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There is another dynamic at work in the process of growth. In relationships, “quality time only comes out of a quantity of time.” Not the easiest truth for soon to be lawyers, but a genuine fact of people is that you cannot sit down for five minutes and expect those isolated minutes to yield a quality relationship. Spending an evening with a friend may result in five quality minutes. Relationships are built through a quantity of time, provided you capture and explore the quality moments that get sprinkled in.
So where does this leave us? Growth takes effort and relationships take time. Time and Focus are our two most precious assets in law school; mainly because they feel so scarce and so over taxed. Time and Focus are easy when hanging out with friends you enjoy and while engaged in activities you love, but are hard to muster on a daily basis.
Consider your time and focus as they relate to your spiritual life. Are you contributing the inputs required and are you getting the results. If so- wonderful!! If not- ask God for further desire. As was stated in part I, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
Alternative example: At the gym, getting past a lifting plateau is tough. You have to push the weight to what feels like an exponentially greater degree to break into a new level. Lifting the same weight you did last week will not get you through the plateau, there must be greater focus to change the status quo.
time and focus (part I)
Internationally acclaimed violinist Midori still practices 5-6 hours each day and is quoted saying, “It is not really the hours, but the quality of the work that needs to be done. I see with students, that they play and they call it practice, but they are not listening and not watching. If you have your textbook open, it doesn’t mean you are studying.” Many of us law students understand this truth. Sitting at your computer with open books does not increase your understanding- purposeful examination of the concepts and cases are what drive valuable studying. Our struggle is often to find the will to push, the will to want to learn one more subject, the will to look-up what we do not understand rather than gloss over the details.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
I sometimes pray that God will give me the desire to want to grow deeper with him. The desire to desire. Growth takes effort and passive existence will not do. Thankfully for me, God is our resource for the will as well as the effort. “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
to be continued . . .
“After David has served his generation according to the will of God he went to rest with his fathers.”
A good friend of mine put this quote on his Facebook status the other day. It apprehended me as I read it, probably because we have been talking so much lately about defining ourselves by who God has created us to ‘be’ instead of what we ‘do.’ I thought about my ‘being’ sentence, and how I finished it my stating that I am a man after God’s own heart. David was too – of course, that’s where that line comes from!
As we’ve discussed, ‘doing’ should flow from our ‘being,’ and not vice versa. This quote struck me because it says exactly what ‘doing’ flowed from David’s ‘being’ a man after God’s own heart: He served his generation, according to the will of God.
That’s what I want to do too! When I die, I want it to be said of me: He served his generation, according to the will of God. We each have that chance gentlemen! To serve our generation! And to do so according to the will of God.
Let’s do it!
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty. Isaiah 7:5
As I drove to the gym before work I kept listening to Isaiah chapter 6 over and over again. On my mind was verse 5. For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. And as it turns out, my IPOD spews out music that comes from unclean lips.
Eminem’s lyrical talent is undeniable, his underlying beats downright brilliant. But the real slim shady who spits such raw, crass, “real,” lyrics brings two powerful thoughts to my mind.
1. People relate to those who don’t blow sunshine up their derrière but relate and enter into the common suffering.
2. More pointedly, that we live among a people of unclean lips. That we need anointing, so we might see the King.