Lately I have been contemplating this question.
What does it mean to be truly accepted?
Then by whom, by God?
By Family, Friends, or Strangers?
When looking back at my own life, there is not a whole lot that stands out. My LinkedIn struggles to show professional competency of any sort. Now there have been some great adventures and wonderful friends, people I would give my life for. But not much pedigree or esteem. When I was in my Senior Year of High School I wanted to be an Architect. But then my mom died of cancer and everything I thought I knew was insufficient to fill in the loss.
Just a few days ago there was a meme on Instagram with a woman saying. “Girl don’t show me his Instagram, I want to see his LinkedIn.” Lets be real; the world can present us with high expectations that can be tough to live up too.
Unfortunately, most of us will not graduate grade school with Magna Cum Laude. There is only a small distinct group of the most intelligent amongst us who are qualified to receive the praise of professional excellence. We all strive for that prize of goodness and recognition. Some win and many lose. That number of people on that bell curve distribution of intelligence gets smaller and smaller the dumber and the smarter we get.
In middle school I was part of a basketball team. We lost every game. Every single game! Never wanted to play basketball again.
Many people have similar experiences in life. We can be conditioned to lose; to lose at everything, to get to the point where we give up before we even start. As much as we may work at something or be as successful in our realm of expertise. Inevitably, there is always someone else who will be better.
This is a reality of life. For the most part the majority of us will be nothing but normal in our own efforts. Yet we will sadly envy the outcomes that come from other’s efforts. We worship the ability of others to execute in the worldly sphere, yet we are unable to appreciate the unique path that God has chosen for us.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We are not in control of where we are born. Is it rational to build our lives upon the idea that our value as sentient creatures is based only upon external factors that we have no say over?
There is less chance of being born in the suburbs around Harvard University then there is on the Tundra of Siberia? Is it rational to base our self worth on the intelligence, beauty, or opportunities that we inherit from our birth?
John 3:4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
If only you could be born a second time… What would you become? What would you choose about your life to be different?
Maybe a different body, a nicer singing voice, or a family who displays a pure love for you? All things that we have no control of and cannot go back and do over.
So how could a loving God judge us on the same criteria that the world does?
Would he not understand that many people only know loss and only know adversity?
So how can his expectations of us be dependent upon things that even with the very best of circumstances there is no guarantee that we will accomplish?
These are such things that only he could understand. In the way that he does. Because of the way he did things. (This is not a cope out, this is a proof, to be explained.)
These are the ways he did things so that he could help us see that our worth to him is not dependent upon the external things. For all the logisticians our there, he placed himself on the cross in his perfection to show us that no amount of our own effort can ever save us from ourselves. He just like ourselves came down from heaven not of his own will but that of the Father.
John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
This in my mind has always been the thing about God that has hit me at the core. The simple fact, is that I have never found anything that I have suffered that I have not found that Jesus also suffered through. This has taken away so much pressure from me in my life. Helped me come to see that all we think life is for will all come to an end eventually.
We can get so caught up preparing for this life, that we miss how much God could very well be preparing us for the next.
We can strive so much for perfection and physical solidity that we miss the lessons that can only be learned through experience. Compulsively swinging for the fences into old age, even after we have repeatedly striked-out our whole lives. It is at these time of failure that we see our fragility that we are not masters of the universe. Sooner or later we will, regardless, it is not painless.
Life offers us just few choices in my estimation. Push off the inevitable, strive for perfection, and dodge the pain of reality or accept that no matter our striving the pursuit of perfection is fleeting and eventually we all will feel the pain of loss. The loss of life, a loved one, or an age old dream.
That is were the beauty is hidden. It is so simple ,in confidence we can laugh at its simplicity. But in our loss, none of our pains do we need to bear alone. God’s love for us existed before time and to date continues to to be a comfort to all of us who don’t size up to even our own expectations of ourselves. Jesus understands injustice, loss, and loneliness.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
By his pain, our pain too can be healed.
In the end we may find that all we dreamed we could be was never what we wanted to be anyways. It was nothing but goals intended to cover up all our insecurities adopted from the circumstances that we couldn’t not avoid. To become that person that no one could reject, to be someone who no heart would leave, or to be the person that no ones love could access. Somethings only God can give, that is through his perfect love. So, let it all down. Let it all fall down. The heritage, the lineage, and the prestige. Let him make you the person he wants you to be, you may be delightfully surprised in end and for once feel love. For once feel peace in your heart. A peace that does not depend on upon your perfection.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”