Yesterday was a bit of a spiritual jump start for me; the last few weeks have been a blur--to augment income and help support the ministry, I teach swimming lesson instructors and certify lifeguards for about one month and a half each year. This means that my days start VERY early in the morning as I drive up to a few hours away to teach classes, then I come back to Hays and teach Aikido, see people at The Guild, and have ministry meetings and small groups etc.. and then repeat. That schedule ended last week, with my last WSI class.
This week started out normally, which means that it felt very slow to me compared to what I have been experiencing. I was catching up on things back here Monday and, somewhat, on Tuesday. All the while I was looking forward to Wednesday, my first Sabbath day in some time. It was very exciting.
The day started with a haircut, and then I met a missionary friend of mine who speaks little English for breakfast. We had a very engaging talk that covered many subjects, but which centered on 'how does a person know if they are truly a Christian, when believers and non-believers alike will stumble and fall'. It would take a long time to relate, but it ultimately made me relive experiences in my faith walk, journey down mental pathways that I hadn't used in a long time, and it stretched my brain a bit since it was all in Spanish. Several times I understood what my friend meant, even if I didn't understand the exact words. We had to use both languages to clarify that culpability for sin comes from the Holy Spirit but guilt, that which separates, does not. We also had to clarify other points--that discipline from God shows He loves us and that we are walking with Him, that people who profess to be believers but who don't live it in any way (and who really are not disciples or followers of Christ that only have the same intellectual assent to Him that the demons have) are worse off than those who profess not to be believers but live godlier lives, and that God loves all and hollers at all of us to turn sin and separation--even when we choose not to hear. It ranged into many other subjects, but ultimately it had the effect of getting my mind back on some good, concrete Christian discussions.
After that, I had a nice lunch meeting with another friend, a chiropractic appointment, and then a coffee meeting with yet someone else. That coffee meeting was also very spiritual, and I greatly enjoyed my time in it. I could feel the Holy Spirit moving in this person's life, and I felt Him moving in my own during parts of our discussion. It came back to some similar subjects from the morning, but ranged into many other subjects, as well. All in all, it had the impact of further centering my mind and spirit in Godly things. That evening I spent with my wife and then with some friends on the Internet, but today I feel the results. My focus is much greater towards Godly things; I am more open to that which He may have for me in my day--even if it disrupts other work that 'needs' to get done. It left me available to sit for 20 minutes with an Aikido scholarship student this morning after our meeting to help her begin the path of doing important things now instead of when she's got enough other things out of the way to get to them. We also had some very important, and even spiritual discussions about how she perceives herself and her higher worth and value. This was also a Godly time.
Overall, I sincerely thank God for the last two days--I feel more spiritually centered than I have in a long time. I also thank God for the last three nights of actually getting the amount of sleep my body needs. It's a good start to a good week! (there's still Aikido kids' class, adult class, meditation, and a small group Bible study to look forward to tonight!)