words :: books :: ideas

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Learnings from an Essay: Hope and Patience

Currently, I'm learning hope and patience from my essay. If I win this competition, I'll get a trip to Washington D.C.--a place where I would very much like to go.
"And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You." said David in Psalm 39:7. I want to make this my own prayer. This contest and this trip are not essential. Yes, it's hard for me to write that and believe it. I do have a great desire to go. But my hope must be in God.
No one whose hope is in You
Will ever be put to shame
That's why my eyes are on You
Oh, Lord

Whether I go on this trip or not, God is ultimately in control. Whatever He chooses is best. "For in You, O LORD, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God." -Psalm 38:15
I probably won't know how I placed until May. This is a good opportunity to practice waiting patiently. "Steal the Bacon" has always been one of my least favorite games because of the suspenseful waiting. I never know if my number will be called next.
In verses like 1 Timothy 6:11 and Galatians 5:22-23 patience is counted among many other virtues, so it must be considered pretty highly. Psalm 37:7-8 says, "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him...Do not fret--it only causes harm."
I echo the final words in The Count of Monte Cristo: "Wait and hope!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Learnings from an Essay: Do Hard Things

On October 26, I downloaded the application for an essay contest. For the past several months I've been researching, writing, editing, and starting over again.
I really began in earnest last month. On Wednesday, I had it bound and mailed to Virginia.
Throughout the whole process, I've been learning. The overlying theme of what I've learned: Do Hard Things.
To be honest, writing this essay was a bit rough. I like writing, but it doesn't always come easy.
My friends over at The Rebelution gave me a challenge. They told me to "Do Hard Things." I cannot recount the numerous times I repeated those three words to myself. I put quite a few hours into my essay, many of which I'd have rather spent reading a book. But then I'd remember what they'd said and--gritting my teeth--get back to work.
The Rebelution also encouraged me to settle for okay, but to do my best. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might..."
I'm sure that if I read it again, I'd find more things to fix in my paper [I haven't read it since Wednesday for that precise reason], but I'm satisfied that I worked hard and sent my essay on time.