read more books that are about real things that really happened instead of ones that just mess with my emotions and don't make my life better in some way. I want to clear my head of all the constant buzzing of " gotta do this, gotta do that " and not be a slave to my thoughts of what " has to " be done. What about you?