There are some days that Doctrine of Holiness class just makes me feel convicted and yesterday was one of those days. Quite frankly, I am not a fan of being convicted all the time. There were a couple of key things that really stuck out to me. The first thing was Dr. Fine saying that a lot of us live like nothing significant happened on the cross. I am fairly certain I remember writing down that same quote in the margin of my Christian Belief notes. It stuck out to me because I believe it is true. If I were to be completely honest, most days I can survive the entire day without really thinking about how Christ died on the cross, or really, I bet I can go an entire without thinking about Christ at all. Now that is not something that I am proud of. At all. But this is me striving to be completely honest. As a Christian, one should really be centered on the fact that something significant did happen on the cross. It is so easy to get caught up in the monotonous day-to-day activities that the things that matter are what you are going to have for lunch or making sure you do not get mad when someone cuts you off on I-35, and not that Someone gave His life for you in order for you to have life. The response has to be more than just talking about how we are going to change, talking about what to do different. Talking is really nothing more than (sometimes) fancy words strung together to fill the air. They mean absolutely nothing if they are not backed up with action. That is something that I feel quite strongly about. Odds are you probably do not know my story, but the example that comes to mind is my father. He says he loves me, but he does absolutely nothing to show that he loves me. So his “I love you” is just a string of empty words. I know that sounds horrible, but it is the truth. And I would be just as bad as my father if I only talked about how I should be changed and not do anything about it.
But, where to start? We had a guest speaker come on last Thursday who really shook things up. His position on holiness was firmly planted. He held so strongly to how important being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, yet he pastors a church that successfully accepts all kinds of people that other churches would probably turn away. He asked the question, “What would you say to someone that wanted to know how they could be holy?” The answer from one of my classmates was a great answer, but it made me think. “I would ask them what they are doing to pursue holiness?” What are we doing to pursue holiness? What am I doing to pursue holiness? What does it look like to pursue holiness? I want to give the typical Sunday School answers, but I know that there ought to be more than just that.
Yet, at the same time, if I were to figure out what to do, would I even have time for it? That is probably the biggest issue. I never used a planner before this year. Part of me wants to take my planner to set it on fire, but the other part of me knows that I would fall apart without it. One of my top five strengths is achiever. After all, I am part of a generation that does way too much. Most of the time I do not think I could function if I was not always going at 70 MPH. But yet, am I really even functioning when I am living at a rapid speed? This was something that was called to question after I met with my advisor to discuss my schedule next semester. The meeting went fine—we agreed that I could take 17 credits again as long as I could get another professor to agree to let me do a directed study with them. But that night, I had a breakdown. I was trying to finish something and I was overtired and so I cried. I do that; I will admit that I am a crier. My friend, who unfortunately for her, is always around when I have these frequent breakdowns, talked to my advisor (since he is also our professor) about. So there I was, driving home from work, and he calls me, asking me if I maybe am taking on too much where it could be preventing me from having time to really spiritually develop. I guess you never seem too busy until someone calls you out on your spiritual development. He and I are meeting for breakfast next week to discuss things, so we will see how that goes. It still made me think. Actually, it made me cry. But, that is just what I do. So, back to Doctrine of Holiness. The question arose that we do too much. I cannot say that I disagree, because while I try to not always be talking about how busy I am, I will admit that I am a Resident Assistant for freshman girls, a Teacher’s Assistant for the Public Speaking professor, I work ten hours a week, am taking a 17-hour class load and am interning at a youth group. There are people who I am sure do more than I do, but I recognize the fact that I do a lot. But, how healthy is that? How is my spiritual growth being stunted by my busy schedule?
Let me tell you, I know that I am hurting myself. Someone asked me how I do it all and I was honest, “I have weekly breakdowns.” My mom is constantly telling me that I need to take deep breaths. I am fairly certain I have caused my blood pressure to increase. While I will not throw out my planner any time soon, I know that this is not the way that I am meant to live. Just because the culture that I am a part of says that I need to be constantly doing and going, I know that I am sometimes just called to be. Be still. Be in the presence of God. Just, be. I think being is the start to pursuing holiness.