Disclaimer – I had a tough week. In some ways, it was as frustrating as much as it was humbling. It’s been a long time since I had so many deep questions about my life, what I am doing and why I’m doing it and, more importantly if what I am doing is the right thing.
Like most guys out there, I suspect I am wired in much the same way – we get our sense of worth from the work that we do. We feel a deep sense of responsibility for providing for our family and our kids. We believe that our worth is directly tied to our paycheck and the work that we do. How wrong we are, how wrong I am…
In the past few weeks, I have rediscovered audio books. Since I spend several hours in the car for my job, I have been listening to quite a few books. My book for choice last week was “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young. First and foremost, I highly recommend you pick up the book and read it (or listen to it). It is really well written and has a great message. I am not an expert on theology (and have yet to discuss it with my pastor) so I won’t comment on that part of the book, but I will tell you that a few passages had an impact on me.
In light of my week and the questions that kept creeping into my head, the following passages in the “The Shack” were cause for a little pause. On page 128 the character of Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) and Papa (God) share the following comments with the book’s protagonist:
Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know that you are loved.
For now I just want you to be with me and discover that our relationship is not about performance or you having to please me.
In the context on the book, these are powerful things for the protagonist to hear.
These were powerful things for me to hear.
My relationship with God is, at best, a work in progress. I stumble more that I care to admit. It was comforting to be reminded that God has no expectations but one – to be in a relationship with me. There are no performance objective for me to meet, no goals I need to strive to achieve. God love me, loves you unconditionally.
In the moment of life where we find it difficult to trust people around us; in the moments in life where we find ourselves lost, one thing is certain: God loves us and he does so willingly and without prejudice. He created us to be in a relationship with Him.
After the week I experienced, it was good to be reminded that He wants to be in a relationship with me. He wants me to trust in His love and know that He will be there.
It’s true – in our darkest moments, He is there. No questions asked, no performance requirements, no conditions – God is there. God is love. As Jesus states in the book and I believe in several ways in the Bible: “We were made in His image, unencumbered by structure and free to simply ‘be’ in a relationship with [Him] and with each other.”
Wouldn’t life be much simpler if our relationship weren’t based on performance….