This love is not based on what I give You. Or what I have to give You. I guess that would be what’s so amazing about Your love. You sacrificed so much when I gave you nothing. Sometimes I feel like I’ve robbed You. If I’m honest I could’ve done way more. But this love isn’t interested in what I could do, or what I can do. It blows my mind that You have chosen to love me, just for me. Not as a result of, or by any certain circumstance. You just love me.
This is an original song that I’ve written. It’s a really important song to me because it touches on some real struggles that I have in my life. I came to the point where all this craziness was happening around me and I felt like I was being ostracized for being myself. I was in a tough position and I kept choosing other people’s comfort over my own, and I was killing myself. I was reminded of how superficial my ideals of myself are. It was a season that really put me in a place where I just looked at myself as a finite human being, and I’m thankful that there is a God and that He is stronger than I am. This song is a celebration of the grandness of God and the finiteness of man.
Paul is the author to some of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. One of those being Romans 7:15, “I don’t really understand myself for what I want to do is right, but I don’t do it….”. Wow. It’s like even 2000 years ago people were going through basically the same things we go through today which only confirms another scripture found in the Bible Ecclesiastes 1:9 “there’s nothing new under the sun.”
I think about Paul and how awkward he must’ve felt in the Christian circles he was running in. Not everybody was mature as he was, surely there were some raised eyebrows and sighs of contention all due to his presence. Little kids staring at him because they heard their parents say that he was the murderer that had found Jesus. People are funny that way, always wanting to remember someone for who they were not who they’re becoming, but Paul was in all actuality an ex-murderer it’s true. I wondered how he dealt with that? The grief that he felt knowing that he had taken innocent lives, ministering to the people he had once brought charges against. I wonder sometimes if He thought about the pleas of the Christians he executed? How he once considered their words heresy, now he knew them as truth. How can you deal with that: When your wrong, and you know your wrong, and everybody knows your wrong, but Jesus still uses you? Was Paul able to erase those faces from his memory? Within a few moments of his life he went from terrorist to evangelist. A lot of areas in my life resemble Paul’s.
In my life I have always tried to do the right thing. Ever since the 7th grade when I stood up to Big Antoine because he was picking on a smaller kid. I dedicated myself to always going right when others went left. Looking at my life now I wonder what was all that good for? It has not made a significant difference in my life at all. I think in my younger days I had the idea that good was some sort of currency that I could bank on. Now here I am 13 years later ready to make withdrawals only to find “insufficient funds” stamped all over different areas of my life. In my anger I lash out. People far and wide know about my anger issues. Some have suffered directly, others indirectly, and no matter how much good that I think I do, it always seems as if my shortcomings precede me, and are put on display in the back of people’s minds. I think this is where Paul and I are similar. Men with treacherous pasts rescued by grace and made new, but the difference is Paul really believed he was made new, not me I struggle with that.
I think about those 2 words: made new. I realize you can’t make something new if you are still looking back at the old. (Please understand that I’m talking to myself hear as well.) You can’t really make something new with old materials that would just be making a new design not making something new. The design may work for awhile but eventually the materials will give way. To truly make something new, you got to strip it down and start from scratch. Just like Paul was stripped down, knocked off his ride and blinded. Where he was headed no longer matter, what he was doing, no longer matter, all that mattered to Paul was finding out what just happened to him, and not only that but Who happened to him? The journey to scratch is always drastic, because it’s where we really realize who we are and who God is. Only from scratch. God doesn’t want to take our old and make it better, He wants to take our old and destroy it. When God builds someone up there is no denying it regardless of what the past looks like. That’s why those people could talk about Paul all they wanted and those kids could stare but nobody could deny the Lord was at work in His life. What a testimony for God when we can tell the world, “this righteousness is not my own, this love that I can give is not my own, this grace that has been displayed in my life is not my own, but all this was made possible by Jesus.” Paul stated several times throughout the epistles in different context that he was a major sinner but he had been rescued. Paul didn’t have to convince anyone of anything he used to be a murderer but he had been saved by grace and that grace was all that mattered.
Paul actually makes me feel like a wussy now that I’m at the end of this blog. I mean the man was a murderer but had no problem believing he had been saved by God. I’ve never killed anything except for the occasional spiders and mosquitoes and here I am struggling with the thought of being saved by grace. It all starts with belief. We’re never out of God’s reach. We’re never too far gone. All we have to do is believe, and be prepared to start from scratch.
Every year around mid March to early April is an exciting time in my household. Tax refund season, it’s like an early Christmas for us. We buy all the stuff that we wanted but couldn’t afford in the past. Everyone get’s new wardrobes, and gadgets and gizmos and it’s just an amazing time for the whole family, not a face is without a smile. The more amazing thing is how quickly it all goes by. The initial joy pales to worry and fret that we did not save enough money. The happiness that once abounded in the opening of boxes is now scarce as that which once entertained has now become the mundane and ordinary. I often think about how trivial the word new is, when we are constantly changing. New becomes old, and cool becomes crap it’s all a matter of time, but the needs inside of us are consistent. The need for something real, something of value, something timeless. In my kitchen there is a large wooden dinner table. The table is freaking huge in comparison to the size of the kitchen, its absolutely massive, and I love it. I love that table, because of the memories. Memories from the dinners and the board games, and so on, you know the dinner table is a major element in families I won’t explain any further. The table is great but there is one major problem. The chairs. These chairs look like if they went to school with Ikea, Ikea would pick on them. Ikea and all the other cool furniture kids would tip my chair’s books over as they were walking down the hall. They’re that bad. I have literally sustained injuries at the dinner table not only from overeating but from the chair simply throwing in the towel to gravity. With that being said, this year we all agreed we needed new chairs. Welp, the check arrived via mail, and it was almost glowing. I could literally hear harps playing as I opened the envelope , and I don’t remember much after that. I can vaguely recall flashes of different department stores that I may or may not have been in, it all happened so fast and guess what? No chairs were bought. We spent so much time buying the things we wanted we forgot to get the things we needed.
Now granted all of our money isn’t gone we were smart enough to save some, but I find an interesting parallel between this story and my personal life. I am surrounded by things that I wanted and have obtained, yet the things I need in my life like peace, joy, and happiness those are the things that are farthest from me. Not because they have not been made accessible, but because I have placed more value on my wants than my needs, and my life has suffered because of it. The Giver of all that I need is eternal. His love is eternal, His peace is eternal, and He has even promised a reward that is everlasting. I guess the problem is me. That’s supposed to be a joke, of course the problem is me! I become so saturated with myself that I start thinking that I know what’s best for me. So I fill up on things that I think will make me happy and they do momentarily, but usually what I think will make me feel awesome ends of making me feel awful and I’m right back to square one. Here’s a principle that you can implement in your life because I’m trying it in mine: if it has a plug it’s expendable. Take it from a man that has a lot of gadgets plugged into walls even as I write this, but on the inside I’m unplugged in a lot of areas. You don’t want to be that guy with all the cool do-dadds but no hope or peace or love. That’s no way to live life. Pray to God that He not only gives you what you need, but also the strength to get rid of the things you don’t.
Do you remember watching “Full House”? The beginning of the show was always full of jokes (silly uncle Jesse). The middle of the show the plot thickened and the conflict was revealed. However, my favorite part was always the end of the show, where it’s just cheesy dialogue and moving music. I grew up thinking that, that was how life was supposed to be. I think people get lost when they turn what is scripted and edited into reality. I’m pretty sure we’re all guilty of it. In reality I’m finding that the most genuine moments come from broken places in my life. Where there are no scripts, and there is no re-takes.
Found an excuse to include Full House in my blog! #yes