Friday, July 13, 2012


So many things are pressing, persistent, tenacious, unrelenting.  My need to lower my cholesterol is pressing.  My desire to be done with this degree program is persistent.  The need for my house to be vacuumed, mopped, and sorted out is definitely tenacious; apparently, not strong enough for me to actually DO anything about it, but tenacious, none-the-less. My husband, Paul just obtained a building permit to rebuild the deck on the side of our house.  He informs me that he has 6 months to start this project and 2 years to finish it.  I am hoping this is more of a pressing issue for him then what that time frame suggests.

The pressing issue in my life, right now, revolves around five questions prepared by members of my committee and the 21 days I have to finish this comprehensive exam.  I must be persistent, tenacious and unrelenting in my studies in order to finish each paper in the 4.2 days allotted. Needless to say, I am a bit stressed; and tired; and relenting. 

When I finish a section of a paper and allow myself a break to listen to some music and clear my head for the next chunk of information I need to organize and articulate (complete with references in APA format because graduate students are not allowed to think without references.) I enjoy a song sung by Isa Couvertier called Pressing into YouHere are a few of the lyrics:

I’m pressing into You
I’m pressing into You, now
Against You have I sinned
And done evil in Your sight

I’m pressing into You
I’m pressing into You, now
For with You there is forgiveness
For with You there is redemption
For with You there is healing

I love the oddness of these lyrics. Why would we go to Jesus when we have disappointed Him?   In my relationships with people I have sinned against, people I have hurt, or neglected, my last impulse is to seek them out.  I prefer to avoid them at all costs as seeing them reminds me of my sin, of my imperfection, of my failure.   We do not willingly face our faults. Yet, when we have failed God, the remedy is to face that failure and to face Him. Or perhaps to press our face into our Savior as a repentant child hides her face in the shoulder of a parent. 

The child does this because she knows she is forgiven and loved.

I have been writing about this very thing.  One of my questions asks me to explain and support five things I feel are most important in a school environment to promote effective learning.  One of the things I have identified is the willingness to face mistakes and the ability to learn from them.  This is an important motivation for short term learning, but a crucial one for long term learning.  We cannot grow if we cannot face and learn from mistakes. The way we face mistakes determines if we will try new things, or if we will continue to commit the same errors and fool ourselves into thinking we are doing well.  The way we react to failure determines if we will achieve or stay stagnant in our incompetence. While we certainly understand we cannot achieve the perfection we desire, it makes no sense to wallow in mediocrity and error.  Sin boldly and pray for forgiveness. 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.   
Psalm 103: 1-5 (ESV)

When God talks about forgiveness, He often puts it in the same context as healing. He teaches us that to hide in the garden after sin is not what brings healing.  We need to come to Him, to press into Him, to be forgiven and healed. 

For me, this is an important lesson in this time of anxiety.  I know that I cannot answer these questions on my own.  I cannot pass this test by virtue of my own abilities. On my own, I stagnate and fail.

As I type, I make mistakes and spell check can correct only so many of them. 

As I answer the exam questions I can imagine the corrections offered by my committee members.

As I live, I sin, but, I press into Him and find redemption; and healing; and answers. 

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