Friday, October 17, 2008

A Whole Lot of Thinking . . . But I Want to See Jesus!

To see Jesus is to apprehend Him as the supply of our present needs and believingly lay hold on Him as such (from We Would See Jesus, by Roy and Revel Hession).

Again, today, I will seek Him. I will seek to see Him particularly as the answer to every need that I have today and to believe, with every fiber of my heart and body, that He alone has already met my needs for this day.

One of the absolutely wonderful things about life is that we never know what each day will bring. Certainly, there are consistencies in the day, but there are also - there in the midst of the expected - wild and wonderful surprises and opportunities for us to encounter. Sometimes, though we get so consumed with the expected that we ignore - or completely miss - these opportunites. These opportunities may be in the form of people, thoughts, circumstances.

Something as simple as a short glance down at my laptop screen in the midst of a before-school interaction with my five-year old may cause me to miss a smile that might have given me a day full of pleasant thoughts.

In whatever form, these opportunities are available to help us to grow and mature in our undertanding of who we are and help us to see Jesus more clearly.

I woke up drowsy this morning. Actually, I did not sleep particularly well last night because of pain. It was one of those nights that I could not wait for morning to come.

Thoughts are random this morning.

One of the things that I have been thinking about is how my life - like all of ours - can be divided into different phases.

I think about my high school years and my involvement in community theater, the friends I had, and the foolishness with which I engaged.

I think about my college years, fraternity life, the friends I had, the things I studied, and the foolishness with which I engaged.

I think about my first real job out of college, traveling to various colleges and universities, teaching unenlightened young college students, only a few years younger than I, how to improve their reading and study skills in order to make them more successful in life. I think about the friends I had and the foolishness with which I engaged.

I think about moving down to Atlanta in 1985, after accepting an offer over the phone, to teach science at a private (military-like) college-preparatory school in a fancy suburb. I think about the friends I had and the foolishness with which I engaged. But here, I also think about how this time of my life, like all the others, shaped me in so many ways. It was here that I established patterns for the kind of teacher I would become. It was here that I met my best friend and wife. It was during this time that we got married, wrestled with what we were going to do with our lives, had our first child, began attending church, and - by God's grace - were saved by the grace of God. It was duirng this time that I really first saw Jesus. It was during this time that we, as a couple, entered into friendships that remain strong today.

I think about changing positions in 1991, accepting a teaching position at a warm, friendly, growing school in another suburb of Atlanta - teaching middle school students. I think about the friends that I made (and a particularly strong friendship with a fellow science teacher that has endured both distance and time), the experiences I had, and the foolishness with which I engaged (although less than in earlier stages of my life, by God's grace). I think about the wonderful teachers with whom I served, the caring parents, the bright students. I think about having our daughter during this time. Living in our home on Tranquility Court. Growing in our relationship with the Lord with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Mountain View. Our great times with the Lyerlys and Harpers and other families close to us. I think about how, in the final weeks before our move back, God called me to enter into some kind of full-time ministry for Him.

I think about our decision to leave Atlanta, and the wonderful life we had there, to move to Pennsylvania. How we moved back here without a promise of employment and no real direction, except a conviction that God was leading us back here to raise our children in a small town atmosphere, close to family. I think about how long we tried to figure out how to get back to Atlanta and the life we left behind there, until we eventually realized that the move was the right one (we think) in the long run. I think about how God worked in my heart in those first months after the move, as I explored options for seminary training and sought employment. I think about the hours and hours I spent each day reading the Bible and other good Christian works.

I think about how these eleven years since moving back to Pennsylvania have been filled with change. Change has been the theme of our existence. Job changes. Changes in residence. Changes in ministry.

I think about how God has changed us. I still do foolish things, but -by the grace of God - I am not as foolish as I once was. God has changed me. For my betterment. For His glory.

I think about the opportunities that God has given us to be involved in His ministry - in church planting, in teaching at a Christian school, in serving as an assistant pastor. He has taken me places that I could not have even dreamed of going - and I am filled with expectation of being in a place that is indescribable.

I think about the great people with whom God has allowed us to serve.

I think about how I have learned - and am continuing to learn - to see Jesus as all I need, as the truth, as the way of life, and as the end of all ends. I think about my great responsibilty and privilege to help others see Jesus as well.

Perhaps today I am thinking too much.

What I really need - what I really want - is to see Jesus.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello!
Thank you for your entry today. You have touched our lives in so many ways that you do not even know. Jeremy and I both have fond memories of classes with you. Just wanted to let you know we are praying for you along with people at FBC in Peckville. We are daily encouraged by reading your blog. Your love for Christ and your family is evident in everything you write.
Love and Prayers,
Jeremy and Sara Madden

Can we have your email?
Ours is Jersamadd@verizon.net

Kate said...

Mr. Bond,
Thank you for your inspiring words. I am one of those middle school students to whom you (patiently) taught 6th grade Social Studies. I remember your kindness...your humor...and a flour sack I had to carry around for a week. My husband and I will pray for you and your beautiful family. Kate (Sloan) Carter

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bond,
God blesses me & speaks to my heart every day when I read your blog. We continue to pray for you, Merrily, & the kids every day, throughout the day & night. We love you & thank God for you.
Penny & Mandie
XOXOXO
(Mandie's email is immortalbeauty777@yahoo.com & mine is not as glamorous: pennyschreck@hotmail.com)

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie said...

Hi Mr. Bond!! I am also one of those middle school students- AND we both share very popular Hollywood names! Thank you for sharing your blog with the world and keeping it real and honest. I feel proud to have known you... your courage and strength are overwhelming and inspiring. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jackie Chan

P.S. Apparently I got over excited and pushed publish before I was really ready.

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