***READ UNTIL THE END TO HEAR MY SILLY STORY***
I love the way that our Dad likes to mess around with our lives in His own way and in many times in a very humorous way. I love it when we get to a place where we might think we are doing really good and then he allows little things about us, quirks if you might say, things that really get to us and that are just minor and insignificant, yet they can cause, they have the potential, of throwing everything off and rubbing us the wrong way, making us feel and act in ways that STILL REFLECT THE BROKENNESS OF OUR SOULS and our need for Him truly in every hour, every minute of everyday, for everything we face or experience.
Let me explain this to you from my own experience as i make myself vulnerable in this blog. Cause believe me you, writing blogs has been an amazing experience of God’s revelation of truth to my soul, and i know sometimes it can feel like even as i write, that I have arrived or that somehow I have attained these things. Let me be clear in this…THESE BLOGS AND WORDS I WRITE ARE PRIMARILY FOR ME, AND DAY IN AND DAY OUT THEY ARE A CONSTANT REMINDER TO PUT INTO PRACTICE EVERY SINGLE BIT OF REVELATION I SENSE GOD GIVING ME. So, as I write these things, I can truly confess that they affect me first, and that in NO WAY have I master any or all of these things. But I do love meditating and thinking and asking God to show me as I go through my day where these truths need to be applied. The goal is to try to be aware of everything that happens everyday and how these truths can affect the outcome of my words, actions and plans.
So, my example of vulnerability comes from thinking about one of the ways that I start my day praying. One of my prayers I pray all the time is that everything I do, feel, hear and say would be flowing from my knowing I am loved by my Father, so that love is the motivation of all I am, do, say and think and feel!
Sounds pretty pious, right? And since I pray that everyday, I should be a pro at it. But I hate to say this…I AM NOT!
I can truly say that more often than not His truth is right on my face convicting me and that His spirit in me helps me consistently to choose truth instead of lies. Lies that I hear through filters I have developed based on a false identity and concept of myself and my Father. When I am not truly believing I am loved and accepted and wanted and valued by my Father I begin to hear and feel things that make me feel the opposite. How so? Through other people’s actions, words, and behaviors towards me.
When I am so focused on me, my needs, my wants, my feelings, my selfish desires and when I am so caught up in making others revolve around me and I can’t see past my own nose. But let me say this…if I am tempted to live this way, then I’m pretty sure others are living that way too. And what does this mean? That in the same measure that I live selfishly, others are capable of living the same way and failing at noticing others in their lives as they make their way through their everyday focusing only on themselves.
And this can cause a series of broken relationships, feelings, hurts and wounds, as we do and say things that hurt each other.
Or we are unable to forgive, to overlook offenses and to love others out of a heart that rests in the peace of knowing that no matter what, ultimately, we’re LOVED and wanted and accepted in our Father’s love. And this should be more than enough. But many times it is not.
So, back to my example that I want to share of my own life. If I’m going to write truth, then I need to share with you as well how this is affecting me in practical ways.
1 Corinthians 13:1 starts by Paul saying that I could be the greatest dude in all of earth, the most gifted, most spiritual, most knowledgeable and charismatic, but if I do not love, then I might as well be the biggest douchebag in the universe. Why? Because if I have no love, then it don’t matter. It is worth nothing. Because it is not God’s way of living. He could care less about our accomplishments, our gifts, our grandiose feats or our sacrifices and offerings we could ever bring. What He cares about is if we are reflecting His character and shining His glory here on earth. And to Him, living out of an overflow of His love is what matters.
So, then He goes on to say what love truly is. And you and I both know the passage. Patience. Kindness. “Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; 5 it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs 6 or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! 7 Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. 8 Love will never become obsolete.”
So, as we look at this list, I gotta tell you this story that just happened last night, in my own life, my marriage and relationship with my wife in the eve of our 16th year wedding anniversary just to show you how flawed I still am and how pathetic my heart and soul can still feel and act.
This is where I become vulnerable and open up to you about my silly “spirituality”
We just closed on a new house that goes beyond our wildest dreams, and we are still riding the awe of saying “how did this happen?” “is it truly OUR house???”
So, last night was the first night we could move in and bring in some stuff into the house. We have been all waiting anxiously to move in. The kids have been so patient and yet so excited to finally have their own room and a big place to enjoy!!! We have been really happy and content with our other place, but this is God going the extra mile to bless our socks off and blow our minds and hearts away.
Anyways, last night was also Joe’s last basketball season game here in Hayward and also Danny’s first basketball game of the season for High School in Cumberland, so Leah stayed home to watch Joe and I went to Cumberland to watch Danny.
In between running around after school for Doctor’s appointments and picking kids up, we took time to bring some basic stuff to the house so we could stay there last night. One of those basic things are toothbrushes and toiletries, right?
Well, after I got back from Cumberland late that evening and after picking Danny up from school after he got back, we went home and were so excited to be there. And when the time came for me to go to sleep, I looked for my toothbrush. So I looked in a few baskets, our bathroom, the kids’s bathroom, Leah’s purse and everywhere else I could think of. NO TOOTHBRUSH. There were 15 other toothbrushes there, Leah’s, the kids’ and all kinds of other things, but not my toothbrush. How could this be??? Why was my toothbrush not there?
No big deal, right? OHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! BIG, BIG, BIG DEAL!!!!!!!!!
Immediately i felt offended, hurt, unseen and bothered, frustrated, angry and upset, very upset. How could she not think of me? How could she not show me she cared about me by thinking of me when she was picking up the toiletries of our whole family? Am i not important? Why didn’t she think of me? This is what bothered me the most. And it truly made me upset. Not yelling at her upset (thankfully i am past those things), not fuming at her and waking her up to get my toothbrush from the other house upset (how sweet and mature I am, right???) but a “how can she do this to me?” upset. It truly messed with me. I really wanted to drill in to her the message that what she had done (or not done) was so unloving, selfish, and that after 16 years of marriage she was beginning to just not care anymore about the little details that keep our love going. I did tell her this morning that i try to think of her all the time, and that thinking of her makes me realize and notice things that matter to her and then because i am aware of those things then I make sure i take care of some of them so that she feels seen, loved and valued.
But my point is not that. My point is this. When it talks about love not keeping a record of wrongs, that it doesn’t brag, it is not self seeking, or not self absorbed or easily offended, i can’t think of how many times we go through life putting expectations on people based on what we think they should do to make us feel loved, valued and seen, and how many times these people and these expectations we put on them will fail us, and we will be in the position of potentially being hurt, offended, and wounded. And yet, this is not the way of God our Father. Other people and our expectations of them should not be where we place our hopes, our value, our worth and our meaning. God, our Father, and only God can satisfy the deepest longing of our hearts, not others. I know and understand that if someone is supposed to love us and love should or could be expected and it is not delivered or lived out from them to us it can be tough and hard and challenging. But, in the end, what we need to focus on, meditate upon, and learn to live in is the knowledge and the experience of the one love that never fails!!!
“YOUR LOVE NEVER FAILS, IT NEVER GIVES UP, IT RUNS OUT ON ME”
So, Leah forgot my toothbrush. Oh well, “ni modo”. That’s spanish for “it’s ok, whatever, it really doesn’t matter”.
For in the end, what matters is my ability to love, to be at peace, to look past the little, silly, stupid things that, at times, because of our lack of understanding and knowledge of God’s love for us, can seem so big and so hurtful.
And in doing so, I can abide and truly live out of an abundance of love towards others, and whether this love is reciprocated or not, I don’t need it, cause I am truly found complete in the love of my Father. And that should be all I need, it should be more than enough, right???
WHAT DO YOU THINK? In which ways is God encouraging you to live out His love today as you embrace His love for you and this love enables you to love others UNCONDITIONALLY? This is His way. To love with no strings attached. Can we do that?