Yeah, I know what you're thinking: It isn't life happening, it's *insert ugly swear word here* happens. But I've decided that the uglier phrase really is the similar meaning with the wrong perspective.
Although it's not really anything new to my own new way of thinking, it is, in fact, one of those "run back into that wall for the 100th time" sort of lessons. So I feel strongly urged to pass it along to others.
All too often we fall prey to ourselves and the thought process that when everything in life is going good, WE are good... we are happy because "things are good." We fall prey to the very concept that our circumstances are what bring us joy and that somehow we are even deserving of said happiness.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying God doesn't want us to be happy or have joy... what I'm saying is that our very earthly definition of it is extraordinarily shallow and self-deceived, comparatively.
I've talked on my blog before about pride and how it truly is our biggest enemy (because it is, whether you choose to let some of your own down and admit it or not). But it's not just the selfish pride I feel increasingly concerned for us all about. It's pride that drives us so far - so deeply into ourselves - that the result becomes this idea or attitude, if you will, that we deserve happiness - and have allowed our life circumstances - health, wealth, popularity, a dream home, a nice car, children, spouses, or whatever you choose to insert into your definition, to define our joy.
When we are little, our parents - at least mine - tell us that happiness is not in things.
Yeah, yeah, we know. It's like any of those sayings that float around out there - they are golden truths, but the repetition of them has driven them to become stale. Or maybe it just goes back to our bigger problem...we just don't care to choose to heed them because well, it means that things... life... just isn't about ME.
Three days from now, I will be hooked to a machine to have more hardcore poisons pumped into my jugular where my heart will pump it out to my entire body. If I said I wasn't just a little bit freaked out at the whole thing every time I'm in that seat again, I'd be flat out lying. But it is what it is and it's just all part of my journey.
Since my last infusion two weeks ago, I caught a bad cold. Sleeping soundly has been difficult, and the days have been a bit drearier. My placement of joy has definitely been tested a bit. Again.
So where is my joy?
It's still where it needs to be and has to be.
How far down to my knees do I really need to be - and more importantly stay - to have my joy inhabit the correct area of my life?
The fact of the matter in all of it is that the absolute only thing I am deserving of is death.
I. Deserve. Nothing.
All this self-help, confidence-building jargon is just one more misleading idea. What I have...what I AM is only by God's Grace, ALONE.
By God's Grace, I am alive enough that cancer is threatening to me.
So please, today, challenge that thought. Every time you go to complain about something that isn't going your way or didn't work out the way you thought or (my favorite) wasn't given to you the way you deserve, just remember.
YOU DESERVE NOTHING.
The very breath you took to complain about it was a gift.
I've decided I want to make a new bumper sticker and it will say:
"Life happens...praise the Lord!"
All this self-help, confidence-building jargon is just one more misleading idea. What I have...what I AM is only by God\'s Grace, ALONE. By God\'s Grace, I am alive enough that cancer is threatening to me.