Monday, December 27, 2010

Oak From Ash...

I literally am sitting here thinking about my life...Where I have come from and where I am now...I suppose self-reflection isn't the worst eh? :)

But jeez, to see the journey I call my life is both fulfilling and yet slightly painful; to see where I was an idiot, or immature, or missed opportunity, but still with God making all things work out for good no matter what...

I write quotes in the back of my Bible and as I looked through them this week I could remember almost every moment and where I was when I wrote them down...Some are from youth group in high school, some from service at church, some from reading a book, some from friends, and a few from sitting in silence with God and thoughts popping in my head...The impact these things have on me today is immense...I cannot discredit these statements and times in my life which have impacted me so...

I've also been looking back through my journal, which is also both an awesome and painful experience...Seeing how I have grown from the beginning of my journey with God when I was fifteen and now as a twenty-two year old about to graduate college in the spring, is humbling...I enjoyed seeing how early in my faith I truly had the faith of a child, with few complications and just a simple desire to seek God out, minus the frills, fluff, preaching, exegetical papers, and arguments from all sides on Truth...Not that those things are bad, but they are just things to have to weigh in with my faith that I didn't have to bother with at first...

Continuing to look back though, I am watching a boy become a man...Sure legally I am an adult, but I'm not so sure that legal right of passage has the depth of impact on teenagers today that we all hope it would...And of course, I am not saying I am much more mature than the next guy, especially my age (I'm in college for heaven's sake), but to able to see growth in my life in this way is huge for me...Weighing my "manliness" against the Scriptures and not the world was something I needed to learn how to do...

Growing up I didn't feel like I fit in most places, and frankly I was awkward as heck...I didn't have any friends really, save for my hockey team, but we only hung out during hockey things mostly...I entered a new high school after transferring from private to public and the awkwardness amplified...But, God decided that was the time to throw some friends into my life who would show me Him (God uses people to do His work and accomplish His will)...Once I found Him, I decided I was now to show Him to the world, with the passions He placed inside me, and I am still finding out what those truly are today; refining my view of them and growing in them...Frankly, even five years ago I would not have guessed the passions I have now were to be...

Who you are now is not who you were three years ago, and who you are now is not who you will be three years from now...We are constantly changing and molding, either to whom God wants us to be more of, or to whom the world wants us to be...There is no middle ground...

So as I sit down and listen to music that brings up memories of everything from high school friends to distinct moments with God, and look at my writings that bring up the same, I find joy, happiness, and passion...The story that is me is one I would not change at all...I may regret past mistakes, however, I would not know Grace like I do and I would not be who I am now without those very mistakes...And just the same, I am thankful for every positive experience that has shaped me...I think I would call this being ok with who I am...I know there will be days when I feel as if I don't like me at all, but when I brush the thick lies away from my face and scream back at the voices telling me I have no purpose, I find peace in God, and God alone...

No one else.
Nothing else.
Do you get that?

My life story was and is written by God.

This does not mean I must walk a thin line mapped out by Him or I fail...It means He simply wants me...Letting me follow Him with those passions he has given me, beginning with Jesus Christ giving me and you The Greatest Commandment:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Love God.

Love People.


Quit complicating it and trying to argue it away. You are ruining your life and others around you when you do.

Also, actually take some time, sit down, and check out your life story...See where you have come from and take a peek at how God has been apart of it, whether is was perfect or painful...



"If your conversion experience hasn't changed your life, then has it changed your eternal destiny?"

"Spiritual breakthrough cannot happen until we stop worshiping the God we want and start worshiping the God He really is."

"Even a dead fish can go with the stream."

"Growth requires change."

"Satan fears only the weakest saint on his knees."

"Sin will always sabatoge prayer. Prayer will always sabatoge sin."

"God is attracted to weakness."

"Sin is anything that deadens your love for God."

"What is it you're doing that without God it would absolutely fail?"


1 comment:

Sarah said...

Thanks for this Jake, I appreciate your thoughts. It made me think and reflect, and whoa have I come along way in JUST 2010!!! What a great post to begin my 2011.
Loving everybody despite their appearance or where they came from can sometimes be hard for me. Thank you, honestly, for the reminder that God loves me despite all the crap I've gone through, and I need to do the same for others.
I need to give others the ability to look back on their Christian lives and see where God has taken them.