“He must increase, but I must decrease.” ~ John 3:30
Kid is going on a walk with his dad. Kid decides to walk in front and then decides to go a different direction. Dad says “I don’t think that’s a good idea, let’s go this way instead.” Kid ignores Dad and says “I DO IT!” Dad says, “No really, that’s not a good choice”. Kid clearly knows what’s best and goes for it anyway. Dad says “If you go in that direction, there’ll be a consequence. Go this way.” Knowing exactly what that means (lots of experience), kid looks to find out where Dad is pointing, submits in spite of his tyrannical tendencies, grabs Dad’s hand and starts walking down the right path.
I learned a lot of things on my retreat. The main thing I learned is so simple. Don’t you love how the essential truths of God are really pretty simple, even for a child to understand? Not easy, necessarily, but simple. The main thing I learned on my retreat is this: More of Him, less of me. That’s simple.
But not usually easy. I learned some practical lessons in “more of Him, less of me” last weekend, and I’m still learning them. The best way to navigate the daily problems of life is to shift my focus away from me and onto Him. Throwing aside my expectations and desires and priorities and opening my heart to His expectations, desires, and priorities. With a humble heart, they become mine. I become more me than I was before. I don’t fully understand it. It’s just true.
- I’m cranky and wound up because the day is awry. More of Him, less of me.
- I’m frustrated at my own lack of organization and focus. More of Him, less of me.
- I am overwhelmed with the darkness and evil in the world. More of Him, less of me.
- I’m baffled and confused about relationships. More of Him, less of me.
- I feel inadequate… angry… lonely. More of Him, less of me.
A day full of me is typically a day that goes south quickly. But a day full of Jesus is a day where I am at peace, content, satisfied, secure, and never alone.
God has shown me that I have a chronic habit of relying on myself instead of Him. Of filling my days with me instead of Jesus. As a result, there is chaos, dissapointment, and confusion. He pointed out to me that I was even starting to go down the wrong path, and I’d better heed His warning and turn back to Him or things could get ugly.
Fortunately (depending on how you look at it), I’ve been down the wrong path before. No thanks! So I’m back where I should be: more fully surrendered and holding His hand, being taught the nuts and bolts of what it means to follow Him, one step at a time, down right path He set before me. It’s a painful but wonderful lesson.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” ~ Hebrews 12:1