"I wish I was more of a man, have you ever felt that way?
And if I had to tell you the truth, I'm afraid I'd have to say
that after all I've done and failed to do,
I feel like less than I was meant to be.
And what if I could fix myself? Maybe then I could be free.
And I could try to be somebody else who's much better off than me.
But I need to remember this, that it's when I'm at weakest I can clearly see..."
Last night at band as I listened to Adam sing these first two verses of "What Life Would Be Like" by Big Daddy Weave, they clicked in a way they hadn't before. For the past several months, I've struggled a lot with feeling inadequate, especially when I don't accomplish a certain number of things. And like the second verse talks about, a lot of times I try to get myself free of that feeling by fixing myself - you know, re-outlining my to-do list, re-framing my goals, re-organizing, and trying to...well, fix myself.
But here's the problem: that's exhausting.
I'm not lazy or unmotivated, I'm just starting to realize that if I try to fix myself, it's going to be a never-ending process, and then I'm going to start feeling like I'm not "getting better" fast enough, and beat myself up over that, because I feel inadequate...anybody seeing the vicious cycle rear up it's ugly head?
Yesterday afternoon, I moved back to my room on campus. This meant that I had to bring all my possessions in from the car...and I don't pack light, or very efficiently. So a few tote bags at a time, I made about a million trips in and out of the building bringing everything in. Call it cliché, but this giant pile of *stuff* sitting next to me is making me think about a luggage metaphor...
Ok, you know what metaphor I'm talking about. You know, we're all carrying around all these burdens, and Jesus will take them for us and give us His yoke to carry, His yoke is easy and His burden is light, trust in Jesus and your problems won't be so bad, blah blah blah. My two issues with that have always been (a) the luggage still exists, and aren't the contents semi-important if I've been carrying them around all this time? and (b) either this is too simple, or I don't have enough faith for it to make sense (which cycles back to the inadequacy thing).
When I move back in, I have to carry everything into the room, put it down, and then sort through it to unpack. I *use* anything in my bags until I unpack them, and I can't unpack them until I stop trying to carry them all at once.
I've got all these problems that I've been trying to fix on my own, and it's way too exhausting to continue that. But the whole "hand everything to Jesus and walk away free" doesn't really...make very much sense to me, theologically.
So here's the deal, Jesus: I'm setting everything down in my heart, so I don't have to carry it all anymore. I want to be able to hold Your hand and walk with You without thinking about all the other stuff I can't hang onto...I want to be free to go with you and do what you want me to do, no matter what it is - no hangups, no "but I can't, because so-and-so said...", just... "Ok, God. That sounds a little different, but it's worth a try, let's go for it!"
...Kinda like Mary responding to the angel Gabriel - I like to imagine the other things she wanted to say, but all she did was ask one question ("Um...how is this logistically going to work?") and then she trusted ("I am the Lord's servant...may your word to me be fulfilled.") Cool, huh?
Anyway. I know that this luggage is still going to be here, and I'm still going to run up against hangups. Let's be honest. So when that happens, Jesus, here's what I want to do: let's, You and me, unpack those bags together, one at a time, as we come upon them. Take things out one at a time and ask, "Is this based in love or fear?" and remember that "there is no fear in love, because perfect love drives out fear." Ask, "does this aid or hinder me from being fully who I am meant to be?" and only hang onto the things that help me.
I don't want to be weighted down until I work through everything. That's not good news. That's not what Jesus has in mind for me, and that's not what God's designed for me. I am free, free to dance around my room, free to write and be creative, free to sing, free to be whoever God wants me to be...! And that's *now* - now. Now. Now. How cool is that? :)
Makes me think of these lyrics from Third Day (gender adjusted here for me). When you read 'em, don't think "born again" as in hellfire and brimstone crazy people revival service in a tent...but think "I'm born again" as in "I have the chance to rediscover the world like a new baby does, without everything that's brought me down over the last (insert-your-age-here) years" - and this life you have now, this sort-of-broken, luggage-still-packed life? Putting the luggage down is only the beginning - you ain't seen nothing yet :)
"Today I found myself after searching all these years,
and the person I saw, she wasn't at all who I thought she'd be
Well, I was lost when You found me here, I was broken beyond repair.
And then You came along and You sang Your song over me.
It feels like I'm born again, it feels like I'm living for the very first time, for the very first time in my life.
Make a promise to me now, reassure my heart somehow
that the love that I feel is so much more real than anything.
I've a feeling in my soul and I pray that I'm not wrong,
that the life I have now, it is only the beginning..."