The message is so simple. Good dirt = Good flowers, but good dirt takes discipline, like not running my mouth just because the world is discouraging. Of course the world is discouraging - Jesus said it would be. That’s why he needs me to stop running my mouth and be the light, so people can get to him not me.
If suffering is actually a vital part of human development - and Paul says it is - why don’t we quit beating ourselves up for experiencing it.
Maybe you don’t need someone to fix you. Maybe you need someone to walk with you through it, helping you keep your eyes on the prize.
There are lots of reasons I drive myself so hard - perhaps you do the same - but wise, free women get to the bottom of that well asap, because it’s for freedom we were set free. We ought not be slaves to our made-up stories.
Ultimately, a good life is nothing more than a long series of days, deliberately made good. One after the other, strung together like pearls on a necklace. After years of this, you look back at what is, in fact, a very good life.
America has countless things to be grateful for, but gosh we act like spoiled children a lot. I really do wonder when we came to expect freedom from all inconvenience and license to express outrage over it?
I mean, we're good at complaining, it's become our national M.O. We even rock non-verbal complaining. The grocery checker messes something up and the woman at her counter looks back at me and rolls her eyes.
That happened to me yesterday and ruh-roh that woman had a cross around her neck.
By and large, we have homes, vehicles, full bellies, educated minds, freedom to move about and resources beyond imagining for most of the world.
So if it isn't up to us to MASTER OUR FEAR AND ANXIETY and get busy bringing justice, mercy, love and service to our neighborhoods and the world. Who is it up to?
Here's what I know for sure:
The subconscious mind is a garden. The conscious mind is the sower. Our thoughts are the seeds. Whatever you plant, you grow. You cannot think anxious, cynical, fearful thoughts all day long and expect to grow tranquility, contentment and abundance in your garden. There is no place in the natural or spiritual world where that is true. What a man sows, he reaps. Your thoughts are yours alone. So what are you sowing?
Besides good rehab, regular accountability and Jesus, the thing that helped Andy most was actively serving someone else. You see, when the enemy can keep us obsessively focused on our own lives, he can worry us into paralysis.
But God wants us striding into places we can't see, following his voice. It's not that my worries are irrational - no they're pretty legit - but through Andy, I felt the Lord saying: "I know. Keep going. Don't Quit. You take care of someone else and let me take care of you."
So in case you've got the same problem this morning, here's my list of things that need taking care of way more than my my crazy-pants nighttime behavior does.
Every morning when I walk by my coffee pot, I experience actual physical longing. So I whine and count the days until Easter when I can have it back.
But every time the longing hits, I imagine the fully divine Jesus, stuck here for 33 years trying to teach limited, harassed, confused, arrogant, stubborn humans like me how to live. How he must have counted the minutes until Easter.
Consider for a moment, how your life would look if you showed up everywhere with a deep awareness of your royal identity?
- What deals would you reject?
- What words would come from your mouth?
- What words wouldn't?
- What would you believe was possible for you and your family?
- How would you use your incredible leverage to change the world?
For most of my life the controlling narrative has been Be Awesome. Need Nothing. Even as I dragged myself through a disastrous miscarriage, I didn't ask for help. I also scolded myself for being selfish: "Who are you to be so sad, when other people are suffering so much worse. Think about Syria!"
But both of those are bullshit lies.