February 3, 2008

Learning from kindergartners

Life can be complicated.

Between work, school, ministry, family, friends, socializing, community service, and let's not forget - alone time! - my days can feel like they've flown by in a flurry. I sometimes start the day tired and end it quite energized, and vice versa. I'm a natural night owl... no doubt you'll see posts on here at all times of the night. Relationships take SO much effort to build and nurture and maintain. Family requires quality time, church ministry goes far beyond Sunday morning, and work occasionally extends to 8pm on a Friday night.

Yet, life really is simple.

This lesson is one that I'm learning with much thanks to a small group of kindergartners who, without realizing it, are opening my eyes to the simplicity of my life. Or rather - the simplicity of my purpose.

To love God with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and all my strength.

I complicate things when I try to create lists of ways to express this love or determine some criteria of which I can compare my current state to see if I've finally succeeded. This always leads to disappointment because I cannot attain it. It's not possible. My sweet friend Lauren said something poignant tonight: we won't be able to fully comprehend grace, or live completely 24/7 in acceptance of grace, this side of Heaven. My flesh will flair up and all over again, my soul and flesh will battle over who will take control in whatever events come my way.

I must confess that too often, my flesh responds first. I bite back in angry, I tremble with anxiousness, I mope around with discontentment, I manipulate to see my way is the way. Which brings me to my current state: I'm finally learning to slay my flesh in these crazy moments and instead, turn to Him where my soul finds peace, rest, satisfaction and answers.

To this end, I pray "Lord, lead me to the cross." My spirit was engaged for the first time in quite awhile when at church during Venture2, the song by the same name was sung. It's by Hillsong United and is on the All of the Above cd from 2007. I want to seek Him first, I want my heart to burn with desire for His plan for my life, I want to see Him glorified in my daily life as well as my relationships with friends and family. The question is: do I want these things enough to fight this battle every day? Because that is what it will take. And really, it will require more than just starting my day this way, but also denying myself everytime an opportunity pops up when I have to choose between what would satisfy me here and now and what will bring a much better reward in the future.

So, if I may request it, please pray for me. I am a rule-follower, through and through. I don't fully believe grace exists for me and therefore, have a difficult time giving grace or even believing it's available for others as well. I am that wretch.

Until next time,

p.s. A fun picture (can you guess which one is me?!) ...

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