I can’t believe that I have wasted so much time.
There’s a line toward the end of When Harry Met Sally that goes “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Now, I’m the first one to roll my eyes and say something snide and snarky about comparing a relationship with God to an idealized romantic comedy. But when you realize that you have spent your life being selfish, ridiculous, and petty toward God, you really want the rest of your life with him to start as soon as possible.
I can’t believe that I have wasted so much time.
I used to think that God and I were tight. And in a lot of ways, we were. But if I am being honest (and why wouldn’t I be on the Internet), there were very specific places in my heart where I refused God any kind of access. I kept him at an arm’s length and I asked him to fit himself into my life.
I’m sorry, I’m just not someone who is into reading the Bible all the time.
I don’t have the time to devote to prayer or worship…(I’d say while getting ready to go out and have yet another drink with my friends.)
I’m not one of those weirdo Christians.
Sure, it’s not possible at all to live on a fence, but I just might be the first person to make it work, damn it!
And so on.
I didn’t want to fit myself into God’s life. I was absolutely terrified of losing myself. I held God in such low esteem—not only in his ability, but in his character—that I was sure that if I let go of my life, if I took up my cross and followed him, he’d get my life wrong.
Meanwhile, I would date men who were not right for me, because I was looking at the wrong criteria. Because I lacked wisdom and discernment from not spending time with God. I would make poor career decisions because I was fearful and as the mistress of my own teeny-tiny universe, I didn’t believe that God had my back (or a plan). And I didn’t want to pay the price, experience the discomfort, or feel the pain of what it would take to make me more like him.
But my estimation of God was small and petty. He does what he pleases and what he pleases is always good. And generous. In his goodness, he took me out of the comfortable, yet cluttered and cramped life I had constructed for myself and put me in circumstances that forced me to let go of all the dead weight. All of a sudden, I had all this room in my life and he started filling it with his stuff.
And it was good.
Ironically, God did fit himself into my life. He came here. He got involved. He played by our rules. And then he let us murder him in the most humiliating way possible, because that is what happens when everybody is the master or mistress of his or her universe. We remain small and petty and lash out when our way is threatened. He wielded our absolute depravity to bring about his own purposes, trumping our sovereignty with a crazy and beautiful master plan. My God, what a genius.
When you look at it that way, at how God takes the most vile things in this world to bring about beauty, how could you not want that person around you all the time? What else could he make glorious?
All the clutter of my life, my choices, my way was nothing. It was all just void filling void. I feel like I never lived until now. That every day that I pushed God away was squandered on sound and fury. That I ever believed that there was a choice between God and “the world.” There is no choice. There is only God. Or there is nothing.
And yet I know that even those days and years that I frittered away on the most trivial and ephemeral of matters were not wasted. They were fit together and ordained to get me to this moment.
At the risk of seeming like a preacher about to give an altar call, if you are holding back from God, if you are keeping him at an arm’s length, if you think that there is anything but weighty glory if you dive into God, please stop. He loves you more than you can imagine and he’ll win out eventually.
It’s up to you decide how much time you want to waste.
You want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.... continue More Stories
Sometimes, when I'm trying to envision "handing it over to God," I use a mental picture.
I picture myself piling up all of my anxieties, my sin, my problems, my worries, and so on, as if they were belongings, all onto this huge tarp. (It's a gray tarp in my picture.) I take up the four corners of the tarp, then drag the bundle like a hobo, and just draaaag it to the foot of the cross (again, in my mind). I dump it there with a sigh of relief, and say "There. There it all is. So, um...can You please help?"
Then I look up at the cross, and the anxiety flees. I find it helps...
"Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them." - Mahalia Jackson
"Contrary to what the world claims, Beauty does not diminish with time; beauty deepens and increases. True beauty comes from a depth of soul that can only be attained through living many years well." - John Eldredge
“Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God.” - Maya Angelou
"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls." - Mother Teresa