Wednesday, October 14, 2015

the pace of success

After a few years of smelling like sour milk, listening to the same nursery rhymes nonstop, and trying to negotiate with a snarky threenager, we all begin to lose pieces of our sanity.

While it may feel like it, our purpose isn't to parent. As great a privilege as it is, God made us for more than that.

We were made to walk with God, to enjoy a sweet, intimate relationship with our Creator Father. It's only when we invest in this relationship that we can begin to parent well.

In Micah 6:8 the prophet writes, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (ESV).

Most of the time we focus on doing justice and loving kindness. Both are activities that make us feel valuable and productive.

But Micah's emphasis wasn't on either. It was, instead, on walking humbly with God1. While convenient and maybe even heart-felt, our offerings of church attendance and candy donations aren't what God desires most from us. We weren't made to do things for God; we were made to exist with God.

Fulfillment and peace come from knowing and being known by God.

Micah uses "walk" to illustrate the life God calls us to live. Just as Enoch (Gen. 5:21-24) and Noah (Gen. 6:9) walked with God "in peace and uprightness," so Micah urges God's people to walk
    "in the fear of God,"
    "in God's truth,"
    "in the light of God's presence,"
    "in the ways of good people," and
    "in the ways of righteousness."2

By asking us to walk with him, he's not adding another item to our to-do list. He's giving us the bread and water we need to get that to-do list done.

God sees us question our existence, berate our poor parenting, break down after an argument with our spouse, and lose ourselves to our jobs. He sees our need and offers Himself as a remedy. The prescription? Walking with Him.

Walking isn't limited to coming and going; it encompasses the attitude with which we go, the intent with which we go, the manner through which we go.

Walking isn't an arbitrary action; it's a Spirit-filled commitment that allows "concrete, everyday activities to become windows on divine realities"3.

Walking is an awareness of God, an invitation of His Spirit into our lives, and a reflection of Christ's life. This kind of living is head-to-toe, inside-and-out transformation that God does in us over the course of our entire lives.

Walking does more than move us from the car to the storefront; it moves us from being overstressed, overworked, malfunctioning Dads and Moms to being restored, sustained, thriving children of God.

If you're overwhelmed with Daddy duty, discouraged because you're not Super Mom, or tired just from being the makeshift parent you are, take heart. We haven't been abandoned to navigate this crazy life on our own. We have a Father who has a deeply vested interest in our success. We find abundance when we find God.

in this together,

1 The Complete Biblical Library, Gilbrant, p. 433
2 Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, Ryken, p. 922
3 ibid., p. 923