Have you ever read Mary Norton’s stories about The Borrowers? In the second book, The Borrowers Afield, young Arrietty is enamoured of a new life outdoors:
After bathing… sometimes she would dress up: a skirt of violet leaves, stalks uppermost, secured about the waist with a twist of faded columbine, and, aping the fairies, a foxglove bell for a hat. This, Arrietty though as she stared at her bright reflection in the stagnant water of a hoof crater,… might look all right on gnomes, elves, brownies, pixies, and what not, but she had to admit that it looked pretty silly on a common or garden borrower: for one thing, if the lip fitted the circumference of her head, the whole thing stood up too high like some kind of pinkish sausage or a very drawn-out chef’s cap. Yet if, on the other hand, the lip of the bell flowed out generously in a gentle, more hat-like curve, the whole contraption slid down past her face to rest on her shoulders in a Klu-Klux-Klan effect.
And to get hold of these bells at all was not easy: foxglove plants were high. Fairies, Arrietty supposed, just flew up to them with raised chins and neatly pointed toes, trailing a wisp of gauze. …Arrietty, poor girl, had to hook down the plant with a forked stick and sit on it as heavily as she could while she plucked any bells within reach.
In the book, Arrietty was the same size as a fairy but the clothes she imagined they would wear looked completely wrong on her. It wasn’t what she expected.
I’ve been thinking recently about the fact that things aren’t always how they look. It had always been a dream of mine to work in mission mobilisation. I had a vague idea that speaking at different meetings around the country and travelling would be exciting and glamorous. And so it was the first few times I did it. But the ‘glamour’ soon wore thin and, while I still thoroughly enjoyed the work, it became routine. The reality was rather different to how I imagined it would be.
In his sermon this morning, one of the elders told a story of how someone once prophecied over him that he would become a man of prayer. He happily anticipated how this would look: wow, to be known as a prayer warrier! But next morning was a different story. He couldn’t think of anything to pray about, felt tired from a late night, and found his thoughts wandering. He estimated that he probably spent about sixty seconds praying that morning. He related that some years later, he still has to motivate himself in prayer. But by disciplining himself to meet with God whether he feels like it or not, he is fulfilling that prophecy and is becoming a man of prayer.
Maybe you began the Christian life with great excitement and anticipation, and now it has become fairly humdrum. Perhaps even the idea of reading your Bible and praying sounds boring, and you wonder what is the point? There is every point. Just because it isn’t quite how you expected it to be is no reason to give up. The Holy Spirit is a fantastic mentor and teacher, the best in fact, so tell Him how you feel and ask Him for help. God is a person; remind yourself that He loves spending time with you. So much so, that Jesus died and came back to life in order for you to enjoy friendship with Him. Stir your soul by singing a psalm, tell God what He means to you, speak Bible truths aloud, welcome His presence, enjoy Him. You become like the people you spend time with the most. Spending time with Jesus is to become like Him, and as you get to know Him intimately, you will begin to find that what you expected the Christian life to be, is what it actually is.