So often we are concerned with our appearance both physically as well as our life appearance. Life appearance to me is how we think we come across to others. I have been contemplating this these past few days. As humans we spend a lot of time and effort trying to seem put together to those around us. We work hard to make our lives orderly, attractive and productive. We can even seek validation and worth in our busyness, what we do, etc. It’s as if the more we do the more we feel we reflect God. Sadly, we can also feel the more we do the more acceptable we are to Him.
In looking back over my life I have to admit I used to walk in this approach, I think many of us fall into this path sometimes without even realizing it. Many things contribute to this skewed approach and it saddens me a bit to look back and see how it functioned in my life. Then something happened for which I am very grateful. My life changed, it literally went through a massive upheaval. Please don’t get me wrong I am not glad I have been battling cancer but I am blessed to see God using it to shake up my life just as surely as an earthquake shakes up the earth.
You see when I look back at my life I see a trend of doing, of working so hard to do instead of be. I see so much effort going into life appearance and very little effort going into living. I certainly did a lot! In fact I lived most of my life as if my hair was on fire! My internal mantra was do more.. followed by sure I can do even more. The result was this frantic, stressed out woman trying desperately to look like she had it all together; that she could handle anything and everything. Someone who was consumed with making sure everything was good at all times for everyone.
I thought I was living my life right. I thought I was living for God. I thought I was on the right path and that all the pieces of my life were knit together in a single thread that surely must have been woven into a work of art that would point people to Him. I thought I had it together that I was working so hard that surely it must be glorifying Him.
Then this earthquake called cancer came along and shattered my life into a million broken pieces. Everything I spent so much time and effort on went away in a second. Even though the process has been jarring and the means are not something I am happy about I am thankful that God is using it. I am thankful that here in my brokenness when everything else is stripped away I see Him. I am thankful that He has taken away all the noise, all the doing and that I can just be. In this time of quiet review it saddens me to think of how we can almost delight in how busy we are and how we have so much going on. I think back on the many many years that I often functioned at such a fast pace that I planned out months in advance not because I was being organized but because I simply overbooked and had to look that far out. I was a human doing not a human being as a friend of mine likes to say.
I think back on times I have heard people say when faced with a challenge or a time of upheaval that they “can’t wait to get their life back.” I think this is a normal human response. We like the known, a place where things make sense and all the pieces fit. However, I don’t want my life back, not as it was. I want God to keep me broken so that when people see me all they see is Him. I want to spend the rest of my life being in relationship to Him.
This is my prayer. Yes, I want to be healed and I firmly believe I am. I don’t want to do I want to be…with Him. I know that He has things for me to do but I no longer put the emphasis on what I am doing but rather I want my broken pieces to make more room for Him.