Inconviences can suck. They steal away time and chip away at my comfort. I had an afternoon of inconviences, so many little things piled onto each other that at one point some unholy words emerged from my mouth. What I wanted was kept out of reach for me and I did not like it. Often times I can become upset with things and most often it is not for any other reason than that I am not getting what I want at that moment.
It can bring the worst out of me. But I have learned the most from being inconvienced in my life. Even that day where it felt as if ALL the things went wrong. In some ways they did, and in other ways they went right. I had to remind myself that what I was dealing with was temporary.
But sometimes the inconviences do have long lasting effects. Some are good as I have learned and been challenged in my life. Learning from these kinds of moments has lead to the biggest breakthroughs for me. By asking myself the questions behind why am I so upset? Why is it so important for this to happen now?
Sometimes I know what that answer is, and other times it takes some digging to reveal it. Following Jesus is full of inconviences. I have been stretched to reach past what I know and go into the unknown. I remember the first time I was asked to lead a Bible study, it was scary. Being responsible for helping others follow Jesus when one isn’t 100% confident is difficult.
Leading a group can be inconvenient as anything. It means setting aside time to study up for the week, follow up with group members and spending time conveying information to them. Caring for people is inconvenient isn’t it though? It means having to stop what you had planned to do in order to care for them.
Jesus isn’t about convenience, following him doesn’t fall into a neat slot on the schedule. The lessons that stemmed from being inconvenienced have helped me to grow in my faith. Molding me into the person I am today and the person I will be ten years from now.
Life if full of inconveniences, varying in degrees. Some are small such as I experienced on that day. Others are larger, which I have also experienced in my life. They have made me slow down in the moment and think about what is happening behind it all. It’s not the inconveniences that matter themselves, but what I can learn from them. To look at them as opportunites rather than not.
For the past five years I have chosen a word to define my year instead of list of resolutions. Since starting this tradition, each word has revealed something new to my life. Pushing me to accomplish different things in my life, including writing this blog. Each word is more than simply a word but more so a theme for the year.
At the start of this year I did not have my word. Half heartedly, I tried out a few different words. But none of them felt right. In reality, they felt wrong, false somehow to where I am in my life.
Then it came to me. Actually it had be in front of me the whole time. Coming up several times in conversation with friends.
This is my year of learning.
Learning about myself, who I am in Christ, my community and the larger world beyond.
I need to learn.
I am willing to learn.
I want to learn.
It fits in perfectly to where I am in my life. I look forward to seeing how this word will affect this year. The adventures and experiences it will take me on.
I confess that despite growing up in Miami since the age of eight, I have never properly learned Spanish. When I was in elementary school I took classes but in highschool I rebelled. I opted instead for French. Which I also took at the college level.
Please do not ask me to speak it. However, I do get excited when I catch a phrase in a film before the subtitle!
But then Jon Acuff set out a challenge for the summer. Learn or work on a skill for fifteen minutes a day. #Dosummer is what he is calling it. Fifteen minutes is easy to fit into my schedules. Fifteen minutes a day, every day quickly adds up.
I knew mine would be to learn Spanish.
But I was not sure how to go about it. I do not have extra money to take a class. In the past I attempted to learn by checking out language cd’s from the library, listening to my dvd’s in Spanish instead of English and using a language app on my phone. All of which I would become frustrated, lose motivation and give up.
I am too old to learn a new language, I would say to myself. But I live in Miami. If I want a better day job to support myself, Spanish is a must. I needed to face my fear on not being perfect at it.
Just as with my writing. I could always write. It was not until I sat down and focused that I improved. Because of this I am a better writer today.
Then I came across a free app called Duolingo. And it seems I am learning! I understand more when out and about. I am feeling more confident in asking my friends to converse with me en español.
My old excuse will just never fly! I will never be too old to learn something new. I do not know if I will ever become easily fluent but I can try. Once I have this Spanish down, I will blow the dust off my French.
What skill have you wanted to work on?
What is holding you back from trying?