“One of the best parts of being human is other humans. It’s true, because life is hard; but people get to show up for one another, as God told us to, and we remember we are loved and seen and God is here and we are not alone. We can’t deliver folks from their pits, but we can sure get in there with them until God does.” Jen Hatmaker
BEWARE: HEART SPILL AHEAD. PREPARE FOR VULNERABILITY.
As I grow up, I’m continually reminded and learning what matters most (I say continually, because I am an Israelite, and I forgot God all too quickly): Jesus and people. Loving and knowing Jesus, and relationships. Being my best self, confident in how God created me (as in trusting + believing that my gifts are useful and important, and that the quirky parts of my being aren’t wrong or need to be changed and scrutinized 24/7 — can anyone else relate?), to be poured out like a full bucket of water, for people. Heaven (I think) will be a place for God glory and people, not met or unmet expectations or earthly achievement, not worldly acquisition or the acceptance by culture.
I believe that on this earth there are right and wrong pressures, (maybe ‘okay’ pressures and ‘good’ pressures is another way to say it) for a Christ follower. A God-pressure? Noticing someone who needs some love, grace, wisdom, kindness, or Jesus. The tug on your heart, the conviction in your spirit, that kind of pressure. Loving those that are unlovable, cheering on other members of the family in their endeavors, sticking with them in the trenches when life is tough. Like the above quote, “We can’t deliver folks from their pits, but we sure get in there with them until God does.”
A earthly pressure? Being perfect at my job, setting unrealistic standards for myself, prioritizing self-image over soul transformation, pride when I’ve made a mistake or been wronged, having everything together, never being vulnerable; the list could go on. There is so much grabbing for our attention these days. So many pressures that, I’m afraid, I don’t think are from God. But they are pressures that I tend to live from, to make choices in responses to.
My God, Savior, and best companion, and relationships. These are lasting priorities, these are worthwhile, eternal pursuits. These are what will shape, mold, change, complete, and grow my heart (and the hearts of others) for eternity.
Isn’t that the greatest point? That this is not our home, that this place is temporary, that we’re basically aliens here? (1 Peter 2:11)
What I will take to my true home is my love for Jesus and my relationships. Maybe I’ll meet Jesus with a group of people all praising His name, maybe I’ll meet him standing beside my husband, I have no idea. But that’s the beautiful thing. People are what will come with me when I do — not a list of achievements, or a trailer full of my cool stuff, or a highlight reel of how many people thought I was great, or even a book full of my mistakes. And in me, what I hope and pray is a soul that is overflowing with love for my Lord, joy of being in his presence, a trusting smile on my face, and a new song in my heart.
How quickly I forget. Now, hear me please, earthly pursuits are not wrong. Doing well at my job is glorifying to the Lord, staying healthy is being a good steward of my body and helps me do other cool things in life, enjoying possessions and pleasures is okay. It’s when they become ultimate things, to the point where I am numb to Jesus and the people around me, when they get buried underneath these other things, that’s where I miss out. In my heart’s opinion. I’m missing the greatest joys, the fullest life, the grace-giving moments, the beauty of simplicity, the intimacy of relationship.
I wrote about my running mantra last week, but maybe there’s room for a life mantra also: Be kind. Be you. Love Jesus. (Thanks, Jen Hatmaker.) I feel extremely passionate about this; my heart longs for this to be who I am. I’m sure I’ll forget again, get swept up in this temporary place, but praise the Lord for also beckoning me back home.
— For those of you who took the time to read this even after the warning (bless you), do you relate to this at all?