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Life As It Is

This is what we have to deal with.  When things are rough, the temptation is to look toward life as it could be or life as we want it to be.  The desire is to divert attention from or ignore life as it is.  But that doesn’t get us anywhere.  We cannot ignore how things are; we cannot live in our dream of the future.   We can only live in the now with what we have, regardless of how painful the now is or how little what we have is.

This can be scary.  The circumstances of life as it is can be overwhelming.  There might be difficulties that seem impossible to overcome that have significant negative consequences if we do not overcome. Handling life head on is a tremendous undertaking that forces us to take tremendous responsibility for our own lives. It’s so much easier to ignore our most glaring faults and accept them as just a part of who we are, unchangeable, or minor character flaws that are okay to be ignored. It’s easier to procrastinate the work of transforming our lives by taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions. Ignoring responsibility or placing it on someone else is more emotionally simple and stable.

Dealing with life as it is forces us to deal with us as we are. This is frightening. We can’t pretend we’re someone else when we hold ourselves accountable for what we’ve done. I know I want to live in a dream world, pretending I’m my ideal self when I’m far from it. I want to minimize my flaws, accentuate my strengths, and find somewhere external to place blame for my big character flaws. It is all too rare that I take a brutally honest look at all of my worst qualities. I want to pretend I am already the person I want to be instead of admitting I’m far from “the Word made flesh,” instead I know the word of God, but in the actual life I live, I look a lot more like just another person in the world. I know a secret about you. There’s a part of you that is afraid to vulnerably reveal who you are right now to God, yourself, and others.

We have to humble ourselves. We have to come clean and lift the veil hiding our dirty selves. It’s okay that we thought our lives would be further along by now. It’s okay that we don’t have the money we thought we would, the education we hoped to have, the community we want, or the transformation that we thought that would have been accomplished in us by now. It’s okay that I messed up. It’s okay that you screwed up along the way and are not where you want to be and are not where you should be. Just because you sabotaged your own hopes and dreams by sin, sloth, and selfishness, doesn’t mean that there is no hope now. There is tremendous hope now for all that will not pretend to be someone they’re not or pretend to be better than they are. Unless you open yourself to the potential pain of failed expectations by being honest about what your life is and who you are, your future has not hope. God transforms us from where we are at, not from where we think we are or should be. We have to bring our darkness into the light in order to change ourselves and our lives. It will do no good to bring only those aspects of ourselves that are already light into the light because transformation can only happen when we humbly lay ourselves as we truly are before God.

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  1. KTK
    December 1, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    now this is a beautiful post. stirring, honest, and real. and what i needed to hear.

  2. December 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks.

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