So there are probably a billion things I could write about right now. Kitchen renovations, Judea went to camp, upcoming 21 hour road trip lol….. lots going on. Anyways, yesterday morning in our connection group, we talked about pursuing holiness and all that entails…..and the fact that, as Christians, we are all called to pursue it. First, let me give you a little stereotyping lol.
As a teenager, holiness was the last thing on my mind. The very word “Holy” brought up so many different thoughts and emotions. For one, holiness was something that no one on earth could ever achieve and so the idea of chasing something so fleeting seemed stupid. If I even contemplated the idea, I immediately became discouraged and felt i’d never be worthy. I knew me and knew what I was and wasn’t capable of and so to call someone like *me* to try and be holy was almost laughable. I was stealing potted plants from peoples’ porches for a practical joke. There was just no way lol. And then, the idea that something was holy made it seem lifeless…….devoid of personality and character. A robot. And so, in my mind I figured I would go ahead and live while I can, then try to be holy when I got old and couldn’t get around very well lol. I’m just keeping it real, here. It just seemed so unattainable that i’d do more harm to myself in trying to pursue it than just not even giving it a shot. Jesus is holy and i’m nowhere near the level of Jesus status.
And so time goes on, I screw things up, etc lol. We know how the story goes. My life didn’t make much sense, lots of pain and trials and storms, sun was nowhere to be seen half the time. When the sun *did* come out, it seemed sort of cruel because i’d catch a brief glimpse just long enough to know what I was missing and then it would become dark again. Can anyone relate to that? Problems abound, there’s no lack in problems….. but blessing and happiness and all of the good were nowhere to be found. Problems filled bucket after bucket that needed to be hauled long distances…….and happiness and joy was like sand that you briefly get to hold before it all slips right through your fingers.
What does this even have to do with holiness? Well, i’ll tell you what I believe holiness *isn’t*. Holiness isn’t mapping out your life and doing the best you can. I’m going to derail this for a moment lol. My friend and I had a long phone conversation about a week ago and we were talking about the number of children we have/want. Now, most people have this plan made up. They are SURE they want 2 children. Before I go any further, i’m not knocking. I’m just calling it how I see it. You do you, I do me. Anyways. Most people want two children. Maybe they want 3 but a third child is not in the budget. Sort of like, yeah we’d like to have another car but we can’t afford the payment so we’ll just stick to two. Kind of like that, only with kids. They want to be sure they have enough money for X,Y, and Z. Sports, dance, vacations, first car, college, wedding (I want to vomit thinking about what the average american spends on their wedding and that the divorce rate is 50% lol. Idk, just gonna throw this one out there…. could the $25k wedding have anything to do with the divorce? Idk. Just a guess), etc. You get it. They’ve mapped it. They’ve set down and mapped out every aspect of their life, according to what they want. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have a plan…… but what happens when your plan doesn’t line up with God’s plan? Then what? What if God wants you to have 3 children? What if that is the plan? Then you’re all stressed out because #3 wasn’t in the budget and now you have to reconfigure all sorts of things, move things around to squeeze the extra kid in….. and you make it work….. but what if that STILL doesn’t line up with what God wants for your life? What if he doesn’t want you to have that house? What if you’re not supposed to have that job? You’re fighting tooth and nail to stick to the plans but you never once considered that God is above ALL things. God is in control. The more you buck against what God wants for your life, the more pain and frustration you bring on yourself. Why not just SUBMIT to God’s will? Just bypass all of the frustration and get right to the point. God will have his way with you and i’m telling you, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of that. So think about that. I wanted 3 kids. I ended up with 4. I consider myself an “intellectual” lol. I love to be in good conversation with others about interesting topics. I would love to work. I would LOVE, love, LOVE to have a job that i’m really, really good at. Something that I could be recognized for. Something personally fulfilling. I’d like to climb the ladder of success. I’d like to show off all of my plaques on the wall, tangible things to show my success….. That’s NOT in the plans. It isn’t. That was MY plan. That was MY vision. God wasn’t having that. If this isn’t God that has been leading me and guiding my way, then i’m seriously, legit crazy and need to see a shrink. Because none of this was *my* doing. I’m now scared o make a decision on my own because my track record shows me that I suck at making decisions. I just do a really bad job at it. I used to think this was my “intuition” that sort of nudges me here and there or what not. It’s God. It has to be. I can feel when i’m getting it wrong. I can feel when it’s going how it should. I don’t have all of the answers at ALL. Some situations are like……. just why. Why. Why do we have to do this. But I trust God because I can’t trust myself. God has always taken care of me. I don’t have to worry. If I find myself in a panic, worried again, I can rest in the fact that God knows what He is doing, He knows what His plans are for my life, before the foundation of this universe was laid, God knew how he wanted my life to turn out. So that sort of makes my “plans” seem sooooo silly. Like a 5 year old who sits down with a box of crayons and tries to map out what Kindergarten is going to be like lol. It’s just ridiculous.
So what does THAT have to do with holiness? I believe holiness is total submission to God’s will for your life. Pleasing to God. Whatever is pleasing to God. We have a model to live by and His name is Jesus. If you look at the life of Jesus, you will know what it means to live a holy life. For one, what did Jesus concern himself with? Did He try to stay current on the gossip of the times? Where are the scriptures that stated that Jesus laid around the house all day? Is there anything that leads us to believe that Jesus ignored those in need? Was Jesus rowdy and confrontational? Was He vulgar? Was Jesus hanging out drinking with the guys all night? Was Jesus involved in any sort of a love triangle? Relationship drama? Clothes shopping? Did He eat all day? Did he get upset that He “didn’t fit in”? Did He only associate with those who could directly benefit Him? Did Jesus worry about what people would think of Him? I could do this all day. Jesus was about God’s business. That’s that. That’s all there is to it. Jesus was the definition of focus. Everything else was inconsequential. That’s what I try to worry about. Do I get it right? Absolutely not. LOL! But that is what I gauge the importance of things by. Come on do I reeeallllllyyyyyy need this? Jesus walked around in sandals. Worried about looking stupid? Jesus was MOCKED and BEATEN and STRIPPED DOWN. Is my reputation more important than that? Jesus put TOTAL faith in His Father and in the end He was nailed to a cross. There’s a chance that my ending won’t be as fancy as i’d like. There’s a chance that my walk is going to be PAINFUL. There’s a good chance that i’m going to be put in situations that make me VERY uncomfortable…. and that I will have to face people that i’d rather not even deal with and i’ll have to say things that i’m not necessarily bold enough to say and i’ll have to do things that scare me…… Nobody said it was easy.
I look at this life as a sort of war zone. I look at children of God as being part of a military structure. Different divisions, different jobs, but ALL working in unison towards a common goal. If you pass a fellow soldier in need, you’re not going to get all weirded out about it because you don’t know them. You’re going to care for them. There are no strangers. You’re all on the same team. Knock it off. Don’t sit there and avoid them, they are on YOUR TEAM! You’re probably turning your back on all sorts of people that God brought into your life for a reason. God is sending you help to improve your walk and you’re still caught up in trivial stuff. You still think you can handle it, that you’re in control of it. You’re not. Not even close. God DOES want us to move. Life can be breathed in any situation. LIFE. ENERGY. It doesn’t have to be stale. Your marriage doesn’t have to be stale. Your church doesn’t have to be stale. Your friendships don’t have to be stale. Your walk doesn’t have to be lonely. You can all hold hands and skip together lol. I’m serious. We bring all of this on ourselves. We can get mad at each other and we can INSTANTLY forgive. We can INSTANTLY change. We can make a mistake, I mean ROYALLY screw something up and we can start again, we can try again. We can change. We change anyways, whether we like it or not, we change. Are you five? No! You’re an adult. You’ve changed SO many times. So you can change *right now*. You don’t have to accept the things that hold you back. You can change. You can smile all the time and be happy because God put you here for a purpose that ONLY YOU can fulfill. YOU have a BIG ROLE. HUGE. You’re not on a ship at sea by yourself, lonely and counting down the days. You can joyfully live out God’s plan for your life. Other people DO get it. It’s hard to find them sometimes, but people get it. People know what it’s like. People do take this seriously. VERY seriously. They’re EVERYWHERE, really….. but like you, they’re all feeling sort of isolated. That’s why we need to rally them. We need to rally up the voices. I made a friend at church and she’s the real deal. Just like that, i’ve met someone who gets it. She really, truly gets it. When we get together, we literally talk for hours. There’s not a dull moment or pause in conversation, we have to drag ourselves away. I believe God brought her into my life. God sends us people. Don’t turn them away and shut them out. God has appointed us all for a MAJOR purpose. That alone gives me hope. That alone makes me feel capable…. God knows i’m capable or I wouldn’t even be here.
Anyways so to wrap this up, I was convicted in a MAJOR way in service yesterday. It’s sort of scary and I need to pray about it some more. But God is calling me to do something that makes me really nervous and I have no idea how this will turn out. I mean, truly scary. Don’t think you have to be born brave. God calls timid people to do BRAVE things. God gives you courage. It doesn’t come from you. Maybe God will use someone bold and humble them. God will use someone who is shy and give them strength and courage. I’m a mess. I’m serious. I’m a train wreck waiting to happen. But God can totally fix that. I have to stop writing.