I didn’t get a post written yesterday. It wasn’t for lack of trying, rather I believe I was trying too hard. Nothing I was writing felt authentic. The stories and the points that I thought I wanted to make were forced, artificial, fake. So I kept them as drafts and decided nothing was better than just anything for the sake of a daily post.
Maybe I was too distracted by the birds and squirrels. I love sitting at my desk looking out and watching the morning antics of our suburban wildlife. I keep my dad’s binoculars handy in case there is something that bears a closer look. I used to think my spirit animal was a sparrow, but I could also be a squirrel. Running around, planting seeds and nuts hoping to remember where I put them. Yeah, that sounds like me.
I’ve been fascinated with birds since childhood. I remember getting books at the library about parakeets. I wanted one so badly but also learned I didn’t want to clean up after them. And besides, birds should fly freely. Isn’t that what God created them to do? If He had meant for them to live in cages for our pleasure, wouldn’t they be flightless? God gave birds a purpose and the means to live out that purpose. If He did that for them, imagine what He will do for us.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race
I have developed a really bad habit. I see something I think I want and I try to go after it. These days it is generally a business idea of some kind. It seems the cool thing to do is be a maker and sell your products to an adoring audience.
But wait. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Isn’t that a personal characteristic that is exalted and admired? Goal setting. Diligent hard work. Reap the rewards. Isn’t this the example that is set up for us (this might be uniquely American, I don’t know) as the admirable way of approaching life? I certainly thought so.
My parents did not have fancy educations but they had (my mom still has) this kind of work ethic. Throughout their lives they work hard, do whatever is necessary, and turn natural skills into successful businesses. This is the example set for me and I’ve always admired them for this.
The problem isn’t in the doing it is in the motivation. I celebrate anyone with a gift they honestly share and the money they earn. That isn’t what I was put on earth to do, so by concocting all kinds of business ideas I am chasing someone else’s purpose. That is not an authentic life.
Authenticity vs Pride
If I am being authentic I must look for ways to nurture and help others not merely trying to elevate myself in the eyes of others. True joy comes in the working out of the gifts I’ve been given. The same is true for you.
This morning as I read the Bible and prayed, I was reminded that my job is to walk humbly with God, love others and He will take care of the rest. He will see that all my needs are met and results of my work will all be good. Notice I didn’t say profitable, I said good. I need to take my eyes off money and do my work. Every. Single. Day.
An Authentic Life
Knowing why we are here, by whose hand we were created, and trusting that more than we trust what is visible is the beginning of authenticity. Authenticity is built on truth and God is truth.
Next, God has given each of us a unique set of skills to use in this world. Our job is to stay close enough to Him to know what those are and use them. This not only helps the world go round, it shows God to the world and brings joy to our own hearts.
Once this foundation has been laid the work of building of a life can begin. There will be obstacles galore and we will touch on those in future posts, but for now rest in the love and protection found only with God.
Until tomorrow, keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun!