Pondering today on transformation.
For most of my life, I felt like I didn’t measure up. I’m not talking about measuring up to other people or “keeping up with the Jones” kind of stuff. I’m referring to measuring up as a “Christian”. I had heard all of my life that what was important to God was first, “to LOVE the the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul and mind” and second, “to LOVE your neighbor as yourself”.
Well, I don’t know about you but boy did that cause some shame and frustration for me.
Let’s start with the first requirement. I “loved” God the best I could. I tried to be a good person, follow the law, go to church, read my Bible, pray. So much effort to try and “love” this God that I could not see. I believed in Him, I was grateful to Him, I worshipped Him, but “love”, that was hard. I begged Him to change me, to make that love that I professed real, to help me to be a “true” Christian and not a hypocrite.
Now, let’s look at the second requirement. Love my neighbor as myself seemed a little easier. After all, my husband, my kids, my family and close friends, they were my neighbors and I loved them. Then I read this scripture in Luke 6, where Jesus basically says, if you love those that love you…that’s no big deal but if you love your enemies and do things for people who don’t help you back, now that’s a big deal. So once again, I fell short and the shame began all over again.
You see I could put on a good front but I knew my thoughts, my motives, my failure.
This journey of awakening to who God really is, to who I really am, to who my neighbor really is…it has finally brought me to a place of LOVE. Once I began to unlearn the religious teaching I had been learning for years, once I began to shed years and years of expectations that had been heaped upon me and that I had heaped upon myself, once I began to rest instead of striving …the love just miraculously showed up. Well, truth be told, it had always been there, it was just buried under a bunch of junk.
Some would call this being “transformed” but I call it being “awakened”. Transformation implies that I was one thing but now I’m another and that is not true. I have always been His masterpiece, His image and likeness, His dwelling place in this physical realm. I have always had His life flowing through my being, just as every created thing does…I just didn’t know it. I thought His presence would come and go and that when I felt spiritual, He was close.
The good news my friend is that my story is your story. The details may be different and the journey may look different but the truth is the same. Wherever you are on your journey, He is in you. Life can not come from any other source than Him. I pray that you awaken to who you really are, to who He is, that His very life and breath has been breathed in you and that you are SO much more than your thoughts, feelings and actions. I pray that you awaken to LOVE.
Happy Sunday my dear friends, may it be full of eye opening moments!