The Classroom of Life

Ok, so… I could be totally bummed over the house (for more on that, read this)….But, I’m not.

I’m taking this all as affirming of what God has been leading me into as of late: individuals have far less control over their lives than they think. And, what we think matters, really doesn’t matter at all. 

Currently, everything we moved here for is a loss. And I mean everything.

But, what if God has had something else in mind for us in bringing us here?

What have we learned over the past 3 years?

Above all, I’ve learned not to put my sense of security in anything other than God Himself. Christians say that all the time… I’ve said it before. But now I know it. 

I’ve learned that what matters most in this world is relationships- first and foremost one’s relationship with God, as all human relationships are founded upon it. Unless we continually strive to better know God, we cannot truly know ourselves or each other. 

I’ve learned that the greatest gift God has given human beings is who they are. Not what they have, not what they do, not even what they think, believe, or feel. When everything else is stripped away, its value called into question, only then can you see who you are.

I’ve learned that I like who I am. Even if other people do not. Human beings are not reliable judges of character… Yeah, sometimes people hate us because we act like jerks. But sometimes other people hate us because they are the ones acting like jerks. Everyone is flawed. Just like me. 

I’ve learned to appreciate where I come from. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but it taught me what I needed to know in order to become the best me I can be. Not everyone grows up in a home where learning is life and life is learning. I have been encouraged to learn from my life since the day I was born, and that’s the second most precious gift a parent can give to their child (the first being love, and I got plenty of that too). 

I’ve learned the importance of setting boundaries with others. I tend to give too much because I forget I’m still human. There are real limits to my personal resources, and I’m charged with allocating them wisely. I can only give what I, myself, have. And what more do I truly have apart from my own self? The gift of myself is the highest gift I can give. But before I can give it, I have to have full possession of it. 

I’ve learned what it means to be in full possession of one’s self. I have yet to perfect it, and maybe I never will, but I know that I constantly sell myself short and that is a sin against God. He made me. He is shaping me. That is God’s gift to me. I better damn well accept it. What point is there to life if one neglects to fully realize the gift of who they are?

I’ve learned just how few people have actually taken the time to know themselves. That’s scary and tragic and threatening, all at once. It means that sometimes I meet with resistance because I take other people entirely off guard. And I take them off guard because they don’t know in themselves what it means to be fully human. 

I’ve learned that my whole task in this life is to realize and become who I am created to be, and to know the One that created me. Because when I progress in this, love for others is the natural result. If God does not create evil, then the essence of who I am cannot be evil. If I see evil in myself, I better pay attention– and seek to root out what isn’t supposed to be there. To make excuses for my own evil, is to allow it to take residence in me. And the plight of this world is to be constantly surrounded by evil… I cannot and will not make the world’s evil my own!

I’ve learned to thank God for my trials. I need to endure them in order for me to break free from the grips of this world. It hurts to be freed… but I think it must hurt much more to continue to live imprisoned. 

Thank you, God, for everything

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