My response to prompt of “Countless.“
When I hear a challenging quote or witness a person courageously living out their values my blood runs warm with inspiration. Moments after hearing a powerfully told story, or a moving narrative of someone who lived simply and changed the world, I too think that I can go out and change the world all on my own. All I need to do is to simply love my neighbors, and pray for my enemies, and give up all my possessions, and spend my time with the poor and the broken, and to be a servant to those in need. That’s all.
Yet, and it’s only moments later, “real life” sets in and I find myself losing my temper in an argument with my wife. Or I find myself raising my voice at my kids for ignoring my pleas for obedience. Or I find myself ignoring the homeless person I walk by on the street. Or I find myself getting angry at a politician on the news. Or I find myself…well, you get the point.
As quickly as I become inspired, I become a failure.
But I don’t give up. I long for congruence in my life. To be an integrated and wholehearted person. A person who bravely lives into the values that I hold deep in my heart. The thing is, I need reminders. Countless reminders.
I need positive input and examples that the congruency and life I long for is actually possible. But I must leave room for mistakes. To live life in the arena is to live life in a way that acknowledges failure and gives room for mistakes.
I need countless reminders to dare greatly.
I need to remember that I will fail. And the failures will be countless.
But with every failure there is opportunity to learn and rise again, stronger and wiser than before.
And there will be countless critics.
But thankfully, it is not the critic that counts.
For Christians there is freedom when we learn to die to ourselves because it gives us the opportunity to be resurrected through our being found in Jesus. When we bind our hearts with Jesus, we not only die with him, but we are raised again to new life in him.
Rather than trying to control every part of our lives, when our hearts are indeed bound to him, we find our hands are free to do good works in his name. It is then when we are able to live wholeheartedly.
The thing is, most of us are prone to wandering. We get distracted so easily and begin to wander away from the reality of our identity that is found in Jesus. We loosen the cords that bind our hearts to Jesus, and go back to trying to do everything ourselves – on our own, and in our own power. And then we are surprised when we fail.
So part of being human in this world is needing countless reminders. Reminders of our need to die to ourselves and be resurrected in the power of the Spirit of God.
To be reborn.
I am reminded today to practice resurrection.
And throughout my life I am sure I will need this reminder.