Monday, November 14, 2011

No Longer Asleep

Above my door there is a sign (well two signs actually but I’ll talk about the other one some other time).  This sign represents a defining moment in my life.  It is a time I look back on with pain and remorse, but also with joy and relief.  This moment was when I decided, after some violent and intense pressuring by God, to open my eyes to his mercies.  I realized I had spent my entire “christian” life on my own, and I had reached a point of total depravity.  I finally began to recognize my utter inability to “do my life right” and I had rammed so violently into the ground that I had given up.  I gave up trying to do my own thing and I gave up trying to do the “right thing.”  I gave up trying to please the people around me by begin someone else, and I gave up trying to please my self by doing what I wanted.  I had had given up on myself and I was sitting in my counselor’s office trying to rationalize why I needed to start trying again.
It had been three months since I had been devastated by the consequences in my life.  Since that time I had been pulling together the remaining scraps of my life while at the same time trying to convince myself I was going to be OK.  My parents had forced counseling on me and while there had been momentary “break-throughs” like me realizing how stupid some of my actions were, there was never that “AH-HA moment”.  The counseling sessions consisted of me holding back as many of my thoughts and emotions as I could while my counsellor graciously peeled back the layers of my shell.  This day however, was different.
It was January 15th, 2010 and I was talking through that various details of my life with my counsellor.  I would often play this game with him where I would tell him what I thought he wanted to hear but then act as though I still knew more than him.  (To think that today this man has had one of the biggest impacts on my life is a testament to both his skill as a counselor and his deep understanding of God’s grace.)  However, today he was not going to settle for little tidbits; he knew what was in my heart and he knew he needed to expose it.  As I was muttering on about the various mistakes I made he said to me, “You know what Ben, you have been trying your whole life to please people.  You’ve tried to please your parents, friends, teachers, and girlfriend, but you always came up short.  You need to stop wandering around trying to figure out who other people want you to be and become the man God made you to be.”  I almost instantly broke out in a nervous laugh because this man hadn’t just called me out, he had looked into my heart (as deeply buried as it was) and exposed the difference of reality between who I thought I was and who God says I am.  Since that day I have been learning to live out of this new reality and I have been awakened to the Gospel as it penetrates ever deeper into my life.  
In the posts that follow in the coming days, or more likely weeks, I will be explaining how my life led up to this point and how I had previously been defined by football, academics, and relationships.  While none of these areas are “evil,” investing your self-worth in them will be.  My true worth is found in the truth of the Gospel and apart form that truth,  I will always find myself inadequate.

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