The "other man" in my life (dad!), and I were talking about how hard it is to make the things we learn a real part of our lives. I mean, you can get all excited about something you really "get," and yet it's really hard to make it stick. Really hard to carry it with you in all your years. Really hard to be disciplined and obedient.
Maybe it's just us? I don't know. But I've experienced it over and over. I have these light bulb moments where God is really revealing something profound and I finally grasp it. And then.... gone. Two days, two weeks, two months, whatever it takes, it disappears. It's so frustrating.
I wish I had a super-human capacity to with-stand the distractions and frustrations of life enough to truly live what I know. I can know so many things with both my head and my heart, and still I'm unable to truly live it.
Live what? Patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control.....
That's just the truth.
I suppose this is why Paul said all that stuff about doing what he didn't want to do and never being able to do what he wanted to do...
The only thing I know for sure that works is being in the Word of God. Really in it. Seeking His face in the midst of the stories and poetry. Really studying what it means to me. Really opening myself up to the Holy Spirit's ability to teach me something that would have appeared boring if left to just me and an old Book.
So why can't I stay in the Word like I'd like to? There are so many things I do instead. So many things I would rather do, if I'm being perfectly honest.
I've fallen for a lot of lies in my life. The most devastating one is that seeking God's truths from His very mouth is for the more earnest of heart. Most of the time I believe that I must not be that earnest. I falsely believe that the believers I compare myself to are closer to God than I could ever dream to be. People who cannot give up their time with God, they live for it and breathe it. I compare myself to them and then the guilt and shame come. The questions rise and I wonder how I could be so far from where I would really like to be.
Then I remind me (or dad reminds me) that it's a process. Sometimes I think the difficult and long road I'm on is serving a purpose. Because if it came really easy for me too, I wouldn't be able to relate at all to those who struggle.
If life is a highway and I got off on the wrong exit (more than once), that means the grace of God makes more sense to me than it would if things were always cut and dry, always peaceful.
I don't want to stay here forever, living with this belief that I may never change. The beauty is that I know I won't stay right here. I will continue in this process because God has not forsaken me. He can't. Because His love is too radical for that kind of disregard.
So I keep thinking and praying and calling out for change. A change that will last. Because without the belief that I can change, I would be truly lost. And I'm not.