My friends and I have this great group text that keeps us all informed on each other's day to day goings on. It's so fun to get little glimpses into each other's lives, have a place to throw a prayer request, ask an opinion, or to ask advice. It's basically the communication line of our little village.
A couple of weeks ago, among the funnies of the day, there was a little story of my friend's little guy attempting to make a shirt with washable markers. I laughed aloud having read her text, and then immediately my heart swelled thinking of the sweet innocence of kids.
This sweet little mishap made me think about this concept of permanence versus temporal, and I as I sat down to write this morning the reason this short story resonated became obvious. I often try to nail down temporal things in my life and make them permanent only to discover the truth, that nothing here on this earth is permanent. I am trying to draw something lasting using washable markers.
The only thing permanent is the power and authority that the Father has over my days, and that wasn't even on my radar! I work for an eternal kingdom, but I often operate in the fleeting and forget about the time promised to me. For a person promised eternity, I'm incredibly concerned about the temporal, terribly shortsighted, and coloring my world with the wrong tool.
A big problem for me, personally, is going to bed. I know, I'm strange, but I am my most anxious the hour before I fall asleep. My anxiety does not stem from anything other than the fact that the day is over and a new one begins tomorrow.
That's crazy, right?
I worry that I didn't accomplish enough that day, there was still more that I wanted to do. Tomorrow is unknown and lies in wait to surprise me with whatever it has; good or bad. I worry that I've forgotten something, or I'll fail at something, that someone will hurt me or I will hurt someone. And all of that fear, the fear of hurt, of missing out, of falling short, and of running out of time; it all balls up in my stomach and aches as I fall asleep. This is not of the Lord. This is not living eternal minded.
The truth is the Kingdom I'm working for is so much bigger than all of that. The eternal nature of the Lord and His reign outlasts, overpowers, and undermines any plans the Enemy has, and any fears my puny mind can dream up. If only I would stop using imperfect tools to make my marks.
Even when I'm trying to work for the good of Kingdom.
Even when I'm trying to accomplish eternal things.
Even when I start with the right tool, somewhere along the way I set it down and pick up the wrong one; forgetting that the same power that defeated death lives in me.
And I fail.
It's an easy trap to fall into because there is a level of having to be self-confident to put yourself out there and accomplish your goals. So where is the line?
The problem is not being confident in yourself, you should be. You are a masterpiece, created by the Almighty. He knit every fiber of you with careful precision. He gave you goals and dreams and desires so that you would work towards more. He gave you gifts and talents to set you apart and equip you to engage the world. He set you up so that you could enjoy the sweet victory of success. These are all the things that He has and desires for you. He wrote your story in permanent ink.
Just don't leave Him out.
When we forget where our gifts and talents come from; we look and act inward, not outward. And when we rely on our own wisdom rather than the wisdom and discernment readily available to us through His Word, our footing is compromised. It's when we act out of our selfishness that the waters of the world will wash away our masterpiece.
The Lord is our eternal tool. He works in permanent ink.
We shouldn't stop working towards greatness and running towards glory. Don't stop climbing mountains, demolishing goals, overwhelming obstacles, and succeeding; and while you're at it, don't apologize for all those things.
And when it comes time to make our mark on the world; grab the Sharpie.