So Just WHAT Do I Need to Change?

Look at this:
Another
suggestion.
“God,” I whisper,
“You know that isn’t
what it felt like.”

I’m agitated about
the substance
of a conversation
with an acquaintance of mine.
She showed a keen interest
in learning my answer
to the Big Question
(“What are you doing
with your life,
hah-ney?”)–
that is, until she heard it
from me.

Then she seemed to
jump into gear,
prepared to fix
what wasn’t quite right.
Her advice came with a
subtext I had no
trouble absorbing
along with the words she spoke
(“This wasn’t a task
I was looking for tah-day,
but since you’ve
foisted
it upon me,
let’s try to work with me,
huh?”)

I don’t believe she ever heard
my heart.

Have you had a similar encounter?
You started out,
pleasantly surprised
by the attention
you were receiving
from someone
you didn’t know well,
but almost immediately
found yourself repenting of
your earlier gratitude–
wanting nothing more than
to welcome the disappearance
of your adversary.

Oh! The worst part
is when they do leave,
and we are left
feeling chained to
all the things they
said with the
skimpiest of words.
Where is the advice for that?!

I’ve been asking
that question,
and searching for its answer,
since the days
when I was
the little lady
the average adult didn’t
understand.
I felt the punishment
of every comment
informing me that
my atypical behavior
had not gone unnoticed
and, of course,
would not be free from
whatever
suggestion
seemed appropriate.

Years have passed
with little changing.
I’ve decided
there isn’t really
a promise
of escape
out there
waiting for me.

Instead, I’ve been learning
to walk through these
continuing confrontations
looking for God,
expecting Him to use
each one
as a backdrop
for the revelation of
something that only
the poor in spirit
wait to see.

Because I’ve watched Him do this
again and again,
I’ve learned to end
the prayers I begin
like the one above
with something like this:

“What could I gain
from this,
Lord?
What would you like me
to work through,
to learn by trying,
to act upon
that the change
You want in me
might take place?”

God, You call this a make-over?!

Sometimes I have a lot of questions for God. They are not always very pleasant ones either. You see, I’m all for improving the person I am, but at times I really get confused at what He’s doing. When this happens we have a talk. (Thank goodness I can be real with Him!)

A sample of our conversation may look something like this:

God, what is wrong with me? Am I getting in your way? Am I not fit for your use? Have you changed your mind? Have I been thinking the wrong things–things that are just too big for me to be expecting–all along? Are You going to move at some point and make all of this clear?

And God answers fitly–usually with less emphasis on my problems than on me and my relationship to Him:

 

Can’t you see: I am moving. I’m moving on your behalf. I’m moving away obstacles that take up room in your mind and I’m making you, instead, more mindful of Me.

This is a good process. It may seem to you to be a long one, but it is a good one. I am in it. I do not leave you alone in it; instead, I teach you to see My love in it.

Yes, you will be alright because I know what I am doing. I am caring for the soul of my little, needy child. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be and so am I.

Relax and be still, My child. I am here.

And there it is…

What is your conversational content communicating?

What have your conversations been looking like lately? What are you sharing with people; what are you both taking away?

It may sound impossible to break down the barriers to Christ in your discussion times or momentary chats, but it may be easier than you think. When Christ is your life and what you are already thinking of and seeking to learn about — even as you apply His truth to your life — you will soon realize that it makes no sense to work double time to keep Him our of your thoughts and restricted from your speech while you are talking with someone who may not naturally talk about God with you.

In the flow of communication about a recent lesson learned or a trial endured or a surprising blessing or impossible victory, you will be able to share what kept you from receiving or making these things possible for yourself and how God went and delivered them to you instead.

When you model Christ by wearing the colors of humility and reverence for God, the world will be attracted to God even while it learns that we are not perfect and we are certainly not the reason that all these things work together for good for us.

Lets get out of the way of the communion that God could be having with the person He has put before us, just as we remember that we are not here to sport our own reputation, but to bring both of our attentions to His reputation.