I had a friend back in high school say, “I’m not going to follow the Lord right now, cause I want to experience what the world has to offer and build up a good testimony.” My exact words to her were, “Ummm…What the what?!?” She was telling me that she desired to live the life of the prodigal son. This was my only experience with a person who purposefully set out to do the wrong thing, with full knowledge of their accountability to the Lord and His word, knowing it was wrong, in order to please God later on in life, without knowing if they would live to see the day when they could share a testimony of the depths of their sin, in the hope that God would honor that decision. Did you follow that? If not, go ahead and read it again…I’ll wait…
The whole point of me telling you that story is to tell you a little about who I have a become at this stage in my life as a follower of Christ. I don’t have what some would call, a “powerful” or even “inspiring” testimony. I grew up in a Christian home my whole life. My parents are still married. My brother and sisters are all married to wonderful Christian spouses. I was never physically or emotionally abused. I have gone to church my whole life. I attended my youth group, bible studies, summer and winter retreats. I have never taken drugs. I went to Christian schools, you guessed it, my whole life. I even received my B.A. and M.A. from a Christian university. Oh, in case you were wondering where I work…in a Christian school with Christian teachers, students, and families. I have been extremely blessed, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Now for the “down side” of this short story. I’ve allowed myself, at many different times throughout my life to be too content in my walk with the Lord. Especially when I was in school. I became too content because I was surrounded by 300 other people just like me. I never felt as if I had to speak up for what I believed in. I never felt like I needed to share Christ. My faith was never challenged in the classroom. I didn’t feel like I needed to be an outspoken Christian in a Christian school. Let me make this very clear. My silence was not due to my circumstances and surroundings. My silence and contentment was a choice I made. Like a lighthouse on a beautiful day. Does it serve a purpose? Does it shine it’s light when all is calm and peaceful? The purpose of that lighthouse is to be a beacon when there is no other light for the ships to find their way. When it’s too foggy or when the sea gets a little rough. A point of reference when needed. I’ve allowed myself, all to often, to only shine my light when it’s convenient. Rather then what God calls me to do. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). And let me add…ALL OF THE TIME, TOO ALL PEOPLE!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I consider myself to be a very optimistic individual. I constantly remind myself to see the Lord in all things. Am I a “glass-half-full” kind of fella? Sure, why not. I’m not a honker. However, I like to see the glass just as it is. It’s been filled to a point, yet there is more room for the Lord to do His work. There is always room for more. Matthew 5:6 states, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” I want to constantly seek the Lord and His will for my life. You know what that means? I should NEVER be content. In a conversation over the difference between being an optimist and a pessimist, I stated, “A pessimist will live by the world’s standards. An optimist will always live by God’s standards!” And you can quote me. A good friend of mine said, “If you are currently experiencing adversity in your life right now, remember it will pass and is often a great way to deepen your relationship with God. If your not experiencing adversity, enjoy your time…it will come.” No matter what your circumstances in life, good, bad, or ugly (enter the greatest movie tune here), you can raise your eyes to the sky and know that the Creator of all things is right there for you. You never have to run to Him. He knows right where you are, and exactly what you need. He’s right in front of you. Open your eyes!