Settling for existence?
I am wondering out loud here…
My question is this. What is going on in us and our lives that allows us to settle with “mere existence?”
I mean, there are so many of us, myself included, that for a large percentage of the time, we are just existing rather than living. (this post tells this story great)
We know this. Most of us are way too aware of it. Though, if we are honest, our reaction is mostly just to ignore it. Push it away. “If I don’t deal with it,” we reason, “it isn’t real.” But we know it won’t. We know that unless something drastic was to change, we aren’t going to experience life.
I mean the life that we all long for. Life that can only be experienced and not described. There is a drastic difference between existence and life. Those two words, as similar as they sound, are very, very different.
So, what do we do?
We look for the “big moment” – the camp fire, the church service, the “healing – that will finally be the moment that ignites that “fire” in our hearts. Sure, most of us have had that moment. Especially if we have been living in the Christian sub-culture long enough. It was a time of intense “life”. It rarely lasts though. Two weeks later there we are, existing.
We hate “just existing.” But we settle. It’s easier.
“At least I am going to heaven,” we think, “isn’t that what really matters?”
Heaven. Ah, we just can’t wait to leave this God-forsaken place. If only we were in heaven…
But wait, what was it that Jesus said? Something about, “I have come that they may have life, and have it in full…? Wait a minute; Jesus just meant that we would have
“eternal life,” you know, “go to heaven.” Uh. No. It’s also about this life.
But, if Jesus did really come to give us a full life, than why are so many of us missing it?! Wait, read that verse again. No. The part before the “full life” thing.
Yeah, the, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” part.
Did you hear that? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy!” The enemy comes to lie to us and tell us that settling for existence is better than dealing with reality and really living.
Think about it. To have a full life, to see who God has called you to be, to really confront all that we are…yeah. See the problem? Really confront all that we are? That’s not so much fun. That’s not worth the pain. What if you see things that you don’t want to see? So, there the theif comes…to steal. Kill. Destroy. All hope is lost.
What? Let God search my heart? Uh, nah. I might let him show me where I have made some bad decisions or where I should have loved or whatever. But, the last thing we want to do is start asking the “why” questions. Actually, the “what” questions. Like, “what is it about me that makes me live this way?”
Maybe we don’t ask those questions because we are not so convinced that God can heal the things we will uncover. We aren’t convinced that when we begin to see that we’re actually the most selfish person in the world (or whatever it is), that a) its better to live selfless and b) God can change my heart.
What would our lives be if we believed…If we believed that a life that is being transformed, a heart that is being transformed, is a better way to live? What would our lives be if we then were convinced that God really could change even us?
Sure we believe that he can heal the depressed, give hope to the hopeless, heal the lame, give sight to the blind…but he can’t heal me. I’m too broken.
Ah, a good place to start. Brokenness…forgive me when I pray for you and i pray that God would break you. That God would allow you to see your deepest self. But, I hope you are excited when you pray with me that God can heal that. God can. He will. It could be one of the worst yet most amazing journey’s you will ever take. And, most likely, the journey will not end till you are living with Him in the world that you were designed for.
But, nevertheless, a world that you can realize and see amazing glimpses of while here in this world. And maybe, just maybe, as is God healing you he will use your journey to bring someone else out of mere existence…
This is my heart. This is my prayer for you. This is my prayer for me. I don’t know about you, but I want to live. God, show me/us what it means to really live. Teach us how to get there. Teach us some of us how to even begin.