Do you ever tire of other people’s junk? Yeah, me too. But if I’m totally honest, what I’m really tired of, is my own.
Today I have a new struggle. It’s not new exactly. I’ve just become acutely aware of it. Perhaps that isn’t the correct terminology either. I’m aware of this acute mindset that I have never really owned. Today I want to own it. I want to accept it. I want to embrace it for all it’s worth and allow God to use it to weave me into His plans and purposes for my life.
In the book The Gift of Being Yourself; The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery by David G. Benner, he shared these words: “Thomas a Kempis said, ‘A humble self-knowledge is a surer way to God than a search after deep learning”. And “Augustine’s prayer; ‘Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know thee’. It seems that self-discovery is God inspired. Why does that surprise me?
I trust my life to Jesus Christ, and the lives of those I love. I know I ultimately have no control over what happens to me or those I hold dear. I attempt to do the next thing that I feel I am supposed to do and trust God with the outcome.
But here’s the thing…I actually trust God with the outcome that I want, but not simply want or desire but expect. And if I don’t get what I think I deserve (for too many reasons to list here) then I am hurled into a maelstrom of emotions that engulf me and threaten my mental and emotional well-being.
I want what I want, and I want it now. It’s a common thing among mortals. I also want the outcome to be precisely how I envision….to bring glory to God, of course. After all, wanting to bring God glory is an honorable thing to strive for. How can anyone fault us for that?
Reading these words gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Writing them is even worse. Writing them makes them mine. Writing them causes me to see myself for exactly who I am, and exactly who I am at this very moment, doesn’t offer much peace or joy.
But there is reason to hope! Let’s not forget the Easter season and all that it represents. The very existence of spring, with it’s newness; it’s vibrant and lush facades, is what enables hope in the first place. But beyond that, way above all that we see and know with our senses is Jesus. Good Friday, the beginning of Hope Eternal, looked upon with such reverence and sadness for what the Savior of the World endured. But if not for Friday, there would be no Sunday! Neither of these acts are more important than the other. Both were necessary for the Redemption of all mankind. Both are reasons to celebrate.
No, I didn’t switch gears. These things go together. I have neglected to blend the two in my life–the redemptive work of what Jesus did on the cross and when He rose from the grave, with the way I conduct my life on a daily basis.
I am on a path, a journey that can sometimes bring more pain than I feel I can bare; the journey to let God write the story He wants to tell with my life. That’s not the hard part though. The most difficult piece of this puzzle is to not only be content, but to live in the freedom of the outcome He has planned for me.
And that’s where I often get stuck.
But not today. Because I have been made aware.
Our journeys aren’t really about the outcome. They are about how we respond, how we allow God to use us as instruments for His purpose, even if we don’t understand. Even if we don’t like it. Even when what we are experiencing are the results of the actions and choices of others. It’s always about allowing our lives to point to His grace, sufficiency and love.
Let this day mark the new beginning, this day between the cross and the empty tomb. Let today be known in my life, (and perhaps in yours too?) as the first step of not only letting God write His story with my life, but to give Him the ending as well.