This morning I was sitting here as I often do, meditating on various things, enjoying the quiet when I was struck with the following thought. Despite my best efforts to remain immature in some areas, I have grown up.
Now you can read that and laugh, or view it with disdain but the reality is, I had no real say in it. Do I understand you can make choices? Of course I do! Do I get that you can work on things? Absolutely! But was I “looking” for it? No! Life through its various twists and turns, dead ends and highways “did” something to me.Again, you may be asking “what is the point” and that is a good question. I am 58 years old. I have gone through a number of battles in my life. But the hardest one has been to overcome the feeling that “I do not fit” or “I am not good enough.” Some people work on this through friends. “If I have enough friends I am okay.” Others through bad behavior. “I will get mom or dad to notice me but just breaking this.” (My dad had two great “jobs” when I was a kid. He was cub master over some 400 cub scouts. I was just one of them. Despite arrowheads trailing down my shirt and having them go out of view as they were tucked into my pants. The other job was he was Little League president. He did not even know I had made majors 2 years early until he read the news article! I worked hard to be noticed!) When you don’t fit or feel as if you do not fit, life is exponentially harder.
Being in the church for 20 plus years did not help the way I thought it would or others hoped it would. My first church yelled at me…a lot. (The pastor’s wife once said to me, “I have only heard my husband yell twice in our whole marriage and both times were at you.” Bad behavior gets you attention!)
I have had more scripture crushed, pushed and pounded on me about humility, pride and behavior than one can imagine. And then if you only knew that I was harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. (A friend once said, “Lee believes in the fine tooth comb in his life until he finds something smaller.”)
“Grace. You’ve shown me grace.”
How did I come to recognize it this morning.
I sat here this morning as one more thing I had written was plagiarized on the internet. Granted I had written it a few years ago. Granted it was prophetic and given by God. And mostly it had taken nearly 10 years to come to pass. At one point when people wrongfully used something believers tossed the scripture “freely you have received, freely you give.” I wanted to say “but God. That was mine!” It was verbatim. And then I realized it does not matter.
I have “been here” before. At one point I was so flooded with inventions and thoughts, a wise friend suggested “sow them into the atmosphere. God will replenish you.” I would see ideas I played with appear in magazines. Thoughts become realities. But I struggled as others grew and received. I don’t know if I thought it was “not fair” or I was just frustrated with it.
I have watched children, grandchildren and families deal with “attention getting.” Whether it be they are so excited about something or they just “need to tell you.” I have been that person. “What about me?”
Earlier this week, I said to God, “what about me?” His answer was clear, audible and shocking. “I am restraining you.” I did not, have not fully got what He is saying. And that is okay because I know He loves me and is not stopping. So I have to believe it is for my own good. (Anyone who knows me knows that being held back does not make me comfortable. Once an older boy put me in a barrel and trapped me. I fought until I was out.)
The kingdom has taken on new shape and new form for me over the years. I do not know it all, but in fact know it less. And that is okay. I know who I am. The more I know who I am the less it is important to figure out the kingdom. (I am not saying I am not learning. I am still exploring, still finding. I just found out it is not the cookie cutter-ed place so many would have you to believe. You know. Have the right answers and you graduate.)
And I don’t have to get His attention or be first. (If people want to steal or plagiarize it is on them. Last year one of my sports writers plagiarized. I fired him. It did not stop it from becoming an internet sensation.)
I realized that I don’t care. It doesn’t cause a ping on my radar screen. That means one of two things or maybe both. I have grown up. I really did die according to Galatians 2:20.
So, as I thought about prophecies and various things the Lord has given me, I am okay when others see it as a platform for their stepping up. One day they will see things the way I now do perhaps.
This has been a tremendous week of change for me or revealed change. A number of things crystallized. I sense it has for others as well.
- The Lord can restrain me and I am okay with that. (Or at least in the process of being okay.)
- He has matured me.
- I can let things go.
- It truly is all about Him, the growth of the kingdom and His body.
- Giving is painful but profitable.
- Grace is so much bigger than I can ever think.
I realized this week that I have given up, released, thrown over a lot of things I would “like” to do. It is harder because my wife lost her job. And despite nearly 100 applications/resumes submitted I have not been able to break free, get an interview or find employment. (Except the one where the guy told me I was too old. I thought we would move, I would feel better and I would get a new job. Oops! Wrong answer.) That is what my “what about me” was in reference to. A job.
Maybe this makes no sense to you. Maybe this is part of your journey. Growing up means responsibility. Changing things. Maybe it just means “fitting” in. Whatever it is God’s grace is changing you even now.
Today I realize what I am planning on changing. I have things I was going to do, I am not. I have things I have been doing I am going to stop. Things I am going to give away.
Sometimes we just need to put the car in park. And regroup. Reevaluate. And decide where we are really heading. Perhaps this is your day.