April 1, 2013

4.1 // It's possible to delight in depravity

// Confession: It's possible to delight in depravity.

Well, lent is over. 40 days later it's easy to sort of feel like, 'now what?' The reality is that I will go back to the things I gave up. So, the question becomes, what do I walk away from lent with? I don't want to just pat myself on the back and say congrats.

In my reflection I have realized a few things. The first is that "depravity" isn't all that bad, in fact I can honestly say I have been happier and more joyful in the last 40 days than I have been in a very long time. Without even being conscious of it I found myself laughing more, enjoying the little things, and overall having a more positive attitude. I wouldn't have guessed that joy would be a side effect of sacrifice.

That brings me to the second thing I realized, that when I willingly surrender things in my life I experience what it means to love God. I am called to serve God of course, but I am first called to love him. Any human relationship I experience requires compromise, sacrifice, and investment. The same goes for my relationship with God; lent for me was more than just a feeling of "duty", it was an act of love.

Loving someone, including God, shouldn't be a task on the to do list, or a feeling of obligation. It should bring me just as much happiness as laughing over Skype with my mom and dad, a date with Chase, or breakfast with my best friend. I love those people, I would do anything for them. That's what lent was for me, simply loving God. Depravity didn't make my life miserable; it made me happy. It was like sitting across from Jesus and just enjoying him. No obligations or expectations, just me and Him, being friends.

"We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with" //Jim Rohn

When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced. Relationships with people affect ways of thinking, self-esteem, and decision making. Being intentional about my relationship with God is so important. He can help me grow and hold me accountable, and press me towards stronger faith.

I walk away from lent with the realization that I want to just be in love with God. I don't want to feel like He is constantly looking for me to 'get better' but that He just wants to enjoy time together; to be my friend. I want my relationship with God to be based on delight not duty. I want to love Him like I do the people in my life, with an appreciation for who they are, and an excitement to know them better--not out of obligation but desire.

I want Jesus to be one of my 5 people.//

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