Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Close Your Eyes and Tap Your Heels Together Three Times

Many years ago I read the following prose penned by an African pastor and was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit. It embodies the life of the disciple I want to be for Christ and illustrates so clearly how wide the gap is between who I am and who I want to be: 

I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.
My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!

I couple this with Oswald Chambers's continuous call to give up everything for Christ, to live in utter humility, invisible to others but for the love of Christ they see through our words and actions and I feel so ashamed. I want to be the sort of woman who doesn't wilt when the limelight is turned off; who doesn't feel she would die from lack of validation and attention. Instead, I love the thrill of praise (whether it be for my intellectual abilities, my domestic skills or my desirability as a woman) As much as it pains me to admit it, to lay down my struggle before my readers and acknowledge that this is who I am,  I cannot deny it. This is who I am.

When I write here, for you, I like to wrap things up nicely with a summary or a call to action. But I'm at a loss. I'm not even quite sure the path forward to move from the person I am now, to the person I want to be. Pursuit of validation - is this just garden variety sin that can be prayed away or run from? Or is this a mental health issue that suggests therapy? I don't know. I know that in addition to blocking my effectiveness as a disciple of Christ the pursuit of validation harms others, turning them into pawns for my ego gratification and bringing disharmony into my circle of influence.
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