“The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”
~Zechariah 14:9 NIV~
This being the 100th post on Leading the Follower, I figured it had better be good. Then I remembered that it was me writing it and decided that the best I could hope for was that it be mildly entertaining. So, I started thinking about what was really bugging me. Aside from the many minor irritations that have been present in my life lately, I could think of only one thing that truly makes me wonder about the people in my life. I am a firm believer that God puts certain people in our lives to help us see parts of ourselves that need work. Looking at the people who are in my life it became painfully obvious that I must have alot in me that still needs improvement. Don’t be afraid to read on, it’s really not about you. It’s about seeing the traits that I possess which can still hinder my relationship with Christ. If you’re reading this and thinking, “She’s talking about me,” then you probably have some work to do as well.
Before I get into what’s wrong with me, however; there are some things I want to throw out there just for the sake of discussion. One thing I hate is for people to waste my time. I love to be in contact with friends and family and will be the first one to say that I just can’t get enough time with the people I care about. But I really hate for someone, under the guise of being a friend, to be calling and texting and messaging me constantly one week and then to hear nothing at all from them the next. What exactly is that? Am I filler? Is it okay to have a friendship with me that occurs only when it is convenient for you? There is a difference between taking someone for granted and being busy here and there and not getting to touch base with a friend. The former comes from being so self-absorbed that we don’t think about the feelings of the other person until there is some reason for them to be useful in our lives. It’s like calling on God when we’re in trouble or need a special prayer answered. Some of us go about our daily business and sometimes even forget that He’s there until something happens and we remember that He was the one who was able to help us in that particular situation. And although we haven’t called on Him in a while, He won’t mind if we check in with Him now. After all, we’ve managed to exclude Him from our lives while we focused on what was important and He’ll be happy to be a part of things now that we’ve found a way to bring Him into the picture. And we can throw Him back out after we’re done with Him.
Yes, the way we treat the people in our lives is reflective of the way we treat God. If you have friends that you only pull in for the tough times or worse, when you are bored and can’t find anyone else to hang around with, you might be doing the same thing to God. It serves its purpose for a short time, but leaves both of you feeling very unsatisfied. You because you refuse to make a real connection with someone, and God because once again He sees where He ranks in your life and it isn’t where He desires or deserves to be. When we start to feel like we are so important that we can just take the people in our lives for granted, we are devaluing them. Plain and simple. We are saying to them that our relationships with them have no real meaning and that we are only allowing them to be part of a backdrop that helps to push us out in front as though we’ve done something wonderful. We are refusing to play any part in their lives if we can’t always be the most important thing in their world. This isn’t right. It’s even worse when the one you are devaluing is God. He will always take you back, but by the same token, He will always know the true depth of your love for Him no matter what you do to pretty it up. We may be able to fool the people in our lives into thinking they’re important to us for a time, but God always knows the truth.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, back to the big thing that has been bothering me. If my relationships with those around me are a reflection of how I treat my God, my biggest fear is that He misunderstands me. This seems to be a recurring theme in my interactions with others. Although I know that God is the only one who really “gets” me, it still can be a little unnerving to think that He didn’t understand why I did something or what my motivation was in saying something that I said. I’ve heard teachings that say He is never surprised and that He wrote my story, so there will never be a time when I catch Him off guard. This helps me a little, but what if we’re wrong to believe that God is never perplexed by us? Don’t misunderstand, I don’t believe that we are in any way superior to Him and all that He knows, but what if He gave us the ability to make choices and exercise free will so that He could somehow test Himself from time to time? Not that He has a need to, but the idea that He is like the author of a Choose Your Own Adventure book is sometimes so ridiculous that I can’t even wrap my mind around it. Does He really sit up on His throne and say, “Okay, if she goes this way, then this will happen?” Or has He just written my story so that I will end up at a certain place no matter what I do? And if that’s the case, will that place be by His side when it is all said and done? If it isn’t, is there any way to change it? If He has written our story and the basic outcome is that we join Him in His kingdom if we choose the right path, then isn’t it important to have some inkling as to whether or not we are actually travelling in the right direction? Does the fact that we question whether or not we are mean that we probably are doing the right thing?
Sorry for all of the questions. Having just come through some really tough situations, I have been thinking way too much. Not only about my relationships with others, but about how God sees all of this. Sometimes we can get lost in a situation or a moment and forget that He’s still paying attention when everyone else seems to have forgotten we exist. And believe me, He’s paying attention. We may get the impression that because no one in our physical world is present for us that no one cares what is happening in our lives, but this just isn’t true. He’s watching, He’s waiting, He’s listening. He knows when we are feeling abandoned, under-appreciated, un-loved, or undervalued. He knows where our weaknesses will lead us and what will happen when we follow them instead of Him. He puts all of this into perspective and just loves us anyway. Not like that friend who sends you a hundred text messages one week and then won’t answer your e-mail the next. He’s there. Not just there as in occupying the same earth as we are, but really, truly there and able to be trusted with your most pressing concerns at any time. He wants to be a part of our lives…the biggest part of our lives. And this doesn’t come from some need to be held up as the greatest thing ever. This comes from actually being the greatest thing ever and deserving our praise.
Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.