Sunday, July 25, 2010

Did you see that?

Proverbs 27:17 (New International Version)

     17 As iron sharpens iron,
          so one man sharpens another.

Why do I do what I do?

Live the way I live?

Don’t do what I don’t do?

I can do anything I want. I have no one beside me or behind me or before me to make me do anything.

Except for God.

And that’s a big deal.

I do what I do to be pleasing to Him who has given me peace in the storm, provision in the lack, laughter in the sorrow, fullness in the aloneness.

I live the way I live to enjoy the presence of Him who shares with me laughter, sunshine, flowers, stars, friendships, affection.

I don’t do some things that might make me crass, harsh, bitter, foolish.

I do some things out of habit, out of need, out of obedience.

At the very bottom under it all, I really don’t care what others think.

It may appear that my actions are intended to win someone’s approval, someone’s attention, someone’s respect.

That is only partially true. I do want approval, attention, respect – just like every other human being walking on the earth.

But ultimately?

I want the approval, attention and respect of my God.

I think if I can live right before Him, everyone else’s opinion falls into place.

However, I have also gotten to an age where I realize that there are others watching, always.

They want to see how to develop this relationship with God that has grown natural to me. They need to learn how to depend upon Someone to get them through the bad times. They need to figure out what’s okay and what’s not good in cultivating this relationship with God.

They are my children, grandchildren, peers, co-workers, colleagues, associates. Some are new believers. Some have always been a part of a church community.

So I cajole, challenge, question, example and remain mindful that I am never truly independent of the world.

I try to be sensitive to them, to hear how they are really living. To listen to their needs when they are not talking.

It’s hard for me to remember I’m a grown up, a leader. My age and season of life makes me so. I have walked this path for more than 20 years through many, many dark days; have seen incredibly deep blessings; have watched God do amazing miracles. I have crossed some bridges.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who struggles with faith and purpose and intangible questions. I see my failures and inabilities and the futility of my efforts. I hope no one else is watching my stumbling about.

Two songs from the early years play softly in the background of my life. They seem to define the ambiguity within me.

I’m Not Perfect, Just Forgiven
Author Unknown

     I’m not perfect, just forgiven.
     Haven’t yet arrived! But I’m on my way!
     Since Jesus found me and forgave me.
     Can’t say I’m perfect.
     But I can say I’m saved!”

Oh, I Want to See Him
R. H. Cornelius, 1916

     As I journey through this land, singing as I go.
     Pointing souls to Calvary, to the crimson flow.
     Many arrows pierce my soul from without within
     But my Lord goes ahead through Him I must win!

     Oh! I want to see Him!
     Look up on his face
     On the streets of glory
     Let me life my voice
     Cares all past, home at last
     Ever to rejoice!

I am not perfect, but I have managed to keep walking with Him. I can’t be afraid to share my experience. It’s ok to let the walls down.

I am bound to see Him, face-to-face someday. My Jesus, my Lord, my God.

That is why I do what I do, don’t do what I don’t do and live the way I live.

1 comment:

  1. I totally identified with your total journey and I have always been at a loss for words (that would be shocking for some!) but you have verbalized what God really wants from us and what we must have from Him. Thank you for the inspiration in sharing your feelings and God-inspired reminders of our purpose is for those of us who have lived with and without God and that we must let God shine through us in everything.