Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Enrolled

*Acknowledgement: the following idea is not my own. A friend sent me an email with this idea.

I guess I enrolled. I didn't realize what I was doing. There was no stated tuition, so I wasn't sure what the total cost would end up being. I purchased my books and showed up to most of the classes, only sleeping through a few. I have no idea when I will graduate, I guess that depends on my teacher.

I am officially a student at Jesus University.

I now have completed my freshman year. I messed up so many times this year. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. But, I sure had a merciful teacher. So often he would say, "Not quite, Traci. Why don't you try that again and then I will give you a grade?" Sometimes, my teacher would remind me to do what He would do. Often times, I would fall at His feet, crying, saying, "This course is too hard for me! Please, can I just flunk out and pretend I never enrolled in Jesus University?"

My teacher would ask, "Do you really want to do that? If you would just trust me, I will give you all you need."

Jesus University is no slouch school, no party school. It is the toughest education I have had. At Jesus University I have been asked to take up my cross daily and follow my teacher. Taking up that cross....not an easy thing to do. Yet, my teacher would look at me and say, "Take my yoke upon your shoulder. Let Me do the work with you. But I want you to do MY work...not yours."

I stared blankly at my teacher and said, "Your work is too much. Life was so easy before I enrolled! I mean, all I worried about was if my kids had clean clothes and got to school on time. Since I have enrolled, you have asked me to give up so much. I am tired of giving things up! I am bitter watching the rest of the world just stroll through the park! Can I just get an associates degree and get these lessons over with?"

My teacher laughed. "Oh Traci. I never promised that enrolling into Jesus University would be easy. I spelled it all out for you in the manual. The path is narrow, the road is hard. But, it is so much easier when you are looking at me and now everyone else. Keep your eyes focused on me. I won't lead you astray, but I will lead you through a path that will change you. And change...well...you need to change. You need to grow. I want you to look and act more like me."

I scoff, "That's impossible! There is no way I can be like you, teacher!"

Teacher looks with a face full of love and says, "Yes, you can learn to be more like me. It just takes work. Don't be afraid of the work. And remember, you volunteered to come to Jesus University. I never forced you to come. Go back to the manual and see how many times I have told you I love you and how my love is sufficient for you."

So, I searched my messy kitchen for my manual. Where did I put it? I haven't had time for a few weeks to look at it. I know it is here somewhere! Slowly, I open the pages...this is a HUGE university manual...and look for those words of love and encouragement. Once I start looking, they jump off the page!

I am overwhelmed with the messages of love I read.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful....(Ps. 25:10)
The earth is full of His unfailing love....(Ps. 33:5)
Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens...Continue your love to those who know you...(Ps. 36:5 and 10)
May your love and your truth always protect me...(Ps. 40:11)

And then this verse: "It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them." (Ps. 44:3)

If I want to graduate, it is because my teacher has done a work in me....because he loves me.

My major in Jesus University has suddenly been decided: it not religious studies or theology, it is not criminal justice, it is not doctrinal teaching.

No, my major is LOVE.

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