I have wanted to tell you a story for a week or two now, but just because one is a writer does not mean one is a storyteller and storytelling is not my strong suit. I lose the punch line or fumble it up somewhere, I can never adequately describe characters and I get too caught up in dialogue to do anyone any justice. People ask why I don't write a novel and the truth is that I couldn't create a compelling character or story if I tried.
But I have a story to tell you, and it's true and mine so hopefully that will make it easier to tell.
A few weeks ago I saw someone on Twitter doing a book giveaway and I nearly clicked through to follow protocol on winning said book. I actually do this fairly often and usually end up not entering my name in the drawing, mostly because I've never won anything in the past and also I am a chronic doubter in the goodness of God toward me. But this particular time I didn't enter the drawing for another reason: almost a year ago I got rid of most of my belongings, including about a thousand books, and I just don't want to live a lifestyle where I'm consuming and gathering more of anything. Especially if I don't need it.
I don't need much.
It was a good reminder to me that a little stopping and thinking before acting is usually in order.
I went on my way, happily book-less. And perhaps with a notch of pride on my anti-consumerism belt.
The next morning I got an email in my inbox saying that my name was selected to win a Bible study kit from one of my favorite bloggers (Jared Wilson, a guy I have the utmost respect for, not just theologically, but because he left the comfortable Bible-belt suburbs and landed himself and his family in Rutland, Vermont where he pastors a small church. He has a passion to see the Gospel spread in New England. If I ever move back up north, I think Rutland will be on the list of very probable places to land.).
I was a bit confused about the win, see, because I hadn't entered my name in any contest or drawing. But it seems that a month or so back Jared had posted a blog asking for support for a girl in his church who was headed overseas. I was compelled. I gave. And I thought that was the end of it.
Not so, Jared said. He'd selected two names from those who gave to receive the study kit and I was one of those names.
I didn't know anything about the kit, but honestly, I didn't care. I felt immediately so struck by this one thought from the Lord: Hey, listen, daughter. It is not up to you or Twitter or blogs whether I bless you. You just abide in me and be faithful with your heart, your finances, your actions, and I will bless you in the best way I see fit. Don't pride yourself on the lack in your life, find your sole satisfaction IN ME.
Jesus, in a very small way, showed me a very large lesson.
Because I worry about my actions a lot. I play chess with my days, my schedule, my time, my words. I'm always about my Father's business by doing the best job I can at my business. But the truth is, He doesn't need me. He wants me. He desires that I abide in Him, listen to Him, worship Him, but He doesn't need me. He's going about His business whether I'm on my A-game or not. He's going to bless me whether I think I need it or not.
I got the kit in the mail the other day and it was so much more than I even knew it would be. It's called Abide and the tag-line is "Practicing Kingdom Rhythms in a Consumer Culture." And once again I'm struck by the timing and goodness of God.
He knows how to find the perfect gift for the girl who thought she had everything.