“To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which
any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.”
The blinders, which had slowly been building on my spiritual eyes over a timespan of at least 25 years, had been removed. I was finally seeing things clearly for the first time – I had become downright MILITANT in my daily quest to spend time with God – checking off the “boxes” of scripture reading, as if that alone would get me close to Him. In my quest to be disciplined, I had slowly, but surely, excluded God from a time that was intended for intimacy
The outcome of our willingly (and even knowingly) subjecting ourselves to everyone’s polished persona and comparing our lives with their pics (most of which have been altered or filtered), has resulted in nothing less than GRAND THEFT, stealing our confidence, self-respect, uniqueness, healthy body image, focus, and peace. For goodness sake, it’s even taken our money, as we’ve gone out and tried to purchase the life we’ve seen depicted on our phone screens!
If we are to be effective in our mission and purpose, vulnerability and authenticity are required. We have to be honest, imperfect in living it out - flaws and all. We can't pretend to be superhuman or perfected in our execution of our mission - just authentic and real, flaws and all. The world has had enough fake. It wants real. This goes for the Christian community as well.
Yes, Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year! But not for everyone. Christmas can hold thoughts, memories, and realities that are nothing short of painful. And as much as you attempt to join in the festivities, sadness and/or straight up depression seem to chase you through the season much like a lion in pursuit to devour his prey. Running as fast as you can, you’re actually breathless and overwhelmed with the possibility of succumbing to the very beast you know has been defeated by the birth of the One you celebrate.
Crappy stuff has happened. Thing’s haven’t turned out as expected. You’re holding on to every remaining ounce of faith you possess, believing that God is at work in the midst of it all. In fact, you know He is, because when you look back, you recall circumstances, events, and situations in which He’s orchestrated such happenings that cannot be chalked up to mere coincidence.
Obviously, to say waiting has been a life-long struggle for me, is a grand understatement. It’s as if I’ve placed myself in the position of judge and jury, determining the speed and direction in which everyone or everything around me should move - even God Himself. When non-movement is the perceived response, judgmentalism can ensue, causing me to be frustrated with the world and God alike. Although I am sure there are “groups” for people like me, please tell me I’m not the only one!
Of recent days, we've witnessed society fueled by those who display the greatest passion with the loudest voice to a greater degree than ever before. Those who storm the gates with the most powerful force appear to receive the highest level of attention and response. We’ve seen it in both the political arena, as well as world events. It seems these individuals are both admired and revered as they desperately seek to command the greatest level of attention. Whether they are brilliant, or as dumb as a doornail, we give them our attention…at least for a little while.