This past couple of years have been difficult for me and my family. I have wavered in my faith in God to the point I felt like I was teetering over a cliff. I wish I could say I have prayed and trusted God like never before, but I can’t.
The word that best describes what has happened between God and I has been “complaining”. I have complained and God has actually waited on me to stop.
I wish I could say why. I wish I could say that I have been able to mine a nugget of wisdom from my trials, but there is none…….yet.
While reading my bible the other day, though, a couple of verses hit me a little harder than usual. I was reading through Matthew and ran across Matt 10:39 and Matt 16:25.
Matt 10:39 (NIV) “Whoever finds his life will lose ot, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matt 16:25 (NIV) “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”
I suddenly realized that all of the trying to find my place in the Church and even my career was just that. Trying to find my life. Trying to find life.
I have read numerous articles and blogs about Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. I have sat through literally around 100 sermons in my own church generally geared toward trying to find my place to serve God. I have spent a great deal of time of time reading books about developing my spiritual gifts that God gave me.
The list of things I needed to do to get God to use me became so burdensome I finally gave up because I thought God had abandoned me. I saw others being blessed. Others enjoying church. Others hearing from God. Everyone just plain old excited and giddy with what God was doing. But there always seemed a emptyness to it. I never REALLY found anyone DOING anything. I literally believed I was too dense to understand something that seemed SO obvious to others.
All of the getting “excited about serving God” stuff appealed to me in a big way, but no one could ever tell me just how to DO it. I mean in a tangible way. A way that fit in with my 60-hour workweek and raising a family. I was just a sore thumb that was far too dumb to figure out what what God wanted of me.
Until I read in Matthew where Jesus talked about finding our life and I think I realize why the emptyness to it all.
It’s because when we are trying to find our place, constantly striving to fit in, constantly trying to carve out a niche in a church full of every conceivable kind of “ministry” with very little of it involving scripture study and prayer, we are doing it under human power. When we are constantly trying to build an excitement within our churches trying to get people excited about serving God, we are doing nothing more than building hype. People soon fall away from the latest hype.
I was one of those that fell away from the hype and fell away from the excitement because I never could find my place, my life.
It’s not about trying to find our life because we never will. We will constantly be searching in vain and never find life, because life cannot be created in human hands. We will always come up empty and only grow more and more desperate in our search.
The saddest part is we will begin to think life is found in the constant church activities. The fellowship dinners, the movie nights, the tailgate parties, the church chili cookoffs, even the latest christian book fad. All of the marketing techniques used to “draw all men unto Him”. The very Giver of Life could be standing before us and we wouldn’t even recognize Him because we never saw him at any of our constant church activities. We took it for granted he was invited because our churches told us He was.
I realize now that it’s about losing my life. Waiting. Walking. Not trying to find a place. Because I never will.