As the oldest child in my family, it should’ve been my joy and honor to obey everything my parents told me to do and steer miles clear from everything they told me to stay away from.
However, I the only girl of the family (besides my mom); I the only one with a name that doesn’t begin with J; I had to prove myself a force to be reckoned with.
I enjoyed arguing--having the last word was essential because I was obviously right. I had to finish whatever I was doing (probably playing another video game) before completing the task my hardworking parents graciously asked me again and again and again to do. And if I knew there was something I could do to get my brothers in trouble, you can bet I was doing everything in my power to ensure they got what I thought they deserved (sometimes I liken my younger self to Candace Flynn).
Rachel means ewe, or female sheep. Sheep are supposed to follow and obey their shepherd. But disobedience was etched somewhere between the letters of my middle name. A N disobedient N.
I’m writing all this today because I’ve been disobedient to God and He’s been opening my eyes to it for a while, but I’ve kept on my own path, stubborn and dumb.
One of the main things I know for a fact that I’m supposed to do with my life is write. I’ve been ensconced in story from the time I first breathed California air (that’s where I was born). But it was loneliness in ninth grade that drew the passion to write out of me. It was as if the loneliness enabled me to find my own friends in words and pages and notebooks full of “he said” “she said” and characters that resembled too much what I wish my life looked like.
But from the empty classrooms, from the library during lunchtime, my love for creating worlds out of 26 letters grew and flourished until I realized it was what I wanted to do with my life.
There’s another thing about me that I haven’t told you. I’m lazy. When I write (even as I write this blog post) I write a few words or sentences at a time and take a break to stare off into space and think about one thing from the next, completely unrelated to the subject matter at hand. I take more breaks than I actually do write. I spend hours in front of the television, playing role playing games that don’t have any eternal value and I try to justify myself, but it falls flat and I keep on playing anyway.
There is this calling, this tug, the voice of God inside of me telling me to write, write, write. And yet I fill my time and life with things that make me feel more exhausted than I already am and accomplish nothing to make the lost and lonely know they are loved.
I know exactly what it is I’m supposed to do, but I do everything in my weak human power to run the opposite direction and end up wondering why I feel so far from God. Disobedience plays a large role in the separation between parent and child.
God has given me a gift and I’ve trampled across it, laid it to the side, and told Him I’ll come back to it later...after I’ve finished doing who knows what to satisfy my selfish desires.
I’m back on the road to obedience, I hope, as God continually speaks to me and convicts me of the various ways I’ve been shutting Him out. Everywhere I turn in His Word seems to call out something about obedience versus disobedience and being faithful to our calling, so here goes:
With what God has given us, we are to give back to Him. If we do not sow, we will not reap.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
While a works-based faith is not what Christ calls us into (thinking we must do so many good works to be saved), once we are brought into communion with Jesus Christ, out of love, we should desire to work for the Kingdom.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 2:14
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6