The Lord really does work in mysterious ways... or maybe He gets me work in mysterious ways, or both. Yes, that's it. Both.
I've been applying for telecommuting writing jobs like crazy lately. Last Thursday, one of the companies I applied to sent me an email stating they wanted to offer me a job, but not until I completed a fresh writing sample for them in the form of an essay (this was after they read my resume, writing samples and links to my online work).
Seemed a little odd to me, but I kept reading anyway.
It then went on to say that as soon as I had 24 hours to devote to completing this assignment, I was to email them back and have them send it over, at which time the clock would start ticking.
So, knowing I couldn't address this Friday, Saturday or Sunday, I fired off an email about 5am on Monday, knowing I'd have the ability to get it done yesterday. Well, by 8pm last night, I still hadn't heard back from them and began wondering what happened. I finally decided they didn't have their act together and if/when they finally responded I would just delete the email. After all, another writing job fell into my lap yesterday and it seems to be rather profitable.
However, for some strange reason, I just felt that even if they were late, even if I did have other work coming in, I'd still do the right thing and give it my best effort should this belated email ever download to my inbox.
Fast forward to this afternoon at 2:45 and what shows up, but that very email. I grimaced a bit, then opened it and began reading. In the first few sentences they clarified that I had 24 hours to complete this email, which meant I had to have it back to them no later than close of business TODAY. Seems they sent it yesterday and somehow or other it didn't get delivered until this afternoon.
Once again the urge to delete it popped into my mind, especially since even more work came my way today. However, that same feeling I had last night came to mind and I continued to read the email. Once I hit the essay subject, I smiled, looked up and said "Yes, God, I'm listening."
So, below is the essay I sent them, less than an hour and a half after getting their late email. The top portion, in italics, is the essay subject they requested I write about.
"What does Paul mean, when he says. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a Child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part, then I will know fully, even as I have been fully know. (I Corinthians 13:11_12)
Before we can understand what Paul meant in his first letter to the Church at Corinth, we must first comprehend the context in which the letter was written. Paul penned this missive in the year 55 A.D. with the idea in mind to address the immoral conduct of the Christians in Corinth. At the time, Paul was teaching in Ephesus, some three years after planting the church in Corinth. While there, believers from Corinth brought news to Paul of lawsuits and factions between the members of the aforementioned church. A second group of believers also came to Paul, proffering questions about marriage, public worship and other queries regarding a Christian lifestyle.
Troubled greatly by these reports and questions, Paul sat down and drafted the first of two letters to the church in Corinth, with a heart to address these troubling concerns and shepherd these souls back to a more God honoring lifestyle. The worldly ways of Corinth were corrupting these new believers, drawing them away from their chosen path and as such, it was up to Paul to guide them back to the straight and narrow.
To that end, Paul filled his first letter with persuasive language in the hopes of putting their goals back into focus for the people of Corinth. God had bestowed upon Paul the power to shepherd this flock, and such a responsibility wasn’t something Paul took lightly.
In the aforementioned piece of scripture, Paul is conveying the idea that Christians who truly embrace the Lord have matured beyond the ways of the world, and while they may not completely understand the life God calls us to, we must remain faithful that He understands and will guide us until the day we transcend this life and rise up into Heaven. Full understanding and revelation will be ours at that time, as all will be revealed.
Just as it was in 55 A.D., fixing your mind and heart on Jesus is extremely difficult in our culture. With immoral advertising on television, radio, the internet, on billboards and in nearly all retail outlets, immoral entertainment in the form of Television shows, music and games, as well as unethical behavior from non-believers permeating modern culture, it becomes very easy to slide back into worldly ways once you’ve removed yourself from them and embraced the Lord.
But, we must all realize that just as children learn the error of childish ways when they mature, we must also evolve intellectually and spiritually, trusting in our Father to guide us, knowing in our hearts that while the vision in the mirror may not be as clear as we’d wish it, that vision is what He wants us to focus upon from this day to the last.
Needless to say, I'm extremely curious to see where this goes from here.