Are you ever bothered by the state of your life? I don't mean circumstance, because a lot of times what's happening around us has little to do with us making it happen, (ie. death of a friend or family member, someone visiting unexpectedly, catching a cold from someone at work, etc.).
I mean the state of affairs that you have clearly and undeniably caused in your own life. Whether good or bad, the "idea of making your own bed" (I will skip the "lying in it" part for now) is what I'm talking about. We can read books, watch movies, even hear stories from the lives of other people of either desperation in difficult moments brought on by self destruction or moments of greatest where people rise to an occasion, sometimes even repeatedly.
Perhaps it's even something that you can think back on your life and recognize having done something like that. My question this morning that I'm asking myself is this...what causes a person to do such a thing (put him/herself in a position, whether good or bad)?
Why do I make decisions that will hurt me in the end, even if I know what the result will be before I even do it?
Or why do I work hard at something and see the benefit?
I think the answer to the latter is pretty simple. We want to see good things happen in our lives, and that's not a bad thing. It's great to strive to greatness, so long as it's not at the cost of humility.
I think the answer to the former is also relatively simple though not easily accepted (I think that's really what I'm thinking on today). We do stupid things, I do stupid things, because I'm stupid. Too crass? Perhaps, but basically true I think. What I mean is, we make decisions that aren't the best for us in the end sometimes because we honestly think that the outcome will turn out well, but sometimes I think it's simply because we're stupid. We allow the sinister voice in our minds (call it what you will) to convince us to do wrong, even if we know the outcome will not serve us well in the end. That's sin, it's in our fallen nature. Obviously the Bible talks much about this portion of humanity that Jesus seemed to be able to fight much more holistically than we are able to without divine intervention.
So I revert back to the original question...do you ever find yourself bothered by the state of your life? I do. Currently I am.
Unfortunately I think that part of why I am so bothered is because I fell culprit to the tendency of pride. Striving for greatness for greatness sake, to be lifted up as the great and awesome ME. It stings to realize something so harsh of oneself. Often we don't want to admit to being arrogant or full of pride (unhealthy pride, sinful pride), but at the same time it's all too oft the pride that causes us to blind ourselves from it.
I think I fell prey to the "sin of grandiosity" as one professor/friend of mine so eloquently worded it. Basically, I want to be great for my name's sake. To become the greatest of pastors because I want people to look to me. It's sickening when I think about it, that I could use such a privileged position (not earned by any means) to try to make something of myself.
Now, being that I'm still 25, and Jesus didn't even enter into full on ministry until he was 30ish, hopefully this is an immaturity thing that will shift as I grow older. It may very well be, but if I don't recognize it and learn to battle it, it can very easily become a monster that lurks beneath the surface of everything I do (similar to the theme of Andy Stanley's book "What Lies Beneath", incredible book if you ever get the chance to read it).
Those who know me well know that I have a tendency to be my worst critic, and I won't disagree. I can be a little harsh on myself sometimes. But in this particular instance, I don't see it as being harsh so much as honest. It's something that I'm not pleased with at all. I don't want to become the person who strives for great things in life simply because I want the enjoyment of them or because I want people to like me, or because I want to become a 'sage' of some sort to whom all people look for advice.
I think John Eldredge stated it well in his book "The Way of the Wild Heart" (also worth reading) when he mentioned that the position of "King" (essentially the noble leadership to which mostly more progressed people are assigned, ie. senior pastor) should not be desired, it should be something that a person is lead or pushed by God into. If it's something you desire, than you're not likely ready for it, if it's something you recognize you can't achieve by your own merit, then your heart is right for the job with the aid of the Father.
So why am I bothered by the state of my life right now? Mainly because I have allowed things to fester within me without dealing with them, without repenting of them, and without handing myself fully over to be healed and renewed by God for quite some time. I have coasted, I have not lived. I have become arrogant in some ways, allowing pride to dictate my actions.
It's hard to relinquish control, it's hard to lay it all out on the table.
I am challenged this morning by a sermon I heard last night on the commandment of God to have no other gods but Him.
Is it possible to deify yourself and place yourself before God? Yes, and I think that's the biggest problem that a lot of us have. Some are just more apt to battle it than others.
I'm pretty selfish, and I'm not a fan of that. It comes out in a lot of what I do, others may see it, or they may not, but I see it and God sees it, and that is why I'm bothered.
So what's the solution? Do something about it. Seek out the Father, turn myself over to Him, relinquish control (continually, which is a struggle) and walk in faith that what He says He'll do, He'll do.
And to prove that I really am as selfish as I say I am, this is all written for my sake, not for anyone else's. So that I can come back and read this again later and remember the situation again. Also so I can process at this moment all that is happening.