How can I thank you? I’m reflecting today on specific events, dates, and seasons in my life. I wouldn’t be here today if it had not been for you. You have taken me to some high heights and through some deep lows. In my reflection, I can’t trace a time when you have neglected me. You’ve never walked away, never broken a promise. Instead, you’ve been consistent. You’ve been patient. You’ve given me freedom and joy and peace and grace without measure.
The most skilled and gifted among us have written songs and poems and think pieces about you and I can’t attempt to compete with the beauty of those tributes. I don’t have anything beautiful or profound today. I just want to thank you. Everything I am and everything I have is because of you.
I think a lot of today’s culture emphasizes “doing” at the expense of “being.” But what good is it to accumulate a beautiful list of accolades without being settled in your soul? Without being who God has called us to be, can we truly do what he has called us to do?
I think the being comes first, then the doing. Though often lived out simultaneously, the inner work takes precedence over the outward deeds. I even believe that the inner work fuels the outward deeds.
When I say “inner work,” I’m referring to heart and character, all the things that cannot be seen. Addressing things like motives and intentions make our actions more impactful. When I think about acts of kindness that have been shown to me, the motive and intention has often resonated with me even more than the actual deed.
Does God feel the same way? I think he does. Though he wants us to bring him our best, he also doesn’t desire sacrifices that are not produced from a clean heart.
God is more concerned with what the world can’t see. He looks at the heart.
So why are we so concerned with what the world sees? Is it for significance? Is it to keep up with what others are doing? Is it because we are trying to earn our worth by doing enough? Is it because we aren’t sure what would be left if we removed the surface level stuff? I’d say all of the above, but I can only speak for me. As some of my “stuff” has been stripped away, some voluntarily and some involuntarily, God is teaching me that what I do may be different, but my worth is still the same to him. Everything has changed, but at the same time, nothing has changed. He loves me no less, but I love him more.
In my doing, I also have permission to be. Be settled. Be peaceful. Be intentional. Be who I’m called to be.
My worth isn’t connected to what I do. It’s connected to who am I, which is connected to who he is. And because of that, it will never change or diminish. It’s settled. I can exhale.