Hello all you happy people!
The past year has been an interesting mix of feelings for me. It was a calm year yet one of busyness and distraction. In the past five years there is an expectation to have something major just happen in our lives. I think this has put me on alert most of the time and in light of this, I had a year trying to figure out what life is really all about.
To recap I am a father of five loud, rambunctious, creative, inquisitive, at times strange, awesome kids. I know every parent would say that their kids are great, I do and I will! This however puts me at odds with myself when I am looking for time of reflection, prayer and peace in a time of life when that feeling is truly rare.
This feeling of being at odds has caused internal reflection as well as external. I have changed as a man, husband and father over the past year. This is to be expected as we all are constantly changing, for better or at times for worse. These up and downs help to carve us as individuals, but also help us see where we fit in the larger picture as well.
It is this last point I feel I have struggled with over the past year the most, where do I fit now? I was a Coast Guardsman, I am a husband, I am a father, I am a Christ follower, I am……. This is what keeps me in constant quandary, but I have found this is not a bad place to be as I have been feeling. This is a time that I can focus, renew and enjoy the moment that I am in presently.
I have got too caught up in what I want the world to be, rather than enjoy the world that I currently am a part of. God is showing me that I don’t need to change what’s going on around me, but change what is within me. This is easy to say, hard to do.
Hard in the sense it takes effort to take stock of who I am, and where I am. Bringing those two together can be equally as hard as I put expectations on what I want to be, not thinking about who I have become presently. God has a plan, God is in control, so I need to take my hand of the darn wheel and let Him do the darn driving.
I constantly talk about how we as a culture have control issues when I talk to other men about growing in Christ. In reality, I have put up a good facade and fooled myself in the process. I am one that needs to feel that I have it together, thus I try and hold it together. This encompasses the peace in the house hold, peace in the workplace and peace in all that is surrounding me.
I allow the news, coworkers, children, my lovely wife, strangers to mold and shape me because I want to make sure I am who they need me to be at every moment. Rather than relying on the God who made me who I am, I am trying to be something I am truly not to everyone around me. Then I get to the point of questioning, what and who am I really? When the pillars that I have lifted myself up onto fall, there is nothing that is supporting the falseness I have created.
These are the crazy things I let take over my life. Rather I should turn to God, because I know I should. Funny thing in these times I realize more and more, God is meeting in the craziness I have created around me. He is cutting through the falseness and wanting to show me who I am in Him. This is a hard lesson I learn over and over, but oh what a great God I serve in that He is constantly there to serve me in love.
I have had a bumper sticker on my car now for a while that states God Is Love. At first, I put this on my car hoping to spread the message to the world, unfortunately I started to live my life like a bumper sticker. It became a mantra more than a reality. God is truly love, but He is not a bumper sticker. I am learning to live in His love rather than just wearing it for others to see why they need Him and how great I am because of God.
I am nothing apart from God, He is the one who is great. He is the one who I draw my identity. He is the one who brings peace and meaning to my life. This is my focus, not just over the next year, but for eternity. Continually shaping my mind doesn’t work, God shaping my whole being does.
I hope that this next year brings you God’s awesome love and peace.