Saturday, December 6, 2008

Delight yourself in the Lord...

Several months ago, my pastor asked if I was enjoying God. Was I enjoying this life as a Christian? Was I delighting in the Lord? I quickly responded to his question with a resounding "no." Now, for the first time in a long time, I can say "yes."

This morning, I had the joy of spending time with a close girlfriend and catching up on life's latest "happenings." During college (and ashamedly even after college), I filled my mind with so much worry and concern that I could barely focus on sitting still, let alone listen, to a girlfriend pouring her heart out in the chair across from me. In college, my worries were minimal. Now, we talk about health problems in our family, the effect of the economy on our friends...many of whom own small businesses in the area...our future relationships, our friends getting married, our friends getting divorces, our friends with children, and our friends losing children. Life has a new look these days, yet still...we can delight. 

We discussed a few things this morning that normally would illicit my advice or thoughts. However, today was different. Instead of throwing in my two cents, I sat back and listened. (I realized that I missed that from a number of people around me, and I value the fact that this precious friend has done nothing but listen for years). I can't describe how much I enjoyed just laughing, talking, and sipping on perfect coffee as we recounted the events of our week.

When we open ourselves up to the advice, criticism, thoughts, and direction from others, we lose sight of our own identity in Christ. As I said in another post, our souls become muddied with the clutter from the outside world, and we eventually end up running to the nearest river of holiness in search of a clean slate and fresh beginning. I'm starting to see more of those rivers, and I want less of the clutter.

Today is the first day I have felt a sense of happened in the Verizon store of all places. I had to switch my blackberry over to an old phone I shoved in a drawer long ago after I received word that a job offer was on the way. For a while now, my cell phone bill has been graciously covered by the firm from which I resigned this week. While I am taking on a new bill (without a current employment opportunity to assist), I welcome the additional "fund sucker" with open arms. It is one more step in not necessarily the right direction, but a direction away from the bondage I've the past few years.

Even in the past few days, I have noticed a stark contrast in my own ability to delight in the day. I have been anxiously searching for purpose, and, as a result, I have missed out on the "surprises by Joy" God has placed in front of me every second. A walk around the park, a trip to Starbucks, a conversation with a friend...even a perfect sunset. I was easily distracted from delighting in these things, because I was too busy swatting away guilt, regret, and confusion. 

I am privileged to have very wise counsel in my life. A few days ago, a member of what I consider my "earthly counsel" said to me "Sometimes you have to let go of one thing before God will show you another." Sure enough, I was waiting for God to post a billboard sign with instructions to find the next best thing. In reality, He was just slashing my tires so these worn out wheels would stop rolling down the wrong road. He hasn't posted any billboards, and I'm no longer waiting for Him to do so. For now, and hopefully forever, I will enjoy the blessings of His goodness as I seek out the delight of His heart. 

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