Looking back over the past four years, I was surprised to consider all the different places I've lived: a nice studio apt, a double which I shared with a friend from grad school, an alley house, and a row house. I was also surprised to consider all the different things I've explored and/or pursued: ham radio contests, public service at half marathons, int'l morse code proficiency, braille certification, Orientation and Mobility training, sailing classes, volunteer work aboard a schooner, maritime records (crew lists and ship lists) transcription, maritime research with the help of a researcher in London as well as local maritime history, genealogy research, mandolin, chanty sings, research on J J Pettigrew, historical reenacting, Spanish, Russian, ice hockey fandom, early English Bible translations, American morse code, silent film (just one, really), Scripture memorization, first aid certification, emergency preparedness, Near Eastern history, Akkadian, Hebrew, Jewish liturgy and tradition, Bible teaching, books on the atonement provided in Christ, books on evangelism and missions, cooking, running, jewelry, chemistry, biochemistry, nursing...whew, my mind is spinning. All these interests are harmless (as far as I can tell) but when I pursue them with all of my energy, attention, and devotion, then I wind up crashing forward in a dangerous manner.
Psalm 14 says, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Sometimes in the course of examining a subject, I lose sight of the Maker and my heart becomes foolish. If I lose sight of God, the result is that I become godless. That verse comes back to mind: "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!" Psalm 137:5
I want to go forward mindfully, carefully. And I want God to be at the center of it all.
So, going forward, which of these interests do I keep in mind? Which do I abandon completely? Well, it's interesting to see that a lot of these hobbies were subjects that fascinated me as a child. (For example, I remember a history class where we learned about Mesopotamia and I was totally engrossed. Also, I read about Helen Keller as a child and was interested in her experiences as a Blind person.) Thinking back on the classes and projects that interested me, I think I've covered most of them during the past 4 years. Gettysburg and maritime research was my obsession in 8th grade, ham radio in college, etc. A number of my interests have proven to lead to "dead ends" in that they can't really be pursed as a hobby outside of full-time profession. That leaves the rest.
May the Lord help me to pursue these interests in a God-honoring way, always mindful of Him no matter what I am doing. And may He also help me to rest, relax, and enjoy these hobbies as a means to refresh my soul during the hours between sleep and work.
Interest 1: Ancient history - Ah, those clay tablets :) May the Lord use this interest to deepen my knowledge of the Bible and better equip me to teach the Bible to others.
Interest 2: Recent history - When you sail on them packet ships...! May the Lord use this interest to deepen my understanding of and care for others.
Interest 3: Science - guanine-cytosine, adenine-thymine, what a lovely harmony, the info of life :D May the Lord use this interest to deepen my awe of Him, the Creator.
Interest 4: Ham radio - dit.dah.dit, dah dit-dit-dah! May the Lord use this interest to make me useful where communications support may be needed, to make many friends, and to explore the wonder of his world.
Interest 5: First Aid and safety - CPR/AED/nursing/anatomy/medication/nutri
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14