That was the gist of my dad’s sermon this morning, which really spoke to me despite the fact that my attention was divided between sermon and baby (I’m always glad when God gets himself through my distraction and confusion). I definitely have the tendency to idealize the future, to think that when certain circumstances come my way or when something changes that then I’ll have the energy/passion/desire to do more for God and be my best self.
On a related note, I was struck by the line in a hymn this morning: “my richest gain I count but loss” and thought how the accomplishments I’m striving for will be really disappointing if I achieve them and then realize that pursuing them instead of a close walk with Jesus has cost me in my relationship with God. I have been playing a dangerous little mind game with myself lately in which I mask selfish motives with spiritual lip service – God wants me to be happy, right? And he’s a great big God, so he can use me wherever I go and whatever I do. So I should just do whatever I want and let him chase after me sprinkling spiritual confetti on my pursuit of personal fulfillment. It’s embarrassing to realize how thin of a facade I’ve been hiding behind and fooling myself into neglecting prayerful discernment and submission to his direction.
I was encouraged by the passage in Hebrews 3:7-9 however,
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
The Israelites who refused to go in to the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14) were the same people who had seen miraculous signs in Egypt and had been freed from slavery through the parting of the Red Sea. This was convicting for me because I fall into the same trap of forgetting God’s faithfulness to me in the past and letting fear dictate my future decisions. I have never regretting trusting God, especially when it comes to my happiness. There certainly isn’t any reason to think that now for the first time my plans will come together better than His or that trusting God’s timing for my hopes and dreams will have second-rate results.