March 15, 2018

Ambition and Longing

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash
NOTE: I was asked to contribute to a Lenten devotional, reflecting on the Scripture passages assigned in the lectionary for today. Here is what I contributed.

How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? John 5.44

I have found in my life that when I feel most unworthy and incapable is when I most desperately think to control things. Recklessly, I set out to shape monuments that assure me of my value and accomplishment. I am not alone in this. This is what humanity has throughout history. With the realization of how frail a command we have over our environment, we tighten our grip and string a better tale.

And then Jesus comes along.

Jesus comes into human history announcing that we do not have to hide from brokenness. It is there in our fragility that he meets us. Worth, capacity, accomplishment. None of these are what require Christ’s presence in our lives. We are loved simply because we have belonged to God from the very beginning. This is good news.

It is actually quite difficult to live a life of fashioning gods into our image. It requires a life of ceaseless ambition. That nagging sense inside of that there needs to be more was not intended to cover up that sense of how flawed we often are. Rather than ambition that feeling in its most raw and honest sense is longing; a longing to be in the arms of the God who made us.

Like a child that lashes out after being caught misbehaving, I often find myself attempting to shadow my shortcomings rather than welcome the embrace of a Creator who loves me and welcomes me as I am. Yet, this is not what only what I called to be reminded of myself but the good news to share with those around me.

You are not your accomplishments or your failures. You are God’s. And you are loved whomever you are, wherever you are, just as you are.

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