Saturday, September 18, 2010

Building Castles in the Sand

This is Friday's post...I am attempting to post it wirelessly on the road...if you see this then I was successful!!

I am building castles in the sand
They cannot last for long
I try to be a king, forging my own royalty
But I am just a drifter
The water’s rising and my walls start to melt
There’s beauty in the fall
Come crash down

I am chasing steeples
All the while missing what’s inside
What idols have I crafted?
What kingdoms have I made?
Bring the tide, bring the rain
Bring the flood, come crash away

The water’s rising and my walls start to melt
There’s redemption in the fall
Come crashing down all I have made
Bring my castles to the ground
I’m shattered by the fall
You are the king of me

-“Crashing Down” by Spur58

This blog has become an important part of my day. It’s given me a sense of purpose, a way to express myself, and a chance to focus my life on something other than myself. But it has unintentionally become a need of mine to “teach” what I’m learning or impart my wisdom. I don’t think that’s what I really want or what God does either. I want this forum to be a chance for me to express what I’m learning in a raw, emotional, & unpretentious manner (ugh even the way I wrote that seems pretentious….I promise I don’t mean to, I just like big words). I want someone who may think like me or be in the position I’m in to find these words and seek solace in the fact you aren’t alone. I’m learning the best way to “teach” is to live by example and pass on what you learn. So here it is, this is what I feel like God is teaching me, hope He can use some of it to teach you too (because it’s not my job-only His). 

The song above mentions there is redemption and beauty in the fall. This is a perfect representation of what I want to start today’s message off with. That I need to remember this isn’t really about me. I like to believe and think it is (because hello who’s with me more than me? I do kinda run into her a bit, haha), but it’s not. The pain and struggles and ensuing change that I’m experiencing is about something so much bigger than me. It’s about giving God glory, it’s about anyone who sees good come out of my struggles looking face-to-face with Christ, it’s about the countless lives that could be changed because I chose to listen. Don’t get me wrong, I may never see the result or even get it, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t getting just what He wants, His will with every smile or selfless act that appears as a result of coming in contact with Christ just by learning to surrender.

I’m really bad about building my own castles, my own kingdom. Who doesn’t want their own way? But it’s built on shaky sand and God is undoubtedly sending waves left and right to knock them down. He doesn’t want me to live in the fake versions of glory I have made for myself on ground that is flimsy and moveable. He wants to build it on Him, solid and unchanging. That when I build upon my character, my career, my love life, my interpersonal relationships, my family, & my spirituality they become unmovable forces dictated by Christ only. Not my narrow minded view of what I think could be best and right for me and those areas, but what God planned before I was even in my mother’s womb or a thought in their lives.

Psalm 139:14-16 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” This life, the things that happen to us, the choices we make-God knew all of it before we were a part of this earth. He has chosen a special road for all of us. What we learn on that road defines who we are and who we live for. Does the road we choose lead us to a firm foundation or shaking sand?

I am learning there are many types of kingdoms we forge on lots of different types of sand. My largest ones seem to be emotional ones. I can’t help it I am an emotional person. I am a red personality and have intense feelings. I can’t change that. But I can realize that “feelings aren’t facts.” I cannot remember where I heard that but I just keep thinking about it. I am so bad at letting my feelings feel like truth. But the reality is that just because I feel bad about myself, doesn’t mean there is any truth to it. There are truths and then there are just feelings. We were made to have feelings but not to be ruled by them. It is important to remember to work logic and emotions together, neither is usually helpful apart. God gave us both capabilities for a reason.

I have a domineering personality (red) and also controlling (blue) personality. I’m not gonna lie, I like to be in control. Not of everything, but pretty close to it. This is a hard situation to be in since that pesky God keeps telling me that’s His job (haha). My new mantra has become: “just because I’m a controlling person doesn’t mean I have to control every situation.” Lord knows this may be the biggest and most complicated lesson I attempt to learn. But I am trying nonetheless. Learning to relinquish control will (eventually) give me the opportunity to allow others to lead as God wishes, that can’t always be my job and I am cheating others when I always take the reins.

I hate to admit that my feelings can be fragile but I would be lying if I said they are not. I have a really hard time accepting things when they do not turn out the way I want or expect them to be. I don’t mean I throw a fit about it (although don’t think that doesn’t cross my mind). I just get my feelings hurt or feel discouraged. Having too many expectations and letting those expectations control me is a serious weakness of mine. Learning to be ok when thing aren’t the way I want or expect them to be is kind of one of my biggest goals. What good is surrendering your life if you can’t let go of the expectations you place on that life. God can’t do too much with my life if I can’t learn to accept things the way they are (and trust me I have no idea how I will ever learn to do this).

I’m sure I could sit here all day and come up with ways and areas I am building my life on shaky ground instead of a firm foundation but it’s getting really late and I am going out of town in the morning, Until next time, ask yourself:

What kind of foundation am I building my life upon? Is it firm and unmovable or rocky and unstable? In what ways can I pray to change that and what steps can I take to make that change?

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