There’s so much I don’t know. So many questions. My head can swirl dizzy and drain right away lost until there’s nothing left. There’s peace in the letting go and asking myself again and again, “Who am I to know the mind of God?”
Of course, I know the answer.
My index finger runs gently over Isaiah’s ink, as if I need to absorb the words again through my skin, letting them sink deeply into my bones:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
Recognizing my place in God’s grand universe is never lessening, but always humbling.
And recognizing my place in the face of God is never humiliating, but always liberating.
In my older age, I see how God uses everyone to shine His glory, whether the bright and shiny know their Creator or not.
I want to be like the kid I was before I learned how to perform for others—before I learned how to win. I want to hold glory only enough to give it back to God, lest I bend and break from the pressure. Because glory is heavy. Glory is dangerous.
Glory will tempt you and lift you high, only to throw you down on your course and crash your glass ego to bits. Then, those who elevated you walk away, leaving you alone and forgotten as they move on to the next shiny object of their new affections. We’re always looking for new affections . . .
You either pull yourself up, you pull yourself together, you fashion a new-you glory vessel or you let God pull you up and pull you together and fashion you into a gold-medal winning pedestal to reflect the only One worthy to receive glory and honor and praise.
There’s peace is this. The peace that passes all understanding. When you step down off your pedestal, when you step down off your stage when you no longer have to scratch and claw to be significant because you realize you already are, medals or not, just because of Whose—you—are, you can finally relax into the audacious freedom such revelation brings.
No more comparing. No more competing. No more twisting and turning to prove your worth.
When all your False Self is stripped away by the Light of God’s Love, you sparkle brighter than the most beautiful, the most talented, the most successful, the most famous, the most adored.
When the False Self is burned off like dross, you’re left with the image of God given to you—all the wonder and glory of Him in you, molded by His hands. You are unlike anyone else. There never has been and never will be another you in all eternity.
You. Are. A. Winner.
You are necessary in this Kingdom of God.
You are needed, just as God made you.
Accept these truths and the burden of needing to be anything or anyone else other than His drops off. Suddenly, your soul takes off from the nest and flies free on the breeze, soaring and swooping, seeing wonder from high vantage points and low like never before. Suddenly, you lose the burdensome weight of self-consciousness and you find the abundant life to which God called you. Suddenly, you are free. To be. YOU.
It’s easy but costly. Letting go of False Self is deadly because Pride/False Humility demand a constant feeding. They will scream when not fed. They will threaten when they feel threatened. They will lash out when they feel attacked. They will torture you inside and out to keep themselves alive, to keep your True Self bound and gagged.
Yes, Pride and False Humility are costly to kill. But anyone who loses their life for Christ’s sake will find their life—their True Life. Is finding your True Life worth the risk?
I’ve always said that when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing, we will change. Have you had enough? Are you ready to lay down your False Self and all it’s striving to stay alive and well?
The way up is down. The way to peace is through loss. The way to True Love is letting go of trying to find True Love in all the wrong places.
Sweet Soul, you can rest from your strivings to find yourself. Redirect your gaze into the eyes of your Creator. See who you really are. Then never, ever measure yourself against anyone or anything else.
And remember this, Soul . . .
Even when your poor eyes grow dim or get accidentally redirected, just call Home. God is always there to cup your tear-stained face with His hands, lift your heavy head, and help you see nothing else but His loving, accepting eyes. No matter how many times. God’s always calling you.
You can always come Home.
And whether you come dragging your flag or holding it high, you will be celebrated as God’s masterpiece—God’s masterpiece set free.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)