Trusting in God and turning my life over to him has been something I have struggled with. In fact, as I have previously written I haven’t fully understood what this means. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” I’ve stated this countless times and haven’t really thought about what it means much less been committed to following God’s will.
After studying and praying about this concept the last few weeks I am understanding what is needed. But making it happen is difficult, as it has always been. The reason I struggle with this is that I am scared of things that have little chance of harming me. Scared of losing material possessions, scared of making the same mistakes my parents made, scared to the point that I cannot take the steps on a daily basis that are needed to improve my life. I am scared into inaction and only dream about what I want my life to look like vs. doing the daily and consistent work needed to get there. I am so scared that at times I have felt like I am about to have a nervous breakdown. I want to simply run away and go live in the desert or in a cave where I don’t have to think, worry, or take action.
It is safe to say that the Devil has had his way with me and has beaten me up beyond comprehension. I became a shell of what I was in my early 20’s when I was full of confidence and vigor. I watched this happen to my father and watched as pessimism, negativity, and hopelessness invaded his life. I watched as he seemed to give up and hope that death would take him.
I don’t want that to happen. I want to start fresh. I want to accept that I can’t change the past and want to take steps every day towards a life of happiness and contentment. I want a life where I am not stressed, scared, angry, depressed, or hopeless.
Many world religions call for a pure life where you follow God’s will in every moment you are awake, where you cut out all vices, rid yourself of outside influences, maintain a strict diet, and attempt to control your mind and rid it even of impure thoughts as well as impure actions. I have generally thought this to be impossible, unnatural, and cult like.
And in my way of thinking I looked down on these religions and their followers and thought of them as crazy people that were following instructions that were opposed to my God and religion. We are all sinners, right? No one can live a sinless life. Won’t God forgive me whenever I ask? Won’t he forgive me when I’m on my death bed and figure that it’s time to come clean and get right with God?
I understand we cannot live a sin free life and that attempting to do so is pointless. But in my line of thinking I gave myself a pass to not live by God’s will. Even over this past month, even though I have been completely sober and in the word and study on a daily basis I still was unable to stop doing things I shouldn’t be doing. I also continued to procrastinate and failed to do the things I should be doing.
I’ve seen several Hollywood movie scenes where some type of religious figure, usually a Catholic priest or Buddhist monk, flagellates himself as a disciplinary measure or penance for disobedient behavior and, of course, thought this was really hard to comprehend. Don’t get me wrong as I am not advocating self-punishment as what is needed to get me back on track but I point this out to say that I am not the first person who was concerned with their inability to “do God’s will”.
Don’t be alarmed as I am not rushing out to buy some whips and chains. But I do need to find diligence and will power to take correct actions and stop several things in my life that are holding me down. I do need to be serious about stopping negative behavior and while I can never be perfect I need to understand that I don’t have a pardon to keep on with my usual behavior.
So, I will take it one day at a time. Today, I will do a better job in finding the discipline I need and will pray to God for motivation and strength. I hope you are able to do the same.