With my roommates we've had more spontaneous and earnest conversations than ever before. Often at night we are all doing separate homework assignments or watching movies or something (which is great!) but recently there have been hours where the four of us have done nothing else but sit down and discuss what's going on in our lives. Some of us are dealing with very real issues which isn't' always pleasant, but at the very least God has used these unfortunate circumstances to draw us closer together.
I've also begun trying to use my lunches more effectively. Now, I am weekly getting lunch with another single guy. He lives off campus and on Tuesdays he has morning and afternoon classes so it's been a real blessing for us to grab that time. This hasn't been the deepest most heart opening discipleship time, but it has been a delight for both of us. It's good for us to talk about the normal stuff happening in our lives and not just necessarily if something big comes up. We were able to talk about what it was like giving our sermons and things like that. I'm excited to see that relationship grow!
At the same time, where I had resolved to be involved and committed at a church, a wrench has been thrown into that plan. For all of 2010 I haven't been attending the church I had planned on settling at. Instead I've been going to a further away church that I have also been applying for an intern position at. They are hiring interns to work with their youth there. One of my friends, a counseling student, had been attending there for over a year and she has been volunteering with the youth and now is their first female intern. The church also wanted to hire a male to disciple the guys, lead the group, and occasionally be able to preach as well. This would be a paid position that would put me on a team where I would be discipled regularly, could disciple others, and be weekly considering how to be communicating God's truth to people who need it. It would be such a good position for me that I would likely continue in for the next few years. I've been interviewed and they've called my references and such. Of the four males that applied they've narrowed it down to two and on next Sunday I will give a Sunday school lesson and lead the fellowship meeting at night so they can evaluate the remaining two candidates.
So, I've been visiting there and mildly getting involved, but it has been difficult. I'm not overly optimistic about getting the position and it feels like I may have just spent two months NOT being involved in a church, NOT being in a community group, NOT being discipled, NOT forming lasting relationships, etc. It's been somewhat wearisome and seemingly counterproductive to my semester goals. This week I'm preparing my lessons for next Sunday and I covet your prayers that this job might be part of God's plan for my life.
However, one of the best lessons I've learned is that I still am tempted to look at the circumstances of my life to judge my growth instead of heart change. So when my roommates and I happen to be talking more then I get confident that things are going well and I don't think I need to work harder. When I'm not involved in a community group at a church I think that I'm just backsliding and not doing what I ought. God is teaching me to be more concerned with heart growth than circumstantial evidences either way. I can look at the improvements and rejoice - I think I'm heading in a great direction!