I’m going to let you in a little on my writing process. I come up with several topics throughout each week, but forget most by the time I get the opportunity to write them down. In other words, I do most of my thinking commuting to or from work or before I’m going to sleep. However, this week was a marked departure from that norm. I had an idea of what this post was going to be and then I went to church at Reston Bible Church. I realized something about myself that I feel is applicable for most.
Life is rarely fulfilling. That’s merely a fact inherent of life on earth. Life isn’t meant to be easy, but for most of us it’s rather painful (John 16:33). Honestly, life doesn’t meet my expectations. I get overwhelmed by the plethora of choices and information which is available on a daily basis. I am so stimulated by all the noise around me that I do not know how I am to go about running the race God has created me to run. There is just so much to deal with that I often shut down and choose not to deal with any of it.
I don’t know about you, but my expectation of life is never met. I’m an optimist and so most of the time I’m looking for my circumstances to resemble the fairy tale ending, but that isn’t how God works. When I try to adjust my expectations, God goes and blows them out of the water. I never know what to expect, but I can guarantee by now my expectations are only setting me up for disappointment. That is precisely the result. Rather than look at God’s word, I selfishly form my own expectations and expect God to work within that small box.
I feel this is odd from an IT professional, but I become increasingly numbed each day by the overload of information and choices our society affords. There is simply too much noise with which I’m bombarded daily and my reaction is to tune it all out (or at least as much as I can). In the same way, I also tune out the wisdom of God. Instead of retreating into His tender loving care, I run into my own hole and just play dead. I choose apathy and ferment in my own foolishness.
In case you’re wondering, I don’t have any better clue of God’s purpose for my life than you. And that realization is scary. It makes me want to run and hide in hopes that when I return to life all will be spelled out perfectly for me. Despite my fear, I know this to be absolutely ridiculous. I know God has a great purpose for my life, but my inhibitions are so convincing. No, I don’t want to put myself out there. I don’t want to choose to pursue God’s will for my life, because it’s not safe. How can I be sure that He’ll provide for me in the future?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” – Hebrews 12:1-3
Truth be told, I’m dead inside. Being alive in Christ involves a great deal of risk, the very risk that terrifies me on a daily basis. Maybe I’m not scared outright, but it is a daily choice, living, that I need to make but am not. As a writer, I’m failing you my reader. I am a hypocrite telling you to run the race well which you were created to run, while walking along my own course (1 Corinthians 9:24). This life isn’t going to magically get better; it was never meant to. Instead, we were meant to change our perceptions and expectations to what God provides for us in His word. Maybe I’m a stupid 23-year-old, but I firmly believe we can do all things to which God calls us, regardless of how clear He makes His intentions to us (Philippians 4:13). So, do we choose risk in living a life devoted fully to loving the God who loved us first this week? Well…do we?