This is one of the happiest days of my life. It’s such a happy day that I may have never even got out of my pj’s and may have jump started happy hour by a couple hours! Because I quite my miserable job and flew out of my bird cage.
This happy day actually started to unfold last week…with an exceptionally terrible day. I had to drive all the way out to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Tuesday, and yes the coast is nice, but not when its 9.5 hours away and you are going to cold call on accounts that don’t even want to see you! So a typical day in the sales life of Emily Knutson, began by feeling like an unwanted, pesky, money beggar, and ended with a typical night of driving around looking for campgrounds because I can’t afford hotel rooms. The evening was shaping up to be ok when I found a nice National Park campground on the beach, and as I setting up my tent and I was looking forward to an evening walk on the beach, with a nice lonely glass of vino. Then a campground host drove up and started yelling at me to get out! “What in the world are you doing”, he said…”can’t you see that we are closed??” (I couldn’t see that because there were tons of other campers there), but apparently the government had shut down and there was no room in the inn for me!
So I packed up camp and started inland looking for other campgrounds. Four hours later I was still driving around going from one sketchy, overcrowded parking lot campground to another. Bone tired on the verge of tears, I noticed a truck that had seemed to be following me for about 15 minutes….it was extra creepy because none of these little coast towns had any street lights. And when I pulled over at this creepy little one night stand hotel to ask the rates, the big black truck pulled in right behind meNext thing I knew was this big scary guy was yelling at me, asking me all sort of weird questions…like where had I been, where did I come from. Apparently at one of the parking lots I had turned around in had drove on part of his lawn…and he thought it necessary to come after me and threaten to beat me up! This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Cold, tired, scared, with nowhere to sleep and feel safe, I was a miserable puddle of tears. All in the name of hoping to get twenty buck commission off selling some plastic sandals. I finally found a hotel room that I could afford two hours away…and when I woke up still exhausted and very depressed the next day, I decided to take a personal day and spend it on the beach with Jesus.
I had just listened to a great sermon on false prophets, and was reminded of how God speaks really only through scripture. So armed with my bible and a beach towel I headed to the beach, desperate for some sort of guidance in my life. The next six hours were spent just reading the Bible and crying out to God for direction. I started by reading some comfort verses in Psalms…”How Majestic is your name” (looking out at a vast blue ocean…it’s pretty apparent!) and what is man (who am I) that you are mindful of him?” I felt so humbled as scripture after scripture washed over me like waves of comfort, “the Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” “And the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.” BUT the verse that really struck me and held my attention (I didn’t know why!) Was Matthew 18:3-5 “Unless you turn and become like a little child you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Whoever humbles himself like a little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever receives one such child receives Me.”
I started to think…what does it mean to become humbled like a little child? Well…children are generally pretty happy, joyful, carefree little beings. Children have a zest for life that seems to slowly fade as we become adults. Little children are just not stressed about the future, they don’t worry about money and having their daily needs provided for….they trust their parents will take care of all their needs. Little children have dreams about what they want to be when they grow up, but they don’t have need to completely plan their lives and steer their own ship…most little kids do what their parents have planned for t
As sure as I know my name is Emily, I’ve have always know I will go into the mission field. However I have always thought it would work out by having a job that makes tons of money (Which is the primary reason I took this job…step 1 of my serve the Lord plan) and then I will give it all up and become a third world missionary. The making money part of this plan mostly involved getting out of debt and building a comfortable nest egg so I wouldn’t have to be worried about money while embarking on my mission adventure, but while getting out of debt and saving money are good things, when “good things” become “god things” and consume you….they become idols.
Sitting on the beach thinking about what it means to have a child like faith, these thoughts came at me a million miles an hour, I realized that even in what I thought was an act of obedience in taking this job, I am telling God what the plan is…and I’m basically trying to give the God of the Universe who owns everything a money sacrifice! When did Jesus ever say….go make a bunch of money….then take up your cross and follow Me? And if little children enter the Kingdom of Heaven easily, who has a really hard time getting in? The Rich man…ya know the dude who can’t get through the eye of a needle! So the master plan that I have laid out for the Lord now looks like….why don’t you further away from the Kingdom of Heaven for a few years and they humble yourself like a little child and come back?
I suddenly felt like a 2000 lb burden had just been lifted from my heart and I started laughing as a I realized how incredibly stupid my plans must seem to an All Knowing, Omnipotent, All Powerful, and Eternal God! I am literally beating my head against a wall with this job, lonely, miserable and crying myself to sleep way too often…all to carry out my plans for God. Some quote from some devotional said…”write your plans with pencil, but know that God has the eraser.” Well I don’t do this….I write my plans with a Sharpie and tell God to approve them. As I was pondering what this all means…I was watching these crazy white birds that were dive bombing at about 70mph for fish, and then beyond the dive bombing birds I saw whales! There were about 12 of them just bobbing in and out of the water and swimming down the coast like whales do…and I realized that the whales and the birds just do what they were created to do….God made those crazy birds to dive bomb, and God created the whales to migrate and just keep swimming along like whales do…whales don’t worry, whales just are exactly what they were created to be!
But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this? Job 12:7-9
So how do I become a whale or a little child? Well it started by giving up that day….by saying God you are my Daddy…you hold my heart in the palm of your hands, you plan my life, and I trust you to provide for my needs. I surrender my Sharpie…help me just be a like the whales and do what I was created to do because that will glorify you!