Friday, January 6, 2012

5 Easy Steps to Becoming Human

I have a tendency to want to get things done. Make a list. Do the list. Cross it off. Done. This tendency works well in many areas of my life. Organizing closets, packing for trips, meal planning; you know, getting stuff done.

And for the longest time I thought my spiritual life should run on a list too. I was drawn to books that seemed to promise spiritual breakthroughs and solid solutions. You know the ones: "Be A Spiritual Giant by Thursday," "Three Easy Steps to Raising Perfect Children," and "The Secret to Changing Your Spouse." I read them all. I swallowed them all, at least as many as I could bear. I tried extremely hard to do what these books told me to do.

But I failed, again and again.

I couldn't quite make sense of it. I loved God. I wanted to please Him. Why couldn't I get there? Why didn't my husband turn into "Godly Man" when I prayed the prayer of a "Godly Wife"? Why didn't my children immediately obey and stop bickering? Why was I angry?

In a nutshell, it seems the DNA has revealed that I am a human being. Shocking, I know. I found it hard to believe at first too. But, yeah, we are all sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, as well as children of the King.

Once I got over the initial distaste for being human, I began to see the "up" side.

I could relax knowing that I was not God and therefore would not be perfect until heaven. I could rest knowing God was God and wasn't going to stop loving me, working in me, and changing me. I could become a little more realistic (yes, that means less idealistic) and forgive myself and others for their shortcomings. I could stop praying for God to zap my husband, children, and others and start praying for them to know the depths of God's love like never before. I could stop constantly apologizing for my anger and asking God to make me different. I could start admitting I was angry, telling God what I was angry about, and asking Him to show me where I needed to learn to say no to others. I could see where I needed to accept "no" from those around me. I learned that the biggest way I could love another person was not to give advice, but to hear her pain and attempt to understand.

As you have guessed by now, there are no easy steps. Life is short and filled with mysteries we cannot fathom.

And the biggest mystery of all: God. Why does He love us like He does? Why does He, Who is complete and limitless, desire to fellowship with me, the limited and incomplete? Who is this God, Who created everything and fills all of heaven and earth, yet longs for His fullness to be revealed in me?

No real answers here except that is Who He is. He is that He is. And He is Love.

I haven't figured it all out yet. I'm just going to swim in it.

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