Saturday, June 4, 2011

Four Square Life

As I'm lying here in bed in my locker - that's what cabins are called here at KAA - lights off, all windows open, fans on full blast trying to fight this unseasonably hot weather, my mind is reeling. I've been thinking a lot about wisdom lately. I'm inviting you on my thought journey here.

Like from proverbs, I'm trying to think how to practically make my ear attentive to wisdom and incline my heart to understanding.

Which leads me to think about Jesus, especially the earlier years of his life that aren't mentioned much. Primarily, I'm speaking about Luke 2:52, which says, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." At Kanakuk and Kids Across America, this is known as the Four Square Life.

Now, I'm pretty practical and logical when it comes to problem-solving. I identify the question, and then I look for the answer and act on it. My question is this: what practical ways can I grow like Jesus?

So, also being a goal-oriented person, I've set some goals for myself for this summer so I can better and more effectively serve the Lord on a daily and consistent basis.

Based on Luke 2:52, rearranged to fit my personal priorities:

1) in favor with God - spending at least 20 minutes of solid, solitary, unobstructed prayer time each day, in addition to time in the Word. For this, I don't want to get too caught up on the amount of time and run the risk of becoming legalistic with it, but I am aiming for quality.

2) in favor with man - intentionally serve one of my fellow staff members, outside of the people in our office, as well as write someone from back home each day. I have to be careful and pray for God to keep me humble in this as well. The purpose of gaining favor with men is to allow God to open doors for his glory through that, and I know myself well enough to know that I'll need to keep a careful eye and a check on my motives in gaining favor in the eyes of others, because it's definitely not about me.

3) in wisdom - memorize the book of James. In my quest to figure out how exactly to incline my heart to wisdom, the Lord has shown me that hiding his word in my heart is a great place to start.

4) in stature - do 10 pull-ups by the end of the summer, be able to swim butterfly well again, and run a 10k (in the Missouri mountain-hills, mind you) in 55 minutes. Working out here is becoming one of my favorite ways to pass the time. This area is so beautiful, and I love to go off and explore new running routes. Also, my office is full of guys who like to work out and are all on board with helping me train to meet my goals. Especially the 10 pull-ups. Garrett, Thomas, Zach, and Billy are all keeping me accountable, giving me pointers and schedules and exercises to do. It's so fun!

So those are my overall summer goals. More than anything, my prayer is that after this time of growing and stretching and challenging, I'll come out on the other side looking more like Jesus.