Kids have it easy. Right? Can I get a show of hands as to all the “adults” reading who agree?
It’s rather amazing – from birth, they don’t have to do anything to earn our love and affection, much less our care and attention. They simply ARE. They go through life, from day one, learning, growing, experimenting, discovering what they like and what they don’t, learning what the world is like and how to make it work.
At what point does life get less simple, but rather, complicated? Complicated, complex, bogged down, inundated with responsibilities, the social stigmatic requirement of a purpose,
I have a friend who tells me not to “should” on myself. Sounds kinda gross. They’re right, I “shouldn’t,” haha.
But really, in the reality of the “purpose driven” adult American life, the value of relationships get lost in the fuzz.
I know this. I’ve lived the type-A, crazy ambitious, work any hour of the day, (sometimes all day and night) in the name of progress, accomplishment, and checking off the task list. If an interruption came, say, a friend or someone around me was facing a difficult situation, I would find myself aggravated that I was being taken away from my task list. (And then later I would feel guilty for not having been more loving toward them! Oh, what a cycle!)
I turned relationships into purposes. I looked at the value of my time solely in terms of “production value.” I didn’t think that flowers had a purpose, except to look pretty, and yeesh what kind of purpose was that? How about art, for instance? Who has the time to relax, things need to be getting done!
Another example: I’ve toiled for hours, days, weeks, even a few years over making sure I was “in God’s will.” “What will He have me do?” “Where will He have me live?” “Should I be involved in this particular relationship?”
There is a danger that tags along with the fear of missing His mark. We can become performance-minded in our purpose pursuit.
There’s much, much value in seeking the Lord for guidance and direction – my point here today is that there is much more than that to be had! What kind of relationship do we have with Him if we just go to Him to get an answer, our “crystal ball conceptual God” or our “genie in a bottle conceptual God,” and then go about our way, not to acknowledge Him again until we feel the need to, or until some unforeseen, possibly traumatic event blindsides us?
My major question lies within that context – are we asking because we fear messing up, or are we asking out of the excitement involved in knowing Him and knowing that He’s got “great plans coming up, stay tuned,” and I’m sitting here thinking, “Ooh, Papa, can I get a preview, a sneak peek, a trailer release of what’s this next episode to come? What do You want to do NOW??” I’m on the edge of my seat, brimming with excitement, because I know He knows way more about me that I have even discovered yet, and He has really good plans for the future, and He loves me and wants to give me the desires of my heart .. and I want to share it all with Him!
Didn’t He want relationship with us? Didn’t He tell us the three most important things to do?
Would this make all other details simply that – details?
Life is simple. The “world” makes it complicated in an effort to “one-up” one another, or “fit in,” or “seem smarter, more intellectual, more responsible, put together,” etc, basically, this becomes an alliance with the world’s way of doing things: emphasis on image, facade, the superficial. It lacks substance, and its followers crack at some point (cue mid-life crises). Everyone learns to follow suit, to save face, to fake it. But no one can sustain it forever.
Can’t we simply BE?
Life is simple. It can be easy, too, if we take off the worldly “adult” thinking cap and break our hearts out of the cold jail cells we’ve found them in. Simple: Love God, love others, love ourselves. All other details are details. Career? Schooling? Living space? Embrace His gentle step-by-step, play-by-play leading. “A person may plan his path, but ADONAI directs his steps.” (Prov 16:9, CJB) If we are God’s children, do we have to independently in our own power figure out the path He has for us? Did He put that responsibility on us? Where did that burdensome feeling come from? Rather, will He guide us along the way of our life, desiring us to share every up and down of the roller coaster ride?
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4, NKJV) Shall we strive for purpose with our minds and our self-will, or live from our hearts and the desires Papa God has placed there? It is good to lay our life and our heart before Him, and it is not up to us to self-will ourselves into His will. Doesn’t He have His hand on and intricately woven into our lives regardless? Like my opening statement, if we are His children, do we have to do anything to earn His love, affection, care, and attention? Is the root of true joy and peace in life mysteriously hidden in true, deep, intimate relationship with Him? “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV) It’s surely possible to be anxious and in prayer and supplication. That, of course, is not the goal – but knowing the God hears us, sees us, cares for us, and will always do what’s best for us, even when we don’t understand it or see the greater process He is walking us through can give us the true and proper understanding to go to God with all our cares in a spirit of thanksgiving.
“At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30, NKJV)