I often find myself, like most people, consumed with everyday life. Issues at work, with family and the constraints of time and of money seemingly engage in an endless fight for opportunity to weigh upon my mind. Stress attacks from all sides and, unfortunately, often from within. In response to these assaults on my serenity and well-being, I innately and unwaveringly rely upon myself for solution. The cause, therefore, is often lost; the general has only marginal control of the troops, and his competence for strategy in battle is lacking at best. I am continually frustrated in my attempts to affect change or find resolution to the issues and stresses of my existence.
I claim to be a Christian man. I believe that God is the creator of all things, and because I believe in Him, will someday reside with Him in the kingdom of heaven. Part of belief in God is asking for His help; by relying on myself to affect change, am I denying His power in my life? My relationship with Him is based on faith; by repeatedly acting alone on my behalf, do I reveal I have no faith and therefore no relationship? Because I do not seek Him when I have need, am I being sinful? I have been in a bad place for some time; I have felt as though I am weak and unworthy to call myself a Christian.
My wife wanted our family to have our pictures taken by a professional. I resisted, because that is my nature when asked to spend money. I finally relented, because that is also my nature: to resist until my folly is made apparent or public, or both, and then relent in silent, unacknowledged defeat. We received our pictures this week, and that which has always been before me was revealed to me in dozens of captured images: I have an amazing family. My wife is beautiful; my daughters, breathtaking; and my son, a strong and handsome young man. (Thank God for recessive genes). The hand of God is apparent; His works, like Himself, are perfect, each in their own way. As I look at these photos, I play the lives of my children in my mind, and His presence and influence from infancy to adulthood is clear to me, whether or not I remembered to ask for it. I look at my wife’s face and think not only how lucky am I to have her?, but also how was I able to trick her so easily?
I have stress and worries like most people. Money, or rather the lack of it, is a never-ending source of consternation. It only took a few pictures, however, images of the briefest moments in time, to help me realize that He has blessed me far beyond wealth and for all my remaining days. To take on my worries and concerns alone is the act of an arrogant, selfish and sinful man; I hereby resolve to ask for His help in my life. Though I will fall short of His sight each day, I am forgiven through faith; His mercies are new every morning. Easter Sunday is a joyful celebration of this covenant. He is risen!
You are a good man, and your wife and family are very fortunate. Don’t be so hard on yourself, God loves you just the way you are! Happy Easter!
Thank you for that. And happy Easter to you!
Having money is an entirely different set of problems that you don’t want. You have indeed been blessed abundantly and if ever in doubt, just ask your friends who look at your family and see a flawless ideal! Happy Easter!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!
I may not want it, but I wouldn’t mind trying it once in a while. Thank you, Leslie; love your family as well!
While I was raised a proper Lutheran Christian I’ve evolved over the years to take a less “consuming” stance toward religion and what religious thoughts I have are more tempored in an acceptance of my place in nature and the universe; more an acceptance of a psychological duality between what is real and what I hope is real (thus, faith). Hence I am not one to engage in a lot of religiuous discourse nor promote my way of thinking… but it does tend to define a part of me, as it does with many folks. So, I generally take a mental pass in reading religious reflection by others, especially during a religious season. But I did read your thoughts here and I came away impressed that 1. you are able to express your thoughts well on the subject because you’ve given it some thought, and, 2. your realization that sometimes what is worth living for is right smack in front of us and we fail to see it o’er the trees. I personally find organized religion’s obsession with making guilt a motivator appalling, but I acknowledge that it does work for some folks. I would concede that since God has created you in His image that your good fortunes in the realizations and accomplishments and relationships in life were always in you from the beginning and you used His tools he provided to you to achieve it all. One might presume an omnipotent power would recognize that what He gave you was used for good. Nothing to feel guilty for. 🙂 Nice post.
Believe me, you won’t get much in the way of religious discourse or reflection from this blog. I have to say I don’t feel the guilt is imposed upon me; it tends to come from within. Thank you for your kind words!
This is a lovely testament to your faith and family. Hope your Easter-weekend was filled with quality time.
Yes! We spent it at my in-laws, with only my oldest daughter (in Colorado) absent. It was very peaceful, just the way I like it. I hope yours was good as well!
This was such a beautiful, moving entry. You’re a lot like me in that I beat myself up so much for feeling inadequate in my relationship with God. Sometimes I feel as if I’m not growing fast enough, compared to others, or I don’t “love others enough,” especially the hard-to-love. I think we need to cut ourselves a break. God will never be as harsh on us as we are on ourselves. You’ve done good and the proof is in the pudding (your family portrait). How wonderful to get that little boost of encouragement and see your growth over the years. God bless you, and I hope the family Easter was blessed.
Thank you, Warrioress. It’s easy to forget how blessed we are and how His love is shown to us. I’m trying harder to see the good in everyday things. Easter was great; I hope yours was too. I enjoy your blog very much!
Awesome post! My favorite of yours so far… I have the same problem… I never give up my worries…
Thank you for saying that. It’s hard to give them up, but so much easier when you do(so I’m told).