Discovering what love is one day at a time
I woke up a few weeks ago with the song Dead or Alive/BonJovi in my head.
Lyrics to songs usually have a few different words or phrases that grab my attention and get me thinking. This usually leads to questions for me, and for my life and how I am living.
How I am living in relationship to God and the people He has placed in my life?
Am I participating in my life? DEAD OR ALIVE? Is there any place where I have been sitting on the bench of my own life? Do I need to get off the bench? Am I living life in the Spirit or in the flesh? Am I dead to sin, or dead to life/God given spiritual life & wholeness in any area? Am I complacent, or working out my Salvation ?
Spiritually dead men don’t move the only reaction they have is a chemical one…decomposition. They don’t run they rot…
Lately, in having conversation with women struggling with addiction, sin patterns in their life, or a lack of desire to change habits and become a healthier version of themselves; whether it be emotional, spiritual, physical or mental health: there seems to be a pervasive unwillingness to push through, or to get off the sidelines of their own life.
Could this be a result of our society’s “everybody wins?” If you show up you get prize/medal/certificate. Could it be fear? Fear of failure? Fear of mockery? Complacency? Could be the result of not knowing one’s own value? Is it just the habit of the flesh response? The path of least resistance? Could it be any combination of these things and or more?
Why are we unwilling to externally, internally, and eternally invest in ourselves?
Change is uncomfortable. Change can be painful. It means that we just cannot keep doing the “same-same” and expect different results. If you sign up to run in a long distance race, and you cannot run a mile when you signed up, you are going to have to make some changes to get to the point that you will actually be able to cross the finish line in the allotted time. Engaging in this process is going to push you to experience all sorts of “feels.”
In order to make a change, you have to engage in the process.
I have heard women say “I am not going to set the goal for myself to become clean and sober, because when I get out of jail, I am just gonna get high again.”
“I thought about that, it won’t work for me.”
Why, would we be unwilling or unable to set boundaries or expectations of greatness over our lives? Why is mediocrity acceptable in our own life, but yet we expect greatness and perfection from the clothing we buy to the doctors who serve us. How come our attitude would be that of resignation to live lifeless, rather than living life to the full? How can we choose to slowly kill ourselves through the choices we make, rather than improve our lives by the choices we make?
Could my unwillingness to set boundaries for myself to acquire change be like saying…? “I am not going to engage in exercise for it is far too exhausting,”…or, “I am not going to try to perfect this…because it is too stressful,”… “Why should I make my bed? I am just going to sleep in it again.”…
Teddy Roosevelt once said, “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities—all these are marks, not ... of superiority but of weakness.”
Truth is humanity as a whole has been making excuses for the way we react to life’s realities since the days of Adam & Eve. YET, in our weakness, in our sin, Christ died for us. He paid the penalties for all of our sin, by His death & resurrection on the cross. He died so that we might truly live this life, and have it to the full. By His grace & mercy, He has bestowed Christ’s perfect perfection on us. He has given us His holiness. His excellence.
This beautiful, outrageous and undeserved grace enables us to see our own need for change. It also enables us to see the “critic” in us. Grace shows us our purposeful avoidance with having any real authentic contact with life’s realities. Grace equips & enables us with the ability and fortitude to push through the “feels” of our own realities, and walk in a manner that is pleasing to God.
I am encouraged by Teddy Roosevelt’s speech titled “Citizenship in a Republic,” that is famously known to many as “The Man in the Arena.”
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Chapter 12 in Hebrews provides us with instruction & encouragement to truly step into the arena of our own life.”Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the “race set before us”. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
More inspiration is also found in Philippians, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
May we each continue to keep pace with the beautiful grace that God pours out so freely to each one of us.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 25 years. We have two young men ages 22 and 16.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.