Saturday, September 10, 2011
The lies have been whispered in my ear for as long as I can remember.
"This is what's real. This, right here in front of you. Nothing else."
"These momentary pleasures are all there is to life, so enjoy as many of them as you can."
"This is what you're looking for. Focus on this, not that intangible thing over there."
"Money is very important. You need to make a lot of money to be happy."
"You should always feel safe and live inside your comfort zone."
"You need a college education and a steady, secure job to be happy and successful in your life."
"This career is safe. Choose this one."
It's the last one that's really been getting to me lately.
Maybe the last two.
The world keeps whispering its lies in my ear,
And they sound so good,
They sound so true,
Yet something in my heart says something different,
Something in my heart says I'm following the world and not my Savior.
I've heard it a lot recently -
That the idea that the center of God's will is the safest place to be is a(nother) lie,
That God really calls us to the places where we aren't safe,
The places where we have to take risks,
The places where we have to depend on Him.
Maybe that's part of why I'm wondering,
Why I'm really struggling to see and understand,
Because I feel like the education and career I've been chasing
I feel like maybe that's not what I want anymore,
That maybe that's not where I should be,
That maybe God's been calling me somewhere else,
For a long time
And I just haven't listened,
That I've been so caught up in the world and its lies
That I believed where I was going was really where He wanted me
When it wasn't
Because I just wasn't listening,
Or I just wasn't sure,
Or I was still searching,
Or . . .
I don't know why I've been walking this path.
Probably because my family thought it was good,
Because my family thought it was safe,
Because I felt like God wasn't calling me anywhere else,
So I thought that this was where He wanted me.
It's lies and assumptions that have brought me here,
But I've never stopped searching,
Never stopped seeking the place He's really called me to be.
I've been hearing the whispers of truth for almost two years now,
But my attachment to the world's promises of safety
Has kept me from following that path.
Sure, I've made myself believe that the reason wasn't worldliness,
That, instead, I just wanted to be sure,
After all, it's a big decision.
These reasons have kept me here,
In this place of searching,
Maybe that's because that's the way it's supposed to be,
Maybe I'm not supposed to know,
Maybe I'm supposed to go this way and not realize what an idiot I've been until years down the road,
Or maybe this really is the way I'm supposed to go,
And I've spent so long just lost in this confusion and uncertainty,
Trying to put my faith in the only One who doesn't move,
Trying to seek the only Truth,
Trying to listen to the only One whose voice really matters.
Of course, the problem with trying to listen is that I'm bad at it.
Worse than bad, really,
I am not good at listening to God.
Sure, I've heard Him before,
Once or twice,
Maybe three times,
Or maybe I've heard Him more than that but I've just ignored Him,
Not understood that it was His voice,
Or understood and didn't want to admit.
Really, I do.
It's just so hard for me.
I decided to take today,
This weekend, really,
To sacrifice in the hopes that I might better listen,
To put time with God above time spent doing homework,
To pour out my heart to the only One who really, truly understands,
Who loves me more than I can imagine,
Whose plan for me is better than any I've ever come up with.
My prayer today is the same as it has been for a while now,
Expanded and sifted into poetry just yesterday (was it only yesterday?) when the workbook I've been going through prompted me to write a prayer of contrition,
Tweaked so that the syllables of the poem fit the melody that had been in my head as I scribbled the words onto the paper.
Really, the ending's the part I've been saying for the longest,
The part of the workbook-prompted prayer that I've been praying unprompted for almost two years,
"A . . . resolve . . . to seek God's vision for you . . . and to trust in His ability to help you achieve that vision."
The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer, page 66
It doesn't sound like so much of a resolve when I write it . . .
Or when I say it,
More like a desprate hope,
An urgent desire to be allowed to seek,
To be allowed to see,
To learn to truly believe.
Father of the heavenly lights,
Maker of the stars,
Lord of all the universe,
Holder of my heart,
I confess that I have made up dreams,
That I have come up with my plans,
That I have lacked the trust to seek
The future that comes from Your hands.
I confess that I have believed
That these dreams came from You
When they really came from my own fears,
When they weren't what You called me to.
I confess that the dreams You gave me
I pushed roughly aside
And I refused to acknowledge them
When You brought them to the light.
I confess that, though I follow
In the simple, everyday things,
I lack the faith to obey,
To really go where You lead.
I confess that I'm not trusting,
That I don't believe enough.
I confess that I'm more willing
To accept a lie than Your love.
I confess I don't know why that is,
Why I'm drawn to worldly things,
Why I'd rather rest on the safety net
Than walk the tightrope of my dreams.
Could You please forgive me
For making my own plans,
For not really believing
That my future's in Your hands?
And could You please reveal
The path that's made for me
Just enough to tell the difference
Between "safety" and my dreams?
Could You teach me to believe?
I need to believe.
The bold, italicized words are the lyrics to the song "Believe" by Mary Schieferstein, ©2011 Mary Schieferstein.