Hope this is not to silly of a question for you Mike (or anyone) but at what point in your walk did you begin to get a good balance/understanding of the changes happening inside you and the information you had learned??
I am a new follower of Christ and at times I am so overwhelmed with all the information I have in my head/heart and how to apply it. I am a very serious person and probably need to be still and patient during this transformation in my life but I can not help but want to learn as much as I can and as quickly as I can! Not good right??
Is this normal behavior (if so) any advice on how to take this new walk one day at a time without confusing yourself more than you have to along the way?
Post by Mike Miller on Oct 1, 2007 14:15:52 GMT -5
It's not a silly question, Tiffany. First, let me say that what you are experiencing is normal--and, I might add, exciting for those of us who know you. You are right that you need to be patient, but that doesn't mean you should not be eager. Your desire to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can is a good thing. As with anything new, however, you will need to find the pace at which you can absorb the information. It's a process, and you're new at it. There will be confusing times, but that's ok, too. Sometimes you will need to take a break to meditate on something new you are learning until you are comfortable--either with your understanding or your lack of understanding. You can never know it all, and you certainly can't know it all right now. If you were not hungry for information, that would be a problem.
As for when I began to "get a good balance/understanding" of what was going on on, I would say that there was not a final place that I came to. I have had periods where I would get comfortable, then be challenged again. That still happens. I don't think we are ever to be satisfied completely with where we are. We should always want to grow, and with the inherent mystery that exists in Christ, there will always be things too deep for our minds to grasp.
As you mentioned, you need to take it a day at a time--and you need to enjoy the journey. Don't get so focused on what you don't know that you fail to enjoy what you have already learned and are learning every day. And don't ever stop asking questions. When you think you have it all figured out--or when you stop caring--that is when you have a problem. Hang in there, Tiffany. You are on the right track.
Oh, and remember, Paul had a period of seclusion and training. The disciples spent over three years with Jesus before being entrusted with the Holy Spirit and the mission ahead of them. Peter remarked that Paul's writing was at times hard to understand (2 Peter 3:15-16). Timothy had to spend time under Paul's tutelage. And John Mark actually turned around and went home on the first missionary journey (he later penned the Gospel of Mark). It's a process, and you will never get it down perfectly. At times you will feel overwhelmed, but keep it up. You are right where you need to be.
In my experience, I have often found that the more I study, the more overwhelmed I feel. There are issues, such as the one being discussed in The Elect thread, that literaly blow my mind. But that's a good thing. We serve an infinite God and we cannot wrap our finite minds around His bigness. Sometimes I just want to scream, "I wish this were easier to understand!" But really I don't. I wouldn't want to serve a god I could completely comprehend. I've heard some people argue that since we can't fully understand something (ie the responsibilty of man v. the sovereignty of God.) we shouldn't bother studying it. That's certainly the wrong attitude. There have been times when I've been overwhelmed at the enormity of the task. When I went to West Africa this summer, it was overwhelming to learn that a handful of individuals had been tasked with taking the gospel to an entire people group. I had known that intellectually, but it didn't hit me until I saw it in person. But those are times when we have no choice but to trust completely in God for success. That's a scary place to be. That's the best place to be. There have also been times, and I almost never see these coming, when I have been overwhelmed by a certain aspect of God's character: His grace, providence, forgiveness, greatness, etc. This most often happens to me during times of worship. We are finite people serving and infinte God. If we aren't periodically overwhelmed, we aren't where we need to be.
Learning is good, period. You heard it here and can quote me on it.
I agree with Mike that when one feels like they don't need to learn any more or are comfortable beign where they are then they are in a bad place. We can't ever know all there is to know (that's something only God can do), so there is always room for more (this is humbling, no?).
Something interesting, though, is how God has made each of us unique. Some people have a harder time with certain issues than do others, thus showing that some peoples' strengths are others' weaknesses. If you think you are having a hard time understanding a certain issue, don't worry about it too much or think you're stupid. Just keep pressing on, reading, questioning and hopefully one day you'll feel comfortable with the issue(s).