Life is freakin hard. Yes I said freakin. But life is THAT hard. Anyone who has lived more than, oh, a year has to agree with me. It starts out frustrating when you can’t figure out why you keep pulling your pacifier out of your mouth and put it back in when you want to. And it’s all downhill from there.
Ok, ok, it’s not all bad. But it can be. And the truth is that there are days and moments when we just smack into a wall and all we can do is climb back into bed and cry ourselves to sleep. And that’s ok.
It’s what we do when we wake up that matters.
It’s in the choices we make when we are at our wit’s end.
It’s how we behave when we think no one is looking.
It’s what we think we can get away with or how we scheme and covertly enact a plan that will hurt everyone.
Or it’s how we fall into Jesus’ arms and say I cannot, but you can.
Everyone has buttons. Everyone has limits. No two peoples’ are exactly the same. When we start pointing fingers or saying things like you will never understand what I went through, we’ve lost sight of the reality of the situation. It doesn’t matter if I understand you. Not really. When the end of the day comes, it’s about YOU understanding YOU. It’s about me seeing my true colors and realizing they are beautiful or they aren’t so much. It’s about me taking a good look at myself and my limitations and seeing what I’m capable of doing when push comes to shove, and putting all excuses aside being willing to say I cannot do this.
But it’s not a simple give up. It’s a give back.
It’s a recognition that I was commanding life, taking the wheel, thinking I was in control or that I needed to have everything a certain way. My expectations of other people weren’t being met. People let me down or sinned against me. It all became vacant excuses for me taking matters into my own hands either manipulating situations and people, or finding my satisfaction in things I should not have been seeking after.
And I give it all back. I have to. In the end, there is no lasting happiness and certainly no real joy in trying to fill ourselves with things that aren’t meant to be ours. I spent so many wasted years on chasing after empty vanities – all is vanity – partying, sex, status, career, materialism, achievement, even intellectual pursuits and trying to be a better person. But it was all in vain because I was not first doing what I was first called to – a life submitted to the chief end of humankind: to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Thank God, those are not my true colors any more. Not through any effort of my own, but in the admittance of guilt and shame, and the heartfelt plea to change, God has replaced my needs and desires with His good and perfect ones. He has given me a new color, a pure beautiful color made up of His grace and mercy, His satisfaction and blessing, His purposes and His strength to pursue them.
And when life is hard again, and it will be over and over, when I am pushed to the edge, I pray my true colors will shine through, that the only thing we see is Jesus.
of course the Cyndi Lauper song was in my mind as I wrote this, but it also made me think of this treasure…