Have you met me? Do you know who I am? Better yet, do you know who I was? I was better than you. An intellect. A student of the world and all it had to offer. I knew more than you and there was nothing you could do about it. My tongue was a sharp sword to your throat. If you tried to speak over me, you were quickly subdued by my whit. If you were right, you were wrong. Why were you wrong? Because you are an idiot, that's why!
Success, please. I am more successful than you! Hello, I have a degree and an education. My GPA in high school was 4 point higher than yours. Why else do I know more? My words cut through your heart like a knife through paper. I hope I made you feel paper thin. My whit was my sword. My sarcasm was my shield. Shield? Shield from what? Other people being better than me of course. If you tried to even out whit or out smart me, I would just put you down and pound your face into the floor with some personal attack. I would exploit your weaknesses, and save them, so that when something good happened to you, I was sure to remind you of just how much I hated your happiness.
God, sure I knew Him, and everytime I got "close" to Him, it was to make myself better than you. To justify my words and my insults. Rather than say I did it, I would just say God put it on my heart to tell you. Anger, well that is how I communicated of course. In fact, my anger is how it is I go about dealing with problems. Just get angry and explode, throw out insults and put everyone down.
I was the prodigal son. I asked God for my inheritance, then squandered it on the world. My inheritance? When I was young, I always asked God to make me wise. In fact I prided myself on being the smartest one in the room. I wanted to know everything, I would read books just for fun. Educate myself on everything. I wanted to be a Renaissance man. I wanted to know something about everything. And I wanted to make sure you knew I knew what it is you didn't know. Hubris. He loved me and I loved him. Together, we were unstoppable. No one could stand in our way, and together, with sarcasm and whit, no one would.
God made me smart. He gifted me with the ability to understand the complex and to be able to in some way explain it. Why? I don't know. But He is God, why question Him?
It is a funny thing when you make yourself out to be this amazing person that you're really not. You end up like I did one night, in a cold sweat, surrounded by a puddle of my emotions. I was condemned. I was convinced that when I died, I was going to hell. More so, I was convinced there was no stopping me from going. I had learned and lived a "godly" life all my life, and I had nothing to show for it. Nothing but an empty testimony and a heart so angry, all it did was try and bring everyone else around me down.
I remember one night in my sleep dreaming of going to hell. It was dark, black, cold, and hot. All the images I had seen growing up haunted me. I would even try to imagine eternity, and what it would be like to be forever separated. It scared me, so much so, that I would cry out to God in fear of hell. It was that fear that brought me back to church. It was my doubts that kept me coming back. Eager to destroy my doubts, I pursued God as if I were His suitor, and He my to be wife. I wanted the doubts to go away. I wanted to have purpose, and I wanted the feeling of darkness and emptiness to go away, I wanted to be free.
I was a slave to a sin. A sin I was so ashamed of that even now, I don't want to type it. It is embarassing, it made me dirty. And with each passing day, it became more and more part of my life. My eyes and heart became calloused. It became part of my life. And I, knowingly, continued in it. Feeling condemned everytime.
My past haunts me sometimes. Taking a stroll down memory hurts sometimes. On the outside, I was fine. Life was as it needed to be. I was content in my complacency. I was fine being lukewarm. The little boy who told his mom he wouldn't go into a haunted house at age 8 because God didn't want him to be lukewarm was dead. Things were fulfilling, but not long lasting.
Winning the approval of those around me, I prided myself in being horrible, my nickname to most was "The Butthole" (clearly it is another word, however, let's not use it). I never felt in place though. I must confess, there were moments where I knew that the place I was at, was not for me. I remember turning to a friend of mine and saying, "Man one day I am going to get up and go, I don't know that I can do this for much longer."
Man is God good.
He saved me from my jail cell. He tore down my walls, and with every passing day, He continues to destroy my insecurities. He is teaching me to shut up. He is teaching me to be humble. To realize that He is God, He is in control, and that my role in His equations was Me + His Will. I served no other roll. I serve no other roll, and will never serve any other roll, other than the one of being in His will. That is my purpose. To be a servant of God and forgo the pleasures of this world. To throw down my self consciousness, to lay down my guns and lift my hands.
If you'll notice, I used no bible verses this time. That is because, at the end of the day, no matter how many bible verses you know, or how many things you say, there is one thing that no one can take away from you. No one can take from you what He has done for you. When the blind man in John was asked how it was he got his sight back, his reply was spot on. He didn't know who Jesus was or where He came from, He just knew one thing: He was once blind, but now, He could see, and no one, not any Pharisee or Jew, Gentile or High Priest would rob him of that.
God has done a lot more for me, and He continues to do a work in me. To anyone who reads this and remembers what I once was, I am sorry. I will tell you this, Who I Am, HATES Who I've Been. I don't ever want to be who I was.
It has been months since that sin I was once slave to ceased to own me. My tongue is becoming more and more tamed with each passing day, and my purpose on this earth isn't to bring myself glory through works and play. It isn't to amuse myself, but rather muse on the things that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:27).
I have a statement of purpose, what is funny is that it has been my life verse since age 10, however, now at age 24, I am beginning to realize what it really means to live by it, wow....14 years, wasted...if you're young and you're reading this, don't let it happen to you. Please don't let it happen to you. Take it from me, there is no glory in the flesh, only death. And that doesn't necessarily mean physical death. Don't allow yourself to be dead inside. To lose emotion and heart. To cry little and yell much. Learn to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to becoming angry.
Statement of purpose:
Gal 1:10 "Am I trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were trying to please man, I would not be a servant of God."
I am guilty of always worrying of what others think of me. Needing this constant approval. Like a politician, I sometimes find myself trying to please the majority. Well that can no longer be. I am part of the minority. The light in this world that needs to shine. Why is it we are the minority? We must labor. Work toward being the majority. Work toward laboring for the Lord. We all have a call. Each of us a member of the same body. I may be the mouth (me the untamable tongue) but you, you are something as well. Get to it, the days are evil. Eph 5:16
Lord, Own me. Make my heart yours. Break my heart for the things that break yours. Remove me from my life. I ruin everything. I have been the grand ruiner my entire life. All I ever did was run and use you as a blanket when I was cold and a sword when I wanted to justify my actions. Help me to walk with You. Lord continue to remind me that trials will build me in you, if my head gets so big, bring me down Lord, remind me of my humanity, so that I learn humility. Continue to humble me. Remove my critical nature and replace it with the critical Love that is You. It is so critical that I never depart from You. Draw me close to you. I need You. Rip away the desires of my flesh and replace them with the desires of Your heart. Bless this blog and those who read it. May my words be Yours, and may whatever I type always be from above. I love you Lord. Thank you for never allowing me to fall out of favor with you. :-)
More on Laboring: Read some of my sister Raquel's words......get owned!