bring your yes (even if you’re cussing about it)

Posted: October 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

Early in 2015, I prayerfully chose two watchwords for the year for my life:  INTENTION and DISCIPLINE.  Those were daunting words to choose; both make demands that I not just drift through life.

It occurs to me that as I drifted away from finding the time to write, I also drifted a bit away from intention and discipline.  But then the word “drifting” and the word “away” necessarily go together, don’t they?  We don’t naturally *drift* toward things like intention or discipline.  Drifting does not connote purpose.  Drifting floats along with whatever is happening.

I can easily enough look at my life and see the areas where I’ve drifted…where I’ve not been intentional nor disciplined.  The most consequential of those, in my mind, is related to time spent with people who are important to me.  I haven’t spent enough time with family and friends.  So many missed opportunities to invite people over, meet someone over lunch, or simply pick up the phone and call.  I even totally missed my mom’s birthday on Sunday – I mean, I thought about it when I woke up, I talked about it with G over breakfast, I planned to at least call her later…but then the day drifted into busy.  We got a lot of really good and productive things done.  But dude.  I missed my mom’s birthday!  NOT COOL.  Not okay.

So my heart and mind are turning pretty hard toward intention and discipline on that front, just now.  I have to do better.  We don’t get the time back – there’s not a do-over.  The days just go away and the opportunities to spend time with loved ones are behind us and gone, and that really can only lead to regret.  I have enough things to regret from my choices in life.  Don’t need to add to the pile.

On the other hand, I was also thinking this morning how intention and discipline have been at work in my life, even when I wasn’t so much meditating on them.  Take my change in diet.  It is incredible to me how automatic I am now in continuing to choose well, when it comes to eating.  The things I learned from my science experiment diet seem to have really changed my relationship with food.  Understanding what various foods do to my body and my mind has really set me free.  I remember, before I ventured into that diet, how I dreaded doing so.  How I thought I couldn’t possibly be happy if I gave up sugar or any number of other foods.  I mean…I seriously thought the absence of a specific FOOD had the power to affect my happiness.  That thought looks so ridiculous to me, as I look back on it.  It’s just a food.  It’s just fuel for my body.  I am so free now.  I don’t spend all day every day thinking about what I’m going to eat next.  I am not sucked in by temptation when I walk by homemade cookies in the hall at work.  I don’t suffer at not eating the “goodies” that used to push me from having “just one” to eating a downright shameful amount.  I just enjoy the food I have – food that doesn’t harm my body or jack up my brain – and then I get on with the more important things in life.

I couldn’t have reached this place without first bringing my willingness.  I was NOT willing, for the longest time.  My prayer partner told me about the diet, and I thought what a terrible thing it was.  She talked some more, and I thought how miserable it would make me.  She talked some more, and I bought the Kindle book for the diet, and immediately found it not a good format for me – so I pushed it aside again.  She brought me her hard copy of the book, and I laid it on a shelf and ignored it for literally weeks.  I was not willing.

I am so grateful that she kept talking and prodding.  I could easily have just gone on by the whole idea without ever really touching it, as abhorrent as it was to me.  I really only found my willingness because she cared enough to push (and to pray).  And then even though I brought only the most reluctant and bad-attitude-filled willingness…even though I just BARELY qualified as willing at all…such great stuff came from it.

God is like that.  He meets us in our willingness, and not just in our enthusiastic rah-rah I’m a great Christian willingness.  He meets us where we are.  I have friend who literally used the f-word when she came to Christ, her reluctance was so great.  She had resisted the faith in every way she knew how, but He pressed in from so many sides that she finally basically threw up her hands, and (cussing all the while) surrendered to Him.  He honored that little bit of foul-mouthed willingness and met her there, ‘cuz that’s how He rolls.  God is all about our willingness.

Today, I am grateful for the multitude of places He has met me in my willingness.  Grateful that He used my science experiment diet to set me free from real slavery to foods that were killing me, even though the day before I started the diet I was mumbling (and, yes, cussing) to my daughter about how terrible the diet was going to be.

I could look back over the years and give you probably a hundred examples like this without even thinking very hard.  God meets us in our willingness, no matter how small and ugly that willingness is.  You don’t have to be a faith rock star for Him to swoop in and do great work in you and through you.  Just bring your yes – even if you’re cussing and complaining along the way.

Just bring your yes.

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