November 12, 2010

Choose you this day…

by Veronika

…choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

That’s the verse that popped into my head as soon as I read “Who Would You Call?” in Moments for Singles. In her Day 2 devotion, Leigh McLeroy offers a blunt but oh-so-true affirmation of what marriage is NOT: “Marriage,” she says, “…offers a consistent setting for love to be regularly exercised and demonstrated, but marriage itself doesn’t “create” love or give lovers their identity” (emphasis added).  

Oh, so true! And yet, why haven’t I been living like it does?

Only GOD gives me my identity. There are plenty of people who “continue to look to another person for their identity,” as Leigh says, and sadly…I’ve been one of them. I am one of them, by nature. I look for a bosom friend to help me, a family of relatives to bolster me up and shower me with compliments to drive me forward, a big, strong man who considers me as if I’m the only person in the world. My identity: it’s formed by all these things.

But is that really who I am?

In leading his people into the land of Canaan, Joshua had to make a resolute decision: he would have to choose who he would become. Would he be the faithful follower of his master, Moses, trusting in the Lord’s almighty strength despite a host of enemies and a guaranteed years-long war against those who opposed Israel? Or, would he choose to see himself as “one of the guys,” a laid back follower-of-the-crowd who didn’t mind identifying himself with those who hated Jehovah God?

He had to make a choice. He had to choose his own identity.

And he did. “…choose you this day who ye will serve,” he demands. “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (emphasis added). He refused to cave into the pressures of society, and even his own people, to take the easy way, the more adaptable way of living. He refused to take on the personality of the heathen, of those who’s promises of an easy and uncontroversial life would, if kept, would lead him to a complacent and untrue version of himself. Of who God wanted him to be.

I’ve been doing that. I’ve been hoping to find my true identity in other people, in belonging to a crowd – or an individual person – that would somehow, miraculously, make me feel complete.

That can’t happen. Not “it won’t happen”; it can’t. No human can make another one completely happy, and no human can imprint their own identity onto you and make you suddenly feel like you’re being true to yourself.

“Only God does that.”

Leigh is right. He’s the one we’re to be imitating. And He’s the one who develops us and gives us a “new life in Christ.” A new life. A chance to shape your own identity, to choose this day who you’re going to be in this life. A chance to grow into the gorgeous, joyful, beautiful person He has always meant for you to be.

So…who are you going to become?

November 11, 2010

One half of a great pair of shoes…

by Veronika

Shoes just have to come as a pair!

You’re just a half. A missing chunk of something whole, or the second part of two. You know you have something great to give someone else, that you and he – together – are just going to be great.

Halves, after all, come in twos. That’s why they’re “halves.”

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for that second half to show up, that other shoe, that lead to your pencil, that ice cube to your tea, that root to your branches. You go together with something. You always have. And when they’re taking their time revealing themselves, you feel like you’re lost.

That other half, believe it or not, is not in the form of a physical person. You’re not just made up of the physical; you are also made up of the spiritual. And it’s the spiritual half that you’re lacking. Man and woman can bond physically; they can bond emotionally; and sometimes, when all’s right in the world and the sun is shining, they can bond intellectually.

(That’s a joke. Har, har.)

But man and woman cannot bond spiritually…at least at the outset. The spiritual understanding of a human only happens when they’ve bonded to something higher than themselves. When they’ve made contact with God.

That’s the other half of the really great pair of shoes you’re going to be a part of. When you’re connected to God with all your heart, with all of your being, you’re part of something spectacular. You’re part of something far greater – and far more eternal – than you can imagine.

The man that God might give you? He’s the added bonus. He’s the cute polka dots on the side, the silky scarf you found to match, the click-clacky sound that thrills you when you walk across the floor. He’s not what defines you. He’s what God decides to throw in when He’s ready. And he’ll match you perfectly. 

Until then, you’ve got a great pair of shoes to get you wherever God can take you – which is anywhere. With Him, you can encompass the world.

*Thanks to Leigh McLeroy for this awesome metaphor. I hope you don’t mind me taking that idea further, Leigh!