Saturday, September 23, 2006
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
For my first 25 Christian-like years, I was seeking a lot of things, but I wasn't seeking God. To know Him better.
No, I was seeking to make more friends and to use my gifts and to lose myself in helping people. To earn gold stars from God, Himself, on some heavenly chart.
And I sought formulas which would make me feel better and to make that brick wall disappear--the one which kept me from only going so far, no further. People would say give this offering or fast that meal or witness to those people and read this many chapters of the Bible each day and poof! You will feel better all over. Guaranteed.
Well, I tried all that and there was no poof! I would try all those things and then drive home, sit on the couch with my cats and not feel better. There was just more stress and feeling overwhelmed and as though everyone else had figured out Life--everyone except for me.
But still I skipped around trying what other people were trying and trying to be a good girl, a helpful woman and someone everyone spoke well of... running while slinging good deeds everywhere like seeds which never land, until finally, I ended up in a sort of zombie-like, good-doer heap on the floor (so to speak).
And that's when God caught me. Usually that's the only way He can catch a person. When we become still.
And you might think God grabbed me by the neck and lectured me, but He didn't. Instead, He simply said, "You've done things your way for years--how about trying my way? You've been seeking things and people and position and heavenly brownie points... How about if, instead, you start seeking me? Just me?"
And since He had a point, because after all, my ways hadn't brought me peace... I gave up and gave in... to Him. Even the giving-in was His idea and I have learned that His ideas are always best. My ideas are nearly always defective and somewhere in their design a major flaw will eventually pop up and collapse the whole project. But His ways are perfect. My ways are a big waste of time.
And in seeking to know God I have come to know peace. And joy. And love. Because He is all those things. Only better.
But I had to pretty much start all over. The foundation had to be rebuilt (I'd been building it all crooked. It had always been doomed to topple someday.). I had to come as a child, even though for years I'd believed I was so darn grown-up.
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
It took searching with my whole heart... hundreds of hours over years and years just sitting with Him. And reading the Bible. And taking walks with Him. And hearing good teaching. And obeying Him, even if He asked that I drop everything and just sit still, with Him, for ten minutes (which is like stopping dead still in a race and watching all your friends zoom past you--and not understanding how this is a good thing). Even if He asked me other things which made no sense-- until later. Until after I did what He asked me to do. And seeking to know what He likes and does not like.
But mostly it took seeking Him--who He is. And still, years and years later it takes seeking Him. There is always more of Him to know. There always will be.
And where once there was racing around in insecure, working-for-my-gold-stars circles (then collapsing in a heap), there is now peace. And Grace. And this Friend beside me no matter where I am. And mornings when I can't wait to get out of bed.
All because of Him.
My life became immeasurably better when I stopped trying to arrange God into my schedule, and instead, began arranging my life to fit into God's schedule.