I've always felt pretty comfortable with my stewardship of money, in the Biblical sense. I tithe 10% of what comes in and I give beyond that when I feel led to. My trust in God (as it relates to my bank account) had only been tested with my experiences with money so far. Once the "textbook buying" and "study abroad planning" part of my life came about (this past week), God decided to throw me a curve ball and say "Hey! Trust me on this!"
Over the past week I have been thinking about abroad plans and money and the large amount of money I spent on textbooks this semester. With these I considered quite a few other things that would cost money in my collegiate future. The stress started to build a little. Then when I tried to return $200 worth of textbooks that I didn't need or could get cheaper, I was told that I was a day too late to do so. It was an emotional left hook that God purposely let me take, for a good reason.
I proceeded with a passive-aggressive bike ride back to my dorm (thank God I'm not a more active grump, or I would've put tire tracks over more than a few dawdling tourists). I got to my desk, sat down and tried to start releasing the grating frustration and mild panic inside my head. I started to pray. I talked to God (for my sake, as always) about how money is a material thing that we don't need to worry about... God will provide. $200 can't bring me closer to You, I said.
Unless you lose it and learn to trust Me, God replied.
At this point I smiled and laughed. Not laughed because of the apparent humor in the situation. Laughed because my heart had just been filled with Love to the point of emotionally bursting; and when that happens, I laugh and smile hugely. My pure joy in knowing I'm infinitely cared for and loved shows that way.
The second lesson I learned this week has to do with trusting God too, though in a much different way. In more of a "everyone is going to think I'm crazy and I can't see yet what He's going to use this for" way. Every February there is a dance called the Waltz Ball, sponsored by the Sinfonicron Light Opera Company and its parent organizations. I went last year and had the most fun I've ever had at a dance, which made me double-check myself when I felt God telling me not to go this year. I got a strong gut feeling that I've gotten only a few times before... it was a very clear message. I prayed several times over the course of a day or two and came to the conclusion that God was telling me just what I had suspected: don't go to Waltz Ball. God was saying "Trust me on this one."
That part is simple, by itself. In the context of college life, though, it's going to look funny to people. If someone doesn't believe in my God, then it will look like I'm crazy. The clincher is that I had recently made plans to attend with a lady-friend of mine, to whom I had to explain what happened. I'm sure God planned it like that; it took a lot more trusting in God to have to go to a specific person and explain. If I hadn't had a date yet it would have been simple. Not knowing what God is using it for and knowing what it looks like to non-believers, I called my friend and told her what had happened... I thank God that people at W&M are generally very open-minded.
That's what I've learned this week... how to trust God completely with my material things, and how to trust Him completely with my worldly disposition. Both are arbitrary in the end, so why not use them for God's glory while I'm here on Earth?
I think my post title sounds like a bad Jane Austen imitation.