Sometimes I make life more complicated than it needs to be, and by sometimes I mean almost always! If you are a loyal reader of this blog (there are literally a few of you who are!) you may have picked up on a pattern of thought over the past several weeks. My life has felt difficult and complicated. In all honesty, there have been large chunks of time where I have just felt like giving up. As I sat in front of the big, blank, white screen this morning trying to figure out what to say I went back and forth in my head about the tone and topic that I would use.
The basic question boils down to this: am I writing to express myself or am I writing to express hope? Often times those are the same thing, but at the present, the two don’t necessarily coincide. As I tossed around concepts like “transparency” and “honesty” for a while it occurred to me that I am always looking at something so I need to be careful where I choose to focus my attention.
At any given time I can make a strong argument for myself as worthless or worthy. By nature I tend to lean toward optimism, but sometimes it becomes easier to just go with the flow and join the throngs who would color my life as “worthless”. Many of us probably do not need to beat the bushes too hard to find a mob of people who cast us in a disparaging light based on our past. I am “blessed” enough to not even need to ask…people are more than willing to volunteer such thoughts.
Working in, around, and for a church makes it that much more difficult to stomach. Leading a recovery ministry causes me to weigh my feelings with my mission and factor in the possibility of being in denial about whatever I come up with as an answer. My brain feels like mush at times like this. Is it better to follow the “greater good” – that which causes the path of least resistance for the church as a whole? Or should I stay with the “greater God” which guarantees my worth and says that people who have a problem with me are the ones with the problem? If I fade into the background does that mock the value that Jesus gave me when He chose to die for my sins? Am I just giving up because the battle has become too difficult? Am I listening to the enemy and partnering with the lie that my story is only valuable to the lost but will harm the found?
And then my friend reminds me of my “catch phrase”. How can I implore you to rise up if I cannot get myself to do the same? I love this friend because they will not give up on me even when I try to give up on myself. I love them because they keep me true to my focus even when others around me tell me to step back into the shadows and let cleaner people shine. Love is not always telling me what I want to hear, but rather what I need to hear. So for another week I will fight my inclination to stand down and follow the advice of AG and