Once upon a time, I was a dramatic fool. And not only in action, but in sentiment. My life would drift wildly from one plan of action to another. Every single plan would be embraced whole heartedly. I would speak of it with all conviction, for in the moment I believed every word. And I would take steps down that road. Regardless of the cost, I would begin bravely and boldly.
But the adventure of a new plan always becomes the drudgery of the everyday. The exciting beginning soon become the new normal. So I would always begina new adventure while never finishing the last one. For deep within I had a desire. I thought it a very noble and beautiful desire. I wanted to feel like a man of God. Doesn’t that sound so heroic. So I would do things to create that feeling. I would give things away. I would take vows of chastity, poverty, or obedience. I chased that feeling like a hound after a fox.
The thing about always starting and never finishing is there is an illusion of progress. It seems like you are moving. But in reality, I was always taking a few steps, resetting, taking a few steps, resetting. My life was spinning tires onblackest ice. Sound, fury, but no motion.
Finally, a friend spoke. He diagnosed the problem that I would not see. “You want to feel like a man of God. But being a man of God is not about your feelings. Being a man of God is about doing what needs to be done regardless of how you feel.” For so long, the feelings had been my compass. It was what propelled me onward. And here I was, having my foundations challenged. Being told that the feelings followed the life, but was never meant to lead it. There are higher and truer ways to measure a life. Faithfulness. That long obedience in the same direction.
Now, feelings are not evil things. They are wonderful. I am grateful when the feeling of God’s love washes over me. But I can’t chase that thing. God is there. He is high and lifted up, and His plan is coming to fruition. I walk in step with the divine, and sometimes as we walk I get a glimpse. And it floors the human heart. It leaves one breathless in wonder. That does come. But it is not the goal. it is not what I am aiming at. It is a benefit. It is a blessing. It is a gift. But it cannot be our God. To idolize emotion is to make it our God rather than Jesus. And I’ve read somewhere that His is the only name whereby men kneel and worship.
Joe Dirt said, “Keep on keeping on.” Johnny Cash said, “I walk the line.” And Jesus the Christ said, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Keep on seeking. Keep on walking. Endure. Life is more than feeling happy. Life is more than your momentary emotional state. Don’t give all you have away for some greener grass. That feeling may cost you your name, your legacy, and maybe even your life. Endure. Persevere. Honor the God who has called you beloved.
Happy New Year.