Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! (4th of July!)

Today has been crazy!!! I was really down this morning and frankly my heart was not on God at all. When we got to Headquarters we found out we were doing the Temperaments test. I was so excited and pumped to take the test. Compared to other times I have taken the test I actually tried to look inside my heart and not answer to get a certain distribution of Choleric and Sanguine while trying to avoid Melancholy. It came out the same as usual but I thought back to earlier in the week when I sent out a survey for the OSP interns and staff to do asking about first impressions and what job they could see me do, and they really did answer with strengths and weaknesses of a Choleric and Sanguine. I think I have always been so scared that I am wrong in my assessment of myself but then I was reminded that while this test is fascinating, we are all unique individuals.

My mentor (the great Mary!) had challenged me earlier in the spring semester to stop labeling people in the temperaments which I found to be a great struggle. It was a struggle because I did label people and I thought it was to help me understand them, but really it was me always affirming myself that I had predicted the right temperament combination and never seeing the person as unique and maybe having some similar traits with me, or even for that matter knowing that I needed to not be so sanguine maybe around a person. It was only to affirm me, so Mary challenged me to stop myself when I put people in those categories. So last night when one of the girls asked me what I thought the entire car was (also a problem with trying not to analyze people, they ask me to do it so nicely!) I realized that I had not even put any of these girls in a box early on like I use to do with so many people. I also found out today that I was totally wrong about most of the combinations. It helped me realize that these temperaments are great to learn and see others around you who struggle with the same weaknesses but it is a fine line to take this connection and 1. Label people and 2. Make excuses for my personality hurting others and being obnoxious. I was on cloud 9 this morning seeing everyone learning about the temperaments, but I soon was humbled because I started being my old self and putting people in boxes. It was great to hear the Spirit remind me that this is a human test, not accurate, not how God views me, but I can use it for His glory. Fine line my friends, fine line.
This isn’t even the best part of my day! Today is the 4th of July and we were going to do an outreach at a 4th of July carnival. Again, God had been doing a lot in my heart today so I was not quite in the mood to try and talk to people about Christ. We all got to Avalon Park and I thought I would not talk with anyone and have meaningful conversation. God has a sense of humor though, because Andrew Johnson asked me to be his partner so we walked a little way around this park/lake/pond and I was so shut off. I was so worried because I do not initiate these conversations well (or rather at all) and Andrew was great at finding two guys sitting together and we moved in the Spirit. The conversation was phenomenal! We used a tool called Perspectives that is a deck of cards that has different viewpoints on God, Human Nature, Spiritual Materials, Jesus, etc. and people just chose what cards they believe to be true. We went up to Julio and Jose and little did we know that we would be conversing with these guys for two and a half hours! Julio was a believer and went to church but Jose was very open-minded about religion, science, everything under the sun! I talked mostly with Jose and it seemed like he had a lot of knowledge on lots of things. I felt the spirit reminding me that arguments never lead to anything other than two stubborn people. So I simply listened to Jose (and he talked easily with little guidance) and I knew he was contradicting himself a lot of the time. I had such a feeling of “God, He is so close, it could all click so easily and I don’t know what to say and what not to say!” We talked about many things from his thoughts on Mary actually being a virgin when she had Jesus to his belief that God does not interact with people but people can chose to believe whatever God is to them because it is for their own good. He had a strong opinion that people need to be good and follow the government law (but he also said that the presidents are all ignorant and don’t care about people). So many contradictions but I knew I could not argue because he has so much knowledge that is not going to make the heart connection. Obviously Julio had talked with Jose about these things and God did not desire that Andrew and I bring Jose to that moment of acceptance but it was so thrilling to actually interact with someone with no real conversion agenda, I truly just wanted to find out what he believed and why he believed it. At the end we asked for prayer requests and while Jose claimed he didn’t believe prayer would actually work he allowed us to pray for his anxiety! I ask you all the lift up both Jose and Julio because God is working in them both and if God uses this time to show Jose His ultimate love and power by eliminating the anxiety in his life; oh goodness wouldn’t that be a beautiful testimony! So I am calling on my prayer warriors to help me life up Jose and also to empower Julio if God desires to use him to bring Jose to God’s truth and love and power and knowledge in Him!
I have never honestly had a spiritual conversation with anyone and it was the best experience ever!!! I have known of others having these types of conversations and being transformed, and now I know why! I want to continue to have these honest conversations, no intention of converting everyone I interact with, but being able to learn more about people around me (or who I meet at a 4th of July carnival!). God has transformed my heart to go and fulfill the Great Commission, and to finally start the journey is so exhilarating that I hope my spirit is not so hesitant to talk with others because this feeling is the best high ever and I don’t ever want to lose it!

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