For some time, I have been seeking to make my will closer to that of the Lord’s: to make His will my own. This has found me struggling to understand His will, which has taught me that I must first seek to change my own understanding of everything I thought I knew. Thanks to my training in philosophy, I was aware that I knew very little, but my journey to get closer to God and to do God’s will has taught me that – until just recently – everything I thought I knew was wrong. Now, I do not claim to have found some secret source of wisdom because I haven’t. I’m still asking God to teach me and to grant me the wisdom to understand – His wisdom, and not my own. And I believe it is because He has seen fit to grant my request – in however small a measure – that I now know that I have been and remain the lesser of lesser men.
What I mean by this is that, for everyone I have ever criticized, I have been and am still more guilty of the same than they. I have been, am now and will likely always be a hypocrite. But the difference in me is that – now – it bothers me to the point of leaving me no rest. Now I look for the hypocrisy in my own actions before I bother to worry about that of others. And, when I find it, I am harsh with myself, yet – with God’s grace – I am learning to be more gentle in my criticism of others.
This journey, this quest to actually learn God’s will and live my faith in my life is changing me; changing the way I think. Knowing who I was before I started down this path, I am certain that this change is the work of the Lord and nothing of my own doing. I praise Him and give Him all the glory for changing someone who many had thought unchangeable. And I know the changes in me are His work because they are nothing that I would have thought of, desired or agreed to on my own. But I like them. It feels good.
One of the things the Lord has changed in me is the way I look at the world. I still see in terms of right and wrong. I have always seen things in terms o right and wrong, and this is one of the reasons I know I have always belonged to Him – I’ve just never tried to be obedient until now. But now that I am working to obey His command, I see that many of the people I once thought of as allies in worldly matters are actually not my friend; and many who I once counted enemy are not my enemy. This is actually a large part of the reason I started this blog page. The way I see things is changing, which compelled me to write somewhere where I could speak for myself, and where I wouldn’t have to worry that my thoughts and opinions might be projected on to others who may not agree. It is part of a new-found desire to do no harm. Now that I have made the move, the next step is to learn how to write more in terms of expressing my thinking, my understanding and my belief and less in terms of certainty. As much as I do not want to taint others with my opinion, neither do I want to trample on the beliefs and understanding of others – even if by innocent accident. So I will try to learn to write more in a voice of observation and question and less in statements of declaration.
This is all very exciting for me. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am starting to like myself. Now I can’t wait to see what God will do with me next. What will He teach me next? What other changes will He make? How will He lead me to serve Him? I know I still have a long, long way to go before I will even come close to being as obedient and as faithful as I want to be, but it is exciting to know that, whatever He asks of me, for the first time in my life, I am likely to answer, “Yes, Lord.” And the only reason I hold out any possibility that I would say no is because, thanks to His help and guidance, I realize I am and will always be the lesser of lesser men.