A Closer Look
Before anyone (if anyone reads this) gets offended by what I may say on this post, know that I am writing only about MY heart's condition. You may have a completely different outlook, and that is great, but this is about me.
Service can be a good thing. One of the strongest desires of my heart is to serve God. Catechism that I learned in school taught me this:
Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.
I think my desire to serve Him, typically, is a natural outpouring of my love for the God I know. Typically. But then there is part of me lately that I have been looking at in my prayer & meditation time. I also want to serve Him because I don't know how else to respond to His loving care. Doesn't sound too bad on the surface, right? Well, let's take it a step further-would I be content if I had absolutely nothing to ever offer Him but my imperfect self-love, yes, but what about the parts of me that struggle and are mean or rebellious sometimes? Could that be enough for me? Note, not for Him, because I think He knows me better than myself and loves me anyway, even before I knew Him or knew love, but for me.
This blog was really named after the fact that I know I suck and I am astounded that the Creator of the universe, of more than I will even even learn about, has pursued me and continues to pursue me as though I were something of great value. It is His grace that drew me to this Love, that continues to draw me. It is His grace that humbles me, sustains me, contains me, and confounds me. It is His grace that makes me want to give back to Him, to somehow show that I can give Him something....
It is my pride that drives me toward service.
My pride is an octopus of a sin. When I do well, it tightens its grip, stroking my ego. When I do poorly, it chokes me. I love being talented, worthy, admired.
But the reality then is that I am not enjoying His grace; I am enjoying the fact that I can pay for the privilege.
In the past couple months, I have given up many commitments that fed that ego. I feel purposeless, disconnected and without direction now. I am not admired by a crowd. I am not feeding any sheep. I am just me, and it has been uncomfortable. Why, tho, is my purpose only to be found when I am on the top? Which takes me back to, what is my purpose?
In these months, I have taken the time to reflect on my first love: Him. If I never teach or lead or speak or guide again, I will still have Him. And in those darker moments when He seems to have gone on other business, I still know Him and remember the faithfulness of days when I was empty and He filled me, when I was broken and He healed me, when I was lost and He guided me, when I was tired and He held me. His hide and seek grace never ceases to surprise me or come at the wrong time or not arrive at all. He is not tamed or commanded, but I am His and wait on His presence, whenever He pleases.
Humbled, I do not want to teach or lead or speak or guide because I am talented, admirable, or worthy. I can lose everything, but if He is with me, I have all I need. My life has already been so rich with His blessings that it seems ungrateful to demand more. If I were to ask for anything it would be that I could reveal Him more to those who are still empty, broken, lost, and tired, that He might offer me that privilege, for them and for Him, but not for me.
Psychologists might say I need more self esteem, that it is perfectly acceptable to take pride in myself, my abilities. It is a dangerous precipice for me, tho. I lose Him when I find myself too fully. I don't want that. I would rather He find me swimming in His grace.
I don't know what is in store for me. The possibilities are limitless with my God. Thankfully, since I am such a mess! Fortunately, He is not.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV