As I age… I find myself chucking the un-necessary stuff in my life. The value of simplicity growing larger than my compulsions to “have” or acquire. My garage has less junk in it than ever, my attic has only the seasonal Christmas trinkets and my closet, only the clothes I still wear.
My heart is less cluttered too… I don’t hang onto all the emotional baggage like I used to. Past offenses, fears and hurts are still occasionally on the edges of my mind and soul, but they no longer claim me as a place of residence.
It’s more important to slow down, to really understand the reasons behind the reactions… both within myself and in the lives of others. When I make the effort, I find it’s a significant and effective place to parent or pastor from.
The hardest question I can ask myself centers around my relationship with Jesus. Not the cliché’ marketing slang of WWJD, but deeper than that… what does Jesus “say” for me personally to do about this facet of my life? What is it He’s specifically urging me to consider about the situation I find myself struggling to understand, respond to or help with.
The moment I take the time to really ask and really listen to God… I find myself quickly decompressing and even relaxing. The pressure for “me” to handle this, to have a wise response or a Godly attitude suddenly evaporates as I realize I can’t be Jesus to anyone, I can only be Brad. BUT, I can let JESUS act through me, I can give permission for Him to speak with my mouth and use my hands and feet to accomplish what He would have done in the same situation.
The challenge is consciously moving beyond the circumstances of each life challenge. IF Jesus gets to call the shots in our lives, He ignores our plaintive, insistent objections that we believe in so strongly.
-our “right” to be offended, or…
-our stubborn insistence to be “vindicated”
– or our personal protestations of “injustice” when treated wrongly.
All of the above considerations, although well founded in our minds are singularly irrelevant to the heart of Jesus. He chooses to love and forgive every time, and so If we allow Him to be in charge… we are giving Him permission to do the same in and through us to others.
He moves past the particulars to the heart of each and every situation… my heart, their heart… and His heart. That is difficult to stomach when our powerful emotions and deepest feelings intrude on His divine direction. It means that I have to “trust” in his perspective more than my own.
But no matter how difficult the decision to “Trust” Him… I find that when I totally surrender my option to respond how I want to… and accept what He wants (before I know the answer) instead… I am completely at peace.
The singleness of mind that going to God first brings… is amazingly clarifying.
Our truest self rotates intently around the genuine relationship we have (or don’t have) with Jesus. When that issue stays before me and above any other, I live and work and play and love with clarity and freedom and happiness. When I allow other things to distract or cloud that… I lose my simplicity and get complicated very fast.
Nothing Jesus did or taught or lived was ever complicated. It may have been eternally profound and un-fathomable…but not complicated. When we find life getting very complicated, it’s a clue that somewhere we’ve drifted a bit from our center and need to re-align ourselves spiritually before we can un-clutter ourselves emotionally – physically or materially.
Peace out family… Pastor B.