As I was getting my middle son’s bed ready for bedtime, there it was. Words of wisdom from that precious 5-year-old’s mouth. Words that will stick with me in a new way, because they were so simply put. Words that humbled me and reminded me of God’s goodness. Words that we all could say over and over daily, and I’m pretty sure everyone would feel much more peace.
“Mom, you know what I just tell myself all day? I just keep telling myself to ‘just be Kohen’ and that works really good.”
I stopped in my tracks and humbly turned to him and asked him to tell me more.
“Well, you know, I just need to be me. I don’t want to be anybody else, right? I don’t have to worry about what everybody else is doing, or playing, or saying. I can do good by just being Kohen.”
Tears? Oh, you betcha! I just looked at this little innocent boy and hugged him and reminded him that he’s absolutely right. He doesn’t want to be anybody else, because God made Him (and he has a purpose). Now I know that eventually we will be able to have the conversation that we as humans are sinners, and God doesn’t want us to just be ok with that. We will talk about God wanting us to be Christ-like! But for now, at five, it was nice to focus on the fact that he isn’t worried about doing all the things, all the time, for all the people.
It’s amazing how time and time again, God shows himself through our kids. Do you notice that? It’s like when we are praying over something, He is able to speak such gentleness through the gentlest little voices in our lives. That’s exactly how I felt last night when Kohen said such precious words.
I’m sure many of you experience these waves of emotion in your walk with Christ. That hunger for Him that grows, and the way that our wants and desires change, are all part of this journey. Sometimes we get really excited about these waves, and sometimes we may feel confused or even alone.
How many of you have a “perfectionist” personality? As much as I want to say I’ve surrendered my personal desire for perfectionism, I seem to take it back more than I’d like. Anyone else? It’s like I’m having this internal competition or something, and always expect myself to do better and better, to do all the things, all the time, for all the people.
Then that lovely doubt can creep in. Do you know what I’m talking about? Like, if I can’t do these things perfectly, should I even try? Would x, y, z, be better if…
I just recently went to Shaklee’s Global Conference in Atlanta. It’s always a wonderful few days being surrounded by wonderful people. I always have different takeaways and this year one of those takeaways was simply stated, but powerful to the core.
A sweet mom whom I respect was speaking to the crowd about her journey in her business. She spoke of peaks and valleys and about her emotions in that journey. While she explained a few details, she then shared something that her husband said to her. Something that stuck in my mind and I keep reflecting on. When she was having feelings of overwhelm or doubt, her husband said, “Why does it have to be all or nothing?” Powerful. And he is absolutely right.
And last night, it hit me. My prayers over so many things, the words spoken from a sweet mom at conference, my precious son keeping truth simple, conversations with dear friends, who speak wisdom, and of course the nudge from Christ that He’s still all I need.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Why am I tempted to be all or nothing? It’s this silly mindset but He just wants me to follow Him and be Christ-Like. I don’t have to try to do all the things, all the time, for all the people. I don’t have to do any of the things, any of the time, for any of the people; without His strength! He doesn’t ask for perfection and He definitely doesn’t want us to obsess and be prideful. He wants us to do what He has called us to do, and to walk in Faith. And often, that means giving up preconceived ideas of what we think things should look like. Ouch.
So as we may have this “perfectionist” personality flowing through us, we can ask that He use this (could be) gift to glorify Him and to point others to Him. We can also surrender our control of the need of perfectionism. And we can rest, that we don’t have to be all or nothing. His grace is more than enough, and he fills in the gaps. We just need to be who He’s called us to be. Now, isn’t that refreshing?!
On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground is Sinking Sand…