Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Best Self - Part 1

I am really good at following directions.
Give me instructions and I am good to go.
You need not doubt I will complete the task as directed.
I can be competent, capable, reliable, steady.

At 9 years old, I surrendered my life to Jesus 
in the living room of my dad and step-mother's brick house
following a conversation about my paternal grandfather.
From that very moment, the importance of time with God
was instilled in me. 
My then senior pastor instructed me to do so.
Daily time with God was the goal.
scripture. prayer. worship.
It's never been a question of what I needed to do.
And I am good at following directions.

And I've tried.
Tried to follow the directions given to me almost 30 years ago.
Tried to heed the instructions of christian voices everywhere 
speaking the importance of quiet time with God. 
Heck, I've been one of those voices.

There are, however, potential drawbacks for the good direction-follower.
A good direction-follower, for example, can easily fall into legalism.
The execution of the task can supersede the motivation for the task.
So spending time with God becomes a listed duty.
A box to check.
A way to define my goodness. righteousness. worth.

Some days, I am just too tired to open my bible.
Some days, I choose mental escapes that don't require the true engagement of my brain like prayer would demand.
Some days, I'd rather sort through the prose of Jane Austen and shirk the complexity of scripture.

No matter how hard I try to adhere to the prescribed steps to devotion, this direction-follower finds herself failing time and again.
This set of instructions for relationship with God seems impossible to complete "correctly".

This direction-follower turned legalist starts packing some serious guilt. And it gets heavy pretty quickly.

Is there help for a good-intentioned, guilt-laden, direction-following Jesus lover who knows she's desperate for time with the Lover of her soul but fails to regard basic instructions?

I think so...I will share soon.

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