Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Matters Most

My recent post about aging received some interesting comments both here and in emails. Surprise! I'm not the only one getting older around here. :)

And I wanted to add more to that puzzle I began in that post, namely:

Years ago I realized I'm a human-being, not a human-doing.

Really, back in the 1990's I noticed some odd things for the first time, ever, like:

The more I concentrated on becoming who God created me to be, the less concerned I was with  proving myself by doing a bunch of stuff. You know, the way a lot of us were taught that we must work, work, work to keep up with everybody, to prove we're as good as everyone else (which is extremely pride-connected, btw).

For me, what came to matter most was that I allow God to change me into the kind of person He always intended me to become. And the vast majority of that, takes place on the inside of me, though yes, He prefers I don't 'let myself go' and end up looking like an unkempt weirdo on the outside. Alas.

But as He said, it's the inner (wo)man of the heart that matters the most.

And you know? When I finally stopped trying to make myself into a good little Christian woman and allowed God to do that (big, difficult) job, I noticed some huge changes:

Like, I did less, but accomplished more. When I listened to God, suddenly, Grace appeared to show me what needed to be done today, what could wait, and she gave me strength for that work. 

I found myself in the right places at the right time. I didn't have to do a bunch of running-around-searching for things I needed--they just seemed to appear wherever I went.

God led me to the people who wanted to be helped, rather than wasting years helping people who just didn't want to change. 

I finally saw real progress in myself and in people God led me to help.

And the best thing? My motives changed. I stopped working and being kind for "brownie points with God" and so to appear valuable to others-- and instead--I just began obeying God out of love for Him. Out of the changes He'd made in me. 

And that made all the difference.

This will sound odd to some, but I believe God prefers us to be lovers of Him rather than busy worker bees. He so enjoys our companionship! And the bonus in spending time with Him all day long is that, over time, we become closer to Him and move farther away from the insecure us who believed working, proving our worth, was the way to live. 

And time spent with God is never wasted... always, it leads us to our own unique purpose for being here and we come away wiser, more peaceful, with hearts that love to help others and with strength enough to do what He asks, no matter how old we become upon this planet.


"He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."  ... Luke 10:27

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." ... I Peter 3:4


Oh! Months ago I told you Tom and I discovered Out of the Wild: The Alaskan Experiment in the instant view section of Netflix. Nine people were dropped off in the wilds of Alaska with only a map, a few supplies and a few wilderness skills. They were to hike back to civilization just for the personal challenge of it--no prize money was involved.

We *loved* that 8 part series so much!

So yay! Yesterday we discovered a new season, this one was called Out of the Wild: Venezuela. Oh wow, instant addiction there, too. We watched the first 5 episodes in one day--couldn't stop watching. Two of the men were Christians so there was some prayer and the Bible involved, so of course, that added to our enjoyment, as well. 

Just thought I'd mention these for anyone who may like the same sort of thing. This is how Tom and I prefer to take wild, risk-your-life journeys--by watching others make those trips on tv. heh.



Rita said...

You have so many good points in this post. I had a friend of almost 30 years and I felt we were like sisters. It was such a special friendship to me. Getting little gifts on birthdays and sending cards when one of us was sick or needed encouragement. I didn't want to give it up. Never once thought we would. I felt God gave us the friendship and we should do our best to keep it. My friend didn't feel the same. Her life moved on. She began to feel smug and indifferent to me. I kept trying sending cards now and then, ask her to lunch, was invited to showers and bought nice gifts. Tried my best to be a helper and encourager. But you know it still wasn't working. One day it was as if God spoke to me and let me know he had given us this friendship for a season. Even though I had much loss in my life I needed to give up this friendship too. :( It has been over two months since I contacted her or her me. Honestly, somehow it feels right. My friendships with my other friends has grown stronger. I've spent more time with the Lord. God has helped me purge my house and is continuing to do so. I'm ok now and I would never have thought I would be. Lesson learned.

Pat said...

Beautiful post Debra, and Rita left a knowledge filled comment!
To put it extremely simply, we must reduce our self and increase the Lord in our life. I know there is a scripture that says the same thing, but I'm so poor at remembering the reference!
It's such an easier journey when we actually apply that to our lives, but sometimes we are reluctant to take our hands off the steering wheel.
I just love the blogs of my dear friends, I receive so much grace and knowledge!