Welcome back. You belong here.
Right now, I’m having a contented moment, and a contented soul.
Like many of you, I’m a striver, achiever. In fact my #1 strength on a test called “Strength’s Finder” is ACHIEVE. Bummer for me right? That means I’m always longing for more, for better. In my exercising for example, I pursue to be the best, to work out 6x a week, lift 4x a week, to eat healthy every day. And I do, I live there all the time and I actually get there most weeks, I’ve actually been into this fitness thing for now three years, I’ve been very consistent, and now I’m in the best shape of my life. As I said I’m an achiever.
That means I don’t always enjoy and stop to smell the roses, or enjoy a fall day when life is good. It’s not that I see what’s wrong all the time, it’s that I am often too busy pursuing my goals to notice the beauty all around me. Sometimes people tell me, “David, your life is amazing RIGHT NOW, not someday.” I have a hard time seeing that sometimes. I’m an achiever.
But today, I’m having a contented moment…a content day…a cease striving and know that I am God, life is beautiful, life is great day.
Do you need one of those days? I do.
What does that look like for me today? Is it that everything went perfect, got a raise, a good doctors report, a new guitar? No, in fact today, I had a content moment amidst lots of normal life and even some challenges.
First, our car blew a radiator hose while in downtown LA with my wife and children in the car! Usually that would be a disaster for this non-car tech guy and I would blow a hose of my own! But we got to a service station, a man from Mexico repaired the hoses, and in a few hours we were on our way again.
Other things that I’ve experienced….On Sunday, a friend gave me a note saying, “David you touch my life every time, thank you….” On that same day, another friend waved at me while getting ready to lead worship and said, “Go get them David!” that was so fun…after church another friend told me, “I’m going to put you on my prayer list and pray for you.” Later that day, another friend told me, “David, you are already affecting my life.” Later that evening, a new person to the church came up shook my hand and thanked me for I’m still not sure what, he just kept saying thank you, thank you. Strange.
Remember the guy that fixed our car? I got to share the love of Christ with him. He told me he had been a Christian when he was younger but that working as a mechanic had been hard for him and now he often found himself giving in to temptations and to the pressures at work and the comments from his fellow mechanics to “stop trying to be different and just be like everyone else…” He told me he didn’t want to be that way. I told him that he didn’t have to be, that inside of him lived Christ, that the light of Jesus is stronger than the darkness all around him, that the wide road leads to destruction and many take that path, but the narrow path leads to life and salvation and happy are those that choose it. He said, he wanted to be different. As he fixed my hoses and put freez-on back in the radiator, he said, “I will remember what we talked about today…thank you.” Cool.
I was just in the garage about to lift my weights and push through another workout, I love doing that, I’m into weights. But instead, I came in here and typed this moment for you and me. I will probably work out later tonight, today it’s chest and legs/abs, but right now, I want to enjoy this moment, enjoy life, enjoy God’s little gifts of grace and love, the words of people and how they fill my life, to see my wife and hang out with our children.
I told Rachelle just a few minutes ago of my experience. She smiled and said how glad she was that I was giving myself the freedom to enjoy.
Tomorrow, I will surely keep pursuing greatness, new things, finish projects, do the right thing, lead, serve, grow, expand the Kingdom of God. But I wonder if God didn’t show me this moment to remind me that it’s not my striving that makes things happen, as much as my praying makes radiators leaks go away.
It’s what Paul reminds us in Philippians when he says, “rejoice in the Lord always….rejoice” and when the Psalms say, “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who strive.” I still don’t get the balance between rejoicing and achieving and maybe there is no balance, it’s all rejoicing, it’s all seeking God and resting in Him while doing your daily work. I’m not a lazy person, so it’s good for me to rest in Christ. It’s the attitude inside of me that is changing, it’s the joy amidst the leaky radiator, the freeway traffic, it’s something inside, it’s something others give to me, it’s something God surrounds me with – His peace, His joy, His strength.
So I will not forget this day and this moment, and I write you this note to share this with you in case you need the encouragement to cease, to stop striving, toenjoy, to listen to the fall leaves in your home, to enjoy the pumpkins on your front porch, to thank God for the people in your life.
Yes, the work the mechanic in downtown LA did was average, my guess is I will have to get an original part very soon and do it right, not bad for $30.00 and getting home without a tow truck. But in the mean time, I’m content with today and this moment, and I will take it with me for a long time to come.
May you receive the life around you in Jesus and His love, His grace, His goodness and friendship. May you rest this week in His kindness and direction, His provision in your life – people, things, love, family. And may you give that life to those around you who may be in need.
For one day, you may bump into someone that is striving and achieving and who needs to stop and smell the roses.
Have a great day,
Into the future,