on growing

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

I started reading Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” in 2010.  I didn’t buy the book, I just signed up to receive it as a daily devotional, and I’ve never stopped reading it since.  That makes 2015 my sixth continuous year of reading “Ozzie’s” insights into the application of scripture to our everyday life.  I’m pretty sure it’s done on a year’s rotation; I can remember my consternation in the second year, as some entries were for sure familiar to me, but still bent my brain or caused my will to just sort of plant its feet and wail in protest.  Aren’t we supposed to “get it” after awhile?  But while Ozzie is perfectly understandable some days, he is downright HARD on others – either difficult to understand, or he does what I call “getting out his BIG boots” (in order to stomp all over my proverbial toes.)

I keep reading because his words keep challenging me.  They keep opening scripture up and then holding up a mirror to ask how I’m doing with that one.  I’ve got other devotionals I read because I enjoy the intellectual interplay with them, and still others that are just generally comforting or inspiring to me, but I hang on to Ozzie because his words continually bring me back to the place of realizing that I haven’t “arrived” yet (and though I will not “arrive,” this side of heaven, it’s worth the struggle to push in that direction.)

I appreciate that Ozzie beats up my pride.  While spiritual pride is really NEVER our friend, we so long to hang out with it.  We like to feel pretty good about where we’re at.  We like to notice where we’re doing better than others around us.  We like to be glad we don’t do certain things anymore, and hold out judgment on those who do.  Ozzie’s not interested in what other people are doing – he just continually notes what is required.  That’s the standard – not to be saved, but to be walking in the fullness of what we’re called for.  To be living as all that He created us to be.  To be so submitted to Him that He can work in us and through us for His purposes.  To live as truly free people.

This morning I found myself glad, because here in the sixth round of reading today’s entry, I realized I actually *get* what he’s driving at, to a level that I never did before.  Something that I’ve tried to make “complicated” over the years has been chipped away over time and this morning it was simple and clear.  My heart always dances when I have that sudden epiphany:  I have learned something!  I have grown!  In this one little area, I have stopped trying to insist that things be as I want them to be, and have learned to deal with what is!  My big fat ego is a tiny bit more submitted to what God says (and that work, my friends, is mostly like picking splinters off of a redwood – in a hundred years of picking, there will still be way too much big fat ego left at work in me.)

The aim here is not to be a “better person.”  I kind of feel like religion that aims at being “better people” stinks.  It builds people who feel holy and are comfortable sneering at the unholy.

The aim is to get a clearer view of God, and of who I am to Him.

The aim is to connect to Him ever more fully.

The aim is to stop hurting myself and others.

The aim is to not be bogged down by my baggage.

The aim is to reach a place where I always remember that HE did the important work, not me.

The aim is to really know all the time that I am not God (a thing which I, like so many others, forget constantly.)

What I’m grateful for is that as I keep reading the same scriptures over and over, and as I keep seeking out places to be challenged on how I’m doing with those, God meets me in my willingness.  He DOES open my understanding, bit by bit.  He DOES tame my giant ego, in the little increments that I will allow.  He DOES help me to grow, which is always a “getting smaller” proposition and really never a “turning into a hero” kind of deal, as far as I can tell.

This morning my heart dances because I got one more tiny piece.  It dances because the God of all creation is real, and even though He can see everything in all of time and space, He can somehow zoom down to small enough to see ME, to know my thoughts, to shape my journey, to help me understand one more “hard” thing for what it really is.  I am smaller in comparison to Him than a dust mote is in comparison to me, but still He finds ways to interact with me.

THAT, my friends, is mind-blowing evidence of His power.

May you let Him blow your mind today.


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