Sunday, April 5, 2009

In the World, but not of it

I was having an email conversation with a friend of mine, who had commented about my blog entry where I spelled out the two criteria for inclusion in my life. The question she posed was "does that include people?" My first inclination was to say "yes"... with the caveat that with people, I think it's very tricky, and I have to be very clear that I am listening to God and not my own selfish desires.

I do think that there are people in my life that are there primarily to impact my perceptions and choices about how I interact with others and the world. Some drive me absolutely out of my tree, and it takes everything with me and the love of God to "respond" rather than "react". Through the years, I have noticed that many of these "here-to-drive-me-crazy" people DO IN FACT have some very important lessons to teach me - usually about an aspect of myself that I'd just as soon keep hidden in some dark corner of my heart or mind.

There are also the people who are on the other end of the spectrum. Some that I would give an eye-tooth to spend a few minutes in their presence. With them I need to be reminded that they have not hung the moon. 'Tis God who has done that.

Somewhere in the midst of that is the balance. Both extremes have much to teach me - both are important. Ideally, they both point me toward my relationship with God.

"But, how then do we impact others?" she continued. There again is the fine line of being in the world but not of it. When I am in a "good place" - when I am feeling grounded spiritually - I can interact with someone who is not, and avoid getting caught up in their drama, or drown in their storm. It's when I have the clarity to know that it is THEIR drama and THEIR storm that I am best able to walk in peacefully and leave the same way. Without the God-connect, I am liable to get caught up in their stuff, and leave feeling angry, frustrated, abused and out of control.

It's also taken some time to learn to "not throw pearls before swine". Not everyone gets included in the things nearest and dearest to my heart. My pearls have been trampled. For a long time, I'd pick them up, clean them off and throw them back out to be trampled again. Sometimes, I am a very, very slow learner. The fact that I have any pearls left is no less than the grace of God.

So, "How then do we impact others?" I aspire to LIVE my faith. It is by no means perfect, but it definitely gets better, little by little, as He continues to "stalk" me, and I quit fighting for control.

It's funny, that for so many years I tried NOT to be "different". I wanted to be "a part of", to fit any cost. As I get older, and my faith matures, I DO want to be different. What the world has to offer, I'm not so much interested in (on my spiritually grounded days, that is!). I want to live in a way that people say "I want what she has...."

And, when they ask me what it is, I can answer, "Christ".

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

1 comment:

JoAnn said...

Must say this is one of my most favoritest of all your posts!!! Relationships, beautiful, painful, glorious, ... relationships will always hold a mirror to our souls and show us how Christs loves us, and how He calls us to love others.
Lovin you this Sunday night :)