I love studying personality types! Love it! I am a:
- Enneagram Type 7, and
- My Top 5 Strengths according to Gallup are: Learner, Input, Restorative, Responsibility, and Individualization.
I’ve studied these enough to know that one of my weaknesses is when life gets to be too difficult or too mundane, I escape. My escape of choice could be a movie by myself. It could be going out with friends for some “me time.” It could even be getting lost in my writing. God is bringing balance into my life. It’s a lesson I have a difficult time learning. But I don’t like to keep going around the same mountain again and again. So, hopefully, I will learn it now!
One day while I was at Starbucks, inspiration met me as I attempted to write a blog post. Everything was flowing, and it didn’t seem like work to get the message from my heart to the keyboard. That’s when God said, “Go do your dishes!”
ME: “What? God, I’m writing! You know, that thing You’ve called me to do!?”
GOD: “Go do your dishes!”
God has recently reignited a passion in me to write that has been dormant for a season–a long season. It’s not unusual for me to spend hours on writing a blog post to the neglect of other things like laundry and dishes. I feel inspired when I write. I feel like God meets me here in the words He gives me.
For the love…why on earth would He tell me to go do my dishes!?
It’s because of OBEDIENCE! How could doing my dishes — a mundane, everyday chore help me in my writing? It seems like it would be easier to obey if He was telling me to do something related to my writing. Like:
“Julie, go to Starbucks, take out your laptop and write! I will tell you what to write!”
“Julie, submit this article to this magazine! They will publish it!”
“Take your Bible and study this passage. It pertains to what you are writing. I will give you insight”
But that’s not how obedience works–at least in my life in this season. Obedience is hearing His voice and obeying whether I get to see the end result of that choice to obey or not.
Back in January, I felt the Lord tell me my word for 2017 was “OBEDIENCE!” I waited for a more profound word — perhaps something a little more edgy and exciting. But, nope, my word for 2017 is obedience.
My choices to obey are not always going to be tied to what God has promised me. My choices to obey are simply that–an expression of my unhindered heart toward Him and my desire to please Him.
I am reminded of Abraham. He received the promise of a child in Isaac. But one day, God asked Abraham to go on a journey and to sacrifice Isaac. I try to read the Bible like I’ve never heard these stories before. I can’t even imagine. But God wanted a heart of obedience.
As you are pursuing something you feel the Lord has called you to, remember this: Our choices to obey may not seem to make sense to us. They might not even seem related to what He’s promised, but He wants to know if we will obey regardless of what we think it will accomplish.
Doing your dishes may very well be what opens the door to the next step in the promise He’s given you.
From now on, I will endeavor to do my dishes, clean my toilets and attack the mountain of laundry waiting for me because He wants balance in my life. More importantly, He wants a heart of obedience. I am more pliable when I am obeying Him. And He is able to open doors for me that might not otherwise open if I don’t obey.
So I have to trust that my obedience (even doing dishes) has more to do with my success as a writer and/or speaker than learning all the ins and outs of the current publishing landscape.
I will leave you with this quote by Havilah Cunnington: