Forty years ago, almost to the day, I went into the woods with a blank sheet of paper, my trademark red Paper Mate Flair pen, and a willingness to open my life to truth.
I have been known to save the most obscure things of my life. Somewhere, that blank sheet of paper, thoughtfully filled with red-ink honesty, is buried inside an attic foot locker.
I did, however, find the notes from the speech which prompted my life-altering introspection.
The perplexing (at the time) story of Martha was a true lesson for my young college self. According to the notes I had taken that October day, I had been challenged by the Fall Retreat speaker to:
1.) Look up scripture.
2.) Ask Jesus for action points to change my life.
3.) Tell God about higher priorities (than Him) in my life – Ask God to make me want to change.
So, I made a list of my most important “life things”. And, all I remember is that God did not make it to the top ten. I remember being surprised at the honest results of my “self survey”.
Honesty has a way of illuminating things we don’t truly want to face.
Sitting on a log, in the woods, with no one else around, I began to prayerfully relinquish my life’s most important priorities one-by-one to the God who already knew what a self-centered wretch I was. I truly don’t remember this relinquishment being a painful exercise. I had already been through some depressing days of realizing how futile my earthly life had become.
Does anyone in our fast-paced, self-absorbed, living only-for-the-moment Instagram universe even ask any more, “What is the purpose of my life?” and “Why am I even spinning around this globe?” Sadly, I think not. But, if you are taking the time to read this post, maybe you are one of the few left who even cares…
to live a life of purpose beyond yourself.
Please, please, PLEASE do not think I am better than any one else because I pondered the meaning of life and someone else has not. This chapter of my life was a long process which God Himself led me through; it had nothing to do with me. Trust me. If I had to look at that list right now, I would most likely gag at my superficial, self-centeredness. And, for real, if you saw my list, I don’t know if you would ever read another word I ever write.
Whew. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?
Pause again for a beautiful symbol of God’s light illuminating my dark, purposeless world.
Back to the log: Simply put, I admitted to God what a pitiful job of running my own life I had been doing and asked Jesus to take control. On that autumn day, I understood that Christ had paid for all the sinful, self-centered attitudes of my heart when He died on the cross. I also understood that as I was accepting His payment for my sin debt because, no matter how good I could be or how hard I could work (Ahhhh… back to Martha again.), I could never earn God’s favor, and I would always fall short of God’s perfect standard.
(Refer to previous blog post.)
Did you do the homework of making the list of your life’s priorities? Now is the time to take an even more honest look at your, hopefully, already honest assessment.
I encourage you to prayerfully give all that stuff to God. Ask Him to take it all and bump Himself up to the top.
I have no idea what your list contains. Some of it might be awesome, great things! Everything in my life took on a new purpose when I let it all fall beneath the great plan that Christ has for me.
Paul sums it up much better than I ever could in Romans 12:1-2:
“I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
What a beautiful October day it was when I realized I needed to present my life before Christ! I was changed from the inside out and was finally able to know God’s good, acceptable and perfect will for my life. I finally understood why I was even living and breathing!
The actual photo from that actual day… and, yes… my mouth has been wide open for 40+ years… sorry.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2Corinthians 5:17
Guess What??? If you haven’t noticed already, I have A LOT to say that will really help your life.Let’s get you up the mountain so YOU can enjoy the view.
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My Current View from the Mountain