Finding FavorPosted on Feb 8, 2014 | 9 comments
Very young in life, I became savvy to something. I had a need I wasn’t mature enough to verbalize, but I could witness in the scenes and relationships around me…enticing images that drew me in and filled me with longing. It was that innate desire to be valued, to be found worthy, to be wanted and invited into relationship. However, having a prickly, stubborn, competitive nature didn’t make for being the most popular kid on the block. I , somewhat unconsciously, knew I couldn’t draw on personality to get the wanted approval and attention. In my proud youthfulness, I was, also, painfully aware that neither beauty or brains were on my side…starving my body, and praying my way through my studies, though I did. This all ended in a train wreck of perfectionism and performance…the only way I could gather a bit of affirmation for the heart healing I needed. I determined that whatever I COULD do, I would do it perfectly or near to…and thus, be worth something to somebody. Some mistook this for purposefulness, or spiritual depth, responsiveness, or ability to follow through…or even, passion. Wrong.
I took a bit of a break from blogging. Day after day week after week, I find more and more amazingly talented writers, photographer, bloggers. The internet has made the world so much smaller, connecting the world of art and information…writers, artists, scholars…into one shimmering guild…where one artist or brilliant mind leads you to another, who in turn, leads you to another…right on around the golden chain that loops around the world…and then right back into your own hometown. If creativity or love of learning springs out of a whole and healthy soul…all of this over-saturation is but heart food and a wine glass full of joy enhancing the continual feast of life and resulting in gratitude and glory to the Creator. Every bright thought, in this instance, triggers anew the sweetness of further innovation, discovery, poetry, art.
But, if the soul is sick for want of value and anemic in true spiritual understanding of its identity in Christ, every day it is only another drop of poison in the goblet, leading one closer and closer to death. Because what you want to say has already been said, only much more profound. The photo you wanted to take has already been taken, only much more skillfully. The picture you wanted to paint, has already been painted, only with much richer color and expression. The sermon you meant to preach has already been given, only with much more impact. That bread you wanted to bake, that party you wanted to plan? It already showed up on Pinterest. “They” went home with the grammy, with the award, with the article that went viral. They matter. I don’t. Loser of one. Me.
I like to write. If I had time and education, I think I could write a book. I like to take pictures. If I had time and opportunity, I might be able to have my own photography business. People buy books and hire photographers. If they like these products, they write glowing recommendations and give vigorous accolades. That sounds like bliss to the misguided, such as I. I COULD have done that too. I could have mattered.
Instead, Someone who loves me for reasons I can’t seem to comprehend, saw my ravenous searching and kept me from an idolatry that would have gained me the world, but cost me my soul. He gave me a calling that I wasn’t necessarily gifted at…an occupation hidden among the vastness of humanity…time invested few people will ever calculate. I love and parent five children. I feed them, read them the Bible, wash their dirty socks, and sweaty undies. Once again, I find myself praying my way through schooling…this time homeschooling…which includes educating two kids with special needs. I take them to music lessons, sports activities, and therapy sessions. I never know what I’m doing. Never. My calendar is full and constantly bungled. It’s a case of 100% weakness relying on His 100% strength. And this time, I can’t do it perfectly. I try and try and read parenting books, and adoption books, and homeschooling books. I follow blogs and search for tips. I pray and follow through all of my spiritual disciplines. I listen to sermons and watch DVD’s. And…still I can’t perform enough to win the complete favor of my children, my family, my community, my world..and most of all, myself.
What a relief. Because the desperation drives me to look for Someone else’s affirmation and esteem not based on my talent, fame, or capability. And there I am taken in and wanted and seen…based on ,the mere fact that I am His beloved child and He wants to be with me… something so hard to understand in a world driven by the “like” button and the amount of followers standing behind your giftedness, and your earned place in a talented crowd.
I am back to my blog. I had to rethink a bit, because it seemed to becoming to me a burden, another spot where I must perform for favor, instead of an outpouring of healing and creative therapy or a reflection of His beauty. It times when I feel like I am failing so much on the home front, the temptation to succeed in the virtual world, is so much more real.
At the end of the day, we all want to be “held up” and held together by the Head, “growing with a growth that is from God”…not to be the one to be holding our own worlds together with our own driveness, calling man-made effort true success or maturity. We want to be free. And freedom is not being bound by the fickle esteem of a fan club, but knowing that the little we give our hearts to is “…as unto the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord we will receive an inheritance as our reward. We are serving the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Col.3: 23-24)