Monday, October 27, 2014

Not Good Enough

I wanted to write a blog today. Instead I finished an old draft.

I feel like I walked so securely this last year (see this). I didn't care what people thought of me; I didn't care if I failed. I mean, maybe I did care, but at least it didn't stop me from acting on things; it didn't cripple me.

Somewhere along the line something changed. Somewhere along the line I crumbed. I lost that security and I didn't even notice it until it was too late. I didn't even notice until I looked up and the hole I seemed to dig for myself had caved in, leaving no sense of which way was up and leaving no light to guide me.

Suddenly everything mattered. Suddenly there was a question attached to everything I thought, everything I did, everything I even thought of doing.

I lost my security. I lost my joy. "What will they think of me?" was the question always on my mind. The answer undoubtably, unchangeably, always, "not good enough."

Your work, not good enough.
Your worship, not good enough.
Your friendship, not good enough.
You, not good enough.

Somewhere along the line I misunderstood the purpose of everything I did. I misinterpreted what success was.

And the thing is, I know success is not what others think, it is not perfection, it is not what I think. Success can be summed up with the answering of this question, "will this go on into eternity?"

This is where I got off track- when, "will this go on into eternity?" turned into, "not good enough."

I lost my identity, I lost my security, I lost all of my joy when "will this go on into eternity?" became not enough, when I chose to trade in the eternal worth of what I did for my temporal inadequacies. I decided at some point along the way that eternal value wasn't good enough. I started defining myself as "not good enough," or "never measuring up."

The thing is this-

This is a miserable way to live, and though I live in it so many days, and though it's my daily default, it's not the way my life HAS to be lived.

I asked the question, "why do I have to deal with these problems?" to a friend, and the answer hit hard, the answer was real, and honest, and true, "because you think about yourself more than you think about Jesus."

Now I'm not saying that pain and grief and hurt should simply be done away with because "you should be better than to think that way," because those feelings are real and they are hard, but I am saying that when we deal with those things we should be quick to 1) pray, because even if it sounds like complaining, and even if God already knows what we're thinking, we should call out to him anyway, because he can handle it, and because he'll show us things we didn't see before. He'll reconcile our hearts, or at the very least be the very best listener. And we ought to 2) look to Christ as our sufficiency. I could do better ALL THE TIME to refocus my motives and realign my heart to the things above. If I'm caught up in every area that I don't measure up and in the pressure of every potential failure of course I'm going to be miserable. But if I can find myself in those moments in which I KNOW that no matter how I perform and no matter what I produce, I am fully and completely loved the exact same... well, that makes a difference.

But that also is more than just a mind set. Knowing that doesn't do a whole lot for me, but living from that place of being loved, by the grace of God, is what changes things.

So each day, I've got to wake up, I've got to remind myself that no matter what happens in my day, no matter what is coming up in the future that is completely breaking me apart inside, I have to remember Christ is enough, and he is present, and he listens, and he loves me, in my sorrow and in my pain, he loves me in my sin and in my shame, and he loves me enough to call me out of those places into better lands.... and he is enough.

And each day is different. Some days I have to get up from my desk and go take a walk to my favorite dream house mansion while praying aloud, and some nights I have to drive around for a long time listening to music that reminds me of the character and love of Christ, and sometimes, when days are beautiful, I have to just thank God that he's given me really good days.

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