Wednesday, February 1, 2012
a Hard Look at 29
So I have a confession to make. I'm nearing my 29th birthday. Shock and awe, I know. (I've got good aging genes. Have you seen my mother?) But, this is it. This is the last birthday that I will have in my twenties. And what's more, even though I will only be 29, I will be entering my 30th year of life. Thirty years that I've had to enjoy life. Thirty years that I've had to make a difference. Thirty years that I've already lived.
Honestly, I thought that 29 would look so different for me. I just thought that I would be...more than I am. You see, in my mind, I'm special. I'm intelligent. I've got a great family who support me. I have been faithful to God. I'm pretty. ;) But, this is what my life looks like. And while I'm not miserable by any means, I just thought that I would be more and have more.
In some ways I suppose that, up until this morning, I've been grieving for the life I thought I would have instead of enjoying the life that I do have.
But this morning I drove by a fast food restaurant and picked up a bite to eat. (Okay, I'll admit it. I went to McDonald's and got a sausage biscuit which was 11 weight watchers points but I ate a banana too which was free.) While I was there I noticed a lady that attended high school with me. She was working the drive thru window. I knew of the difficulties that she had in school. She had a few learning limitations. She didn't come from the wealthiest background. But she was standing at the window smiling and serving people their breakfast and absolutely loving the life that she had created. I've noticed her working before and I can not remember a time that I have seen her discouraged or upset with life because of where she worked or what she was doing. She was then, and is now, absolutely content with who she is.
I have to write, I'm so proud of her. I'm proud of her for being faithful to a job. She is faithful to work and because of that she has received promotions. I'm proud of her for caring for her family. She has always been close to her grandma. I'm proud of her for not accepting what society has called a limitation. She has never let her supposed learning capabilities handicap her ability to grow and add value to her life.
And here I sit, in my car, convicted by her testimony of faithfulness.
Faithfulness is one of the most overlooked fruit of the Spirit in our culture. I mean, love, that's like the trend right now. But faithfulness...not so much. Truly this is a problem. I find it interesting that we look for comfort in the faithfulness of God, but choose to not be faithful to Him.
As a culture, we are not faithful to serve God with our time. Generally, I have found that we give God the left over time in our day. I know I have. I come in from work only to veg out in front of the television or computer and then give God the last ten minutes before I go to sleep. How incredibly selfish and egocentric is that? I expect God's manifest presence to just instantly show up at the end of my day, have this rocking ten minute devotion, and then just go to sleep! (Please ignore any word visualization this may induce to other relationships in your married lives.) The point of spending time with God is to empower us to live, not sleep, in His presence. That is wrong.
I use my energy to propel myself forward in my own agenda...making my own plans...doing my own thing. That is wrong.
I use the money and resources that God has given me to add to my life the things that I think I need rather than supporting the work of the Church or the mission in the world. That is wrong.
I use my talent for personal gain...to gain fame and money and klout scores, all the while ignoring the fact that every talent God has given to me was entrusted to my care to bring HIM the glory and honor He only is worthy of. That is wrong.
God is faithful no matter our response to Him, but I truly believe that when we respond with faithfulness He is overjoyed. That faithfulness is an act of worship and He loves our worship.
I'm choosing in the next thirty years to be absolutely faithful...completely dedicated to God and to loving His people...to attending church and giving my time, energy, money, and talent to His service...to serve faithfully above all.
Will you join me?