Monday, October 26, 2015

Says my Soul: More Meaning in the Everyday, and In Whom its Hidden

"'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.' The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him." -Lamentations 3:24-26

A couple things have happened to my heart and my mind since laying my life down and working with an awareness of God, and one very important change has been an awareness of the principle that our lives aren't our truest or most authentic when we're hanging on or clinging to things that are not ultimately important.

The hierarchy of needs prior to a genuine spiritual life can look something like this: financial, physical, intellectual, relational, then spiritual growth or commitment. We recognize that we have to learn, to play, to create; to have purpose, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves; to think, to feel, to experience life; to have relationships; to eat well, grow our food, take care of our bodies.
And all of these things help us and increase our quality of life; they are all in essence really good. But a fundamental question that arises when we choose to live a God-centered versus self-centered life is this, beyond 'what do I think' or 'what do I believe': 

Quite literally, what do I ultimately serve?

Because whether we ask that question of ourselves or not, the quality of our life depends on the answer. 

And usually, it's the self, or money. Economics often fully and naturally drives the decisions we make in life- it's a first concern- sometimes reasonably, but often selfishly. Our culture, and the people around us a lot of the time, tell us how much we need- and how much more we need than the next person- in order to be happy, and unless we've already bought into another philosophy, we buy into that.
We take it as truth that a little more money would make us a little more happy.

This, I have seen, is why some people are never really happy: because there's no way to have enough of something you don't need.

But money motivates us. Most people have bought into the idea that more of it increases happiness- when all more of it really increases is comfort. There is in reality no correlation between money and pure happiness, nothing that money can do or buy that would touch and heal and free the soul of anyone. Of course it would make anyone's life easier. But that's not the same as better.
Better as in richer. More full. More meaningful. More amazing. Richness, fullness, meaning, and amazingness- those are things that are available to anyone with enough vision, love, and humility- not money.

And to believe that would subconsciously change what we believe to be true about us, about ourselves, about our truest nature: that we really are worth more than what we have, or what we think, or what we can show or prove to other people. We are always worth, to God, unfathomably more than any price we could ever name.
And once you begin serving God, there's a strange new alliance to answering to His spirit within you versus to whatever the world is telling you to do, think, or be. There's this unthinkable realization that you never have to question your worth again, because it can't change: if it's set on God, it's set on what an eternal power thinks and knows of you, and not what you think or know of yourself.

It is confidence beyond confidence.
Once you begin serving God, things more amazing than any you could possibly form or practice on  your own slowly begin to happen. The hierarchy of needs totally flips: life is about God. It's not about you anymore. Spiritual growth is first. Then relational, then intellectual, then physical, and lastly financial.

The humbling thing for me is that it's the exact opposite economy of everything I have spent my whole life working for: School, then a job, then financial security. Physical: what things look like, anything from the clothes we wear to the style we try to hard to present to the world, to the maintenance of our bodies.
Intellectual: being smart, opinionated; on the up-and-up with whatever's trendy or timely or sounds good- at the expense of paying any attention to the purpose of life. Relational: trying to get others to like, validate, and accept you versus just being the version of yourself that God intended and letting right attractions happen naturally.

All things things fade away and are very short-lived. They are ultimately un-sustaining. And every day I'm driven deeper into the reality that everything I do for God flips everything I ever thought I could do for myself on its head- and makes it look self-serving, uninspired, and short-sighted.
And that's been the most beautiful thing about my whole life.


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