When you move your family, home, and work 600 miles you get the feeling that you've been reborn. You get to start anew, afresh, and enjoy skull ting a new story. You build new friendships and new community, you get to see the world from a new perspective. You start to develop a new routine, new habits, a new life.
Since this is where I find myself, I have realized how important it is to have principles and values to carry me through the rebuilding process. We're at a wonderful time to make things new, but if we're not careful we'll let the environment around us create the edges of our foundation. And once the cement has dried, it'll be much more difficult to reset and try again.
Three months of transition had let my values slip from my mind such that I forgot to love the person in front of me. It's not that I broke into some sort of sinning rampage, but simply that I lost focus on why matters. I fell when under very little pressure.
I had 4 back to back meetings in Lafayette and focused in on financial planning versus helping people. In the first meeting I met a guy whose main goal in life is to have enough money now and in retirement to afford to go to strip clubs as often as he wants and fund a lifestyle...not worth repeating. And upon hearing this, I simply processed what he would need to do financially to make that happen. Kind of...actually I was pretty thrown off because I had never met someone with this low of morals or dreams and desires. However, a siren should have been going off in my head that this guy doesn't need financial help, he needs Jesus!
For the next week I kept chewing on this meeting in my brain trying to figure out what to do. I ended up posting my values on the wall and calling him to share how mine don't add up to his and we really shouldn't work together. I still don't know exactly how I should have handled that situation, but I am adamant that my values should play a bigger role.
Which brings us to Sunday.
Kim an I have found a church home here and are excited about what's going on. This Sunday, the pastor spoke about the 5 steps to fall, referencing Peter through each point. It was helpful to me after considering this scenario I just described.
1. Confidence in self instead of God's word (financial planning confidence for me)
2. Spiritual apathy: sleeping instead of praying and keeping watch (I should go into each meeting after praying through it)
3. Acting on my will instead of God's (I was trying to bring on new clients, I hadn't even considered God's will)
4. Following Jesus at a distance (trying to tip toe as a Christian until I get settled here. Afraid of how people will react and then not knowing how I should react)
5. Sitting with the enemy (trying to make a friend out of someone I really should never have as a friend)
I, like most of us, would like to think I have learned this for the last time. History has a way of repeating in a different color and different dance. When that happens, may you and I stick to our values and let those frame our thoughts and out actions.