Monday, 29 February 2016

What are we doing?

Do we really have it all figured out? Am I going through life simply to fit in because I have made a conscious decision to do so, or am I just not putting the effort and energy into figuring out what I really want? The real me, what does it desire? I often ponder these thoughts. (Sometimes I wonder if I should’ve gone into philosophy, I’m sure I would’ve found it fascinating)

We go through life so fast, not thinking about what we’re really doing, what is really happening, what really matters. Is it more important that someone ate up the last lemon, or was it worth it that that person got hurt when you yelled at them? What should’ve really happened in that situation? It’s just a lemon, and yet it meant so much to you in that moment that yelling at him and making him feel bad was the most important thing. We all do that. It’s why so many people hate themselves and find no self worth. They only have degrading things to say about themselves and so bring others to look down on them and that continues the downward spiral into depression and suicidal thoughts. That’s not the way Jesus views you. What does Jesus see? Isn’t it about time we started viewing ourselves and others the way Jesus looks at them? A daily prayer I try to make is “Father, give me your eyes to see people the way you see them.” Jesus said that he only did that which He saw His Father in heaven doing. I think that’s a pretty good model.

It’s so easy to look at where we are in life, single, married, parents, jobless, starting a career, retirement, whatever it may be and be dissatisfied with where we are. We assume that given time, we will change our character, we will change the habits we want to break, and yet, on our own strength and will we so often find ourselves doing the same things over and over. Age 25 we’re married and have a kid, and we’re yelling at the child like we saw our Dad do to us. We take another drag on the cigarette, thinking, I’ll get off it next week. We put of exercising and say next week I’ll try to cut back on my food and try to get to the gym. But here’s the fact, putting something off doesn’t make it any easier, it merely causes more stress. We push our fears aside, but never really take the time to figure out why we have them. We’d rather go around with bandaids covering up broken legs than actually get to the root issue and find a lasting solution. It takes self evaluation. It takes quiet time and reflection. It takes asking specifically for Jesus to step into your life in specific ways; and it also takes discipline. Start with something small. We all do things in life we’d rather not do. Getting out of bed is often not what we want, but we do it anyway. Pick up the Bible and read a chapter, not to get a list of what you should today or how you should act, but to get to know the one who wrote the book. You see, if we become bogged down with reading the bible or going to church to help us, we’ve missed the point. It’s not some self-help book with positive thinking. It’s getting to know Jesus. It’s reading about the God who has made all of history and finding out his character. How He treats people, why He loves us, why He’s created us. It’s to have a relationship with God. Where we talk to Him, and He talks back. Where we come to Him with questions, and he responds and gives us answers. Not always in our own way or time, but He is a God who never lets a promise go.

We expect change to happen, without us having to put any effort into it. That’s not the case. But we can’t pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps either. By diving into the word of God, spending quiet time listening to the Holy Spirit and actively changing the way we think and act is how we will change. God tells us to be perfect, as he is perfect; Holy as He is Holy, and I don’t think He would say this, if He didn’t give us the tools to do so. The tools are a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ and communion with the Holy Spirit. Aligning our lives up with the way God wants us to live. You can be a loving person who seeks the good of others before thinking of himself. You can be someone who is blessed with favor in order that you can bless others as you have been. You can be someone who reaches out to others and seeks to sit with the lowly and walk along side the poor. You can be the person that others look up to and give wise counsel and encouragement as a warrior in Christ. 

I just want the world to know what true love is. Because if they really understood it, all our problems would be gone. Even Christians don’t fully grasp it. True love, the love that Christ gives us transforms every part of our lives. It is the power that will change nations and start revivals. It’s the weapon that will break demonic strongholds over cities and regions. Love is what matters. It defeats the big and the little. We need it to get through every day life, seemingly doing the same things over and over again. We need it to get through the big hurdles in life, too. The mile markers and commitments. In the end, without a relationship with the Father, all if for naught. You will never experience what He has for you, and life will always come up short, never feeling like you are quite satisfied.

English Vintner