wow, i really ended that month with a bang, huh? ha. promise i'll be writing more this month, but it won't be every day like november. i'm always surprised and really touched by the people who say they read my blog. really? you care what i have to say on here, huh? that's really cool. thank you!
i'm super thankful for all the gifts november brought to light in my life by being in the habit of writing.
but i don't have a list for you today.
today i just have something i've been thinkin for a while now.
it's basically that i'm frustrated with myself.
i see the person i want to be, the character traits i want to possess and how i am far from them. the overarching goal of my life is to get to the end of it with gray hair and wrinkles, with a heart filled and overflowing with peace. good and gentle and faithful. so content. so patient. slow to become angry. humble, generous. quick to give what i have. quick to give grace. sound like anyone? (**cough**Jesus. i want to look like Jesus**) gosh, i want that so much. and every day i see another ugliness that comes up in me.. another way i'm not like that.
these traits i desire are the result of a lifetime of God and i working hard on every inclination of my heart that is self-seeking, impatient, quick to become frustrated, easily offended, prideful. but man, from here to there feels far. i'd like to dedicate all i have to it, though. my whole life, even. this work is absolutely God's work and only truly possible through Him. we cannot change without Him. but i believe we are participants in it and He won't just make us that way without our partnership. i don't believe you just fall into those traits on accident, like poof, one day you're really patient and forgiving. it's not the natural flow of the world to become that way. i actually believe it's more of an army-crawl-through-the-jungle kind of process. what Jesus calls "the narrow path" (matthew 7:13).
i've been thinking about that a lot lately, the narrow path. man, it's like Jesus knew what it would be like to be twenty-five and living in 2018 america. talk about the narrow path. at least for me, in my corner of the world and in my personal experience, these messages are in bold, caps, and underlined: EAT WHAT YOU WANT, DO WHAT YOU WANT, BUY WHAT YOU WANT, HAVE SEX WITH WHO YOU WANT AND HOWEVER MUCH YOU WANT, LIVE WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND- IF YOU DON'T YOU'RE WEIRD, HATE TRUMP, IF YOU'RE NOT POLITICALLY LIBERAL YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT PEOPLE ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND YOU LOVE GUNS, THINGS SHOULD BE FASTER FASTER FASTER, HAPPINESS IS ALL THAT MATTERS.
now please hear me.. i am not making this political. i did not say my stance on anything. i don't want that to be the thing you hear. and i'm not saying there aren't good narratives in the mix, too. i am simply stating the narratives of the world that are hard to navigate as a Jesus-follower as i see them from my corner. is there anyone out there who is trying to navigate these, too, and feels like a little fish swimming against a massive current? just me?
well, as one of those such fish to maybe another, just trying to figure out where Jesus is in the midst of all the screaming.. i will say, i think the call of Jesus has always been to die. dying to ourselves means we can't do whatever we want, when we want. it looks a lot of different ways and it's hard work. but we have each other, and Jesus walking with us, holding our hands, quietly leading the way. i've actually been repeating these things to myself a lot lately. almost daily.
"Jesus said the road would be narrow."
"i can't just do whatever i want, alexi. i am dead, i was bought with a price, and i don't just belong to myself anymore. the old me is gone. God's making me new now."
"God knows the way of true life. He designed life, He knows the best way to live. i can trust Him."
"He knows how to really live."
keep swimming, friend. it's worth it. navigating life through a lens of Christ, and following Him even when it's a hard swim and the current is pushing against you, is worth it.