It's all about attitude

...come to terms with divine commands:
  • to joyfully suffer loss in the service of prisoners (Hebrews 10:34)
  • to tend the flock of God willingly and eagerly (I Peter 5:2)
  • to keep watch over souls with joy (Hebrews 13:17)
~ John Piper, Desiring God

One of the great conundrums of living like Jesus is that it all boils down to attitude and motivation, rather than simply outcome. My mother used to tell me that - obedient but often hard-hearted child that I was - all the time: what I care about is your attitude, not whether or not you obeyed me in action. I was struck by that at school last week. Little tidbits have been popping out throughout the days since we arrived home. At school, there is a whole group of us marching onward to the same goal, outcome: graduation, an advanced degree, certain career options opening up before us. Yet motivation and attitude vary greatly. That's why I love getting to know people in "real life". Online, I am limited to a collection of words and pictures meant to describe a life. In person, the richness and nuance come into focus. What motivates me, really? Personal accolades, the ability to pursue a career as well as mother my children? Or is it something bigger: remembering the diagram of the tree as it relates to a life of service, I wish to become the trunk - or at least a main branch - and affect so many branches and leaves. That's the life goal of every teacher, isn't it? To effect change incrementally by reaching people at a critical point in their development or career.

So it is as we contemplate adoption. How wonderful it would be if God provided infants, tabula rasa, for us to care for. No attachment disorder, or learned behaviors from the orphanage or foster home where they were cared for, no language barrier, no adjusting to a new name or new routines. We'll see what He has in store. I have a feeling it's big, whatever it is!

...expect the increase of faith that is always the Lord's deposit for years of testing and tasting.
~ Andrée Seu, Way Out on a Limb