A couple of posts ago, I talk about some of the challenges I experienced during my years growing up: moving 10 times before college, being a “late bloomer,” being in a religious environment that put a premium on good performance as a measure of spirituality. All this made ripe the possibility of a performance-oriented view of life. I felt I needed to work hard, perform for others, and please significant people (parents, teachers, friends, even God). While that impulse taught me the value of hard work, it also created in me the belief that full or true life was to be found primarily in performing, achieving, and pleasing people.
Have you ever felt that you were on display or being graded in an area of life, or by certain people?
I believe that many people, for reasons similar to mine, discover that they are living life by the wrong rules. Life becomes centered on competition, job security, educational achievement, economic success, or family stability and progress. All this can become an endless treadmill, a fruitless effort to keep these areas intact so we can “be someone.”
I still can struggle with that same impulse . . . and when I do, it’s important for me to remember the word of the psalmist: “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:10,11).
What would it look like for you to put your hope in God and His love today, rather than in your efforts? What keeps you from taking a load off, taking a deep breathe and allowing Him to carry the load?