Often in the past weeks I’ve woken up with school being the first thing on my mind. I would go over my plan for the morning and try to get up enough energy to tackle it. I didn’t realize the problem with this seemingly small happening until I was convicted (like most things). Conviction can come in virtually any manner, but in this situation it came at church. The pastor was talking about realizing who/what your true idols were. He said that if anything is above your love for God then you don’t truly love him the way you should. And it’s likely that the first thing on your mind when you wake up and last thing there before going to bed is an idol of yours, or on it’s way to becoming one.
So I realized that I was missing the whole point. I didn’t wake up every morning to be a robot and just be fed information all day. I wake up every morning because of the grace of God, all of my abilities come from Him, and my “plan” for the day is simply glorifying God through my actions and furthering His kingdom. Of course I do this by studying and learning, but if I just go through the motions and not seek His face in it all, then all my work is in vain.
This epiphany is well illustrated in the book I’m currently reading, written by parents of two autistic children. The mother writes that she could have her children’s schedule down to a tee, and everything in order, but if her mind isn’t settled toward God and she isn’t putting him first, then it’s all in vain and the true battle has been lost. Likewise if everything in her house is in a disarray, and she’s still able to seek God and see her circumstances through His lens, then the true battle is being won.
So what is the point? The point it that we aren’t on this journey for us, or our parents, or anyone else. We’re here because this is the path written for us to fulfill our God-given purposes and further His kingdom on Earth. And when I look at it this way, I see who the true idol is. Of course I’m still going to do my part and work hard, but I’m doing it with God in mind because that’s where my true worth lies–as a child of God and not in any amount of tests I take. And that’s very comforting.
Growing closer to Jesus isn’t about doing more, it’s about trusting more.