Stunning. The clarity was stunning.
The thoughts tumbled at first. The clearest was, "Oh no, these have been my mottos my entire life."
- Work hard, you'll figure it out.
- Pretend until you do.
- Find people you like and like you back.
- When you get overwhelmed embrace the idol.
- Feel remorse, apologize
It's shocking to realize how much I have ignored God. Shocking. Pick a story, look at it through this grid. There it is. Oh my.
Meanwhile God... Look at the list of spiritual practices the Lord has been inviting me to since I was in my mid-thirties.
Love the Lord with all that you are
Abide in the work
Prayer of Examen
Love your enemies
Fasting from idols
The Lord had me circling in and out of all these practices, plus more. His patience and wisdom are breathtaking. He never gives up on revealing Himself and His mottos and right in the midst of all my unbelief and arrogance. Right there while I'm behaving like an enemy, the Lord is helping me to see His ways are better than mine. Grace. Oh, the love and mercy of God.
All of this explains so much. I have lived a life of wrestling with God. I was loyal to the "old man" right alongside a passionate desire to learn the way of the "new man". I have spent my life living at war within. This is why surrender has become a precious word, an increasing reality in the last couple of years.
Where will things go from here? For once I'm not pretending to know. :) May the "with God mottos" be preferred. May recognition of the old ways be easier to see, feel and reject. May I become as welcoming to Jesus as He has been to me.
Oh Lord, what scales do you desire to remove from each of us this Lent? May it be!