Friday, January 16, 2009

The right One for me

If you've read my profile or know me in person, you know that my wife and I have four kids. Two girls, a boy and a girl - to identify them in order by gender.

To define each of them by personality in this space isn't very realistic, as I would probably lose you with the length of the blog. Plus, their personalities are all so varied it could take forever. Not different than your kids, I'm sure - it seems to be the way God created us and our families.

Invariably there is something going on in the life of our last born, nearly four year-old Anna. She has the biggest, brownest eyes you have ever seen and is quite the drama queen. She is all girl, can usually be found running around the house in a bathing suit or a tutu (even though it was -24 here yesterday), and loves to play with dolls. She can also usually be found with her hands on her hips, you know the way someone who has something to tell you does?!?!

As I was working in my office the other night, just a few hours after Anna decided to give herself a "self-haircut" for the first time (much to her mother's chagrin), my wife was prepping the youngest two for their nightly bath when I hear this from the bathroom.

"Anna, why did you do this with the band-aids (picture opened band-aids in a drawer, others strewn about)?," her mother asks in a frustrated, it's-been-a-long-day kind of voice.

"Well, I had to find the right one for me," says Anna.

Hmmm. I laugh out loud a couple of rooms away. My wife, frustrated as she was, laughed too! Sometimes kids say the greatest things.

"I had to find the right one for me."

Kind of reminds me of my life and my search for "the right one," if you will. It been an interesting search, trying to fill that hole in my heart.

Growing up, I figured I would fill that hole with sports. I played every sport that was in season during high school. I played football, basketball, track, golf and baseball. I loved sports and found a great deal of satisfaction in competition and playing the game - whatever it was. Not unlike most high school kids, I suppose.

I was even fortunate enough to play sports in college. I got to play small-college football and baseball and had a great time, but that wasn't really filling the hole anymore, so I started drinking, too, hoping that might "be the right one for me."

I never really drank during "season," football or baseball, until I got a little further into college, then that was what I did during baseball season. I got up, skipped class, played a baseball doubleheader and then celebrated. I got up, skipped class, skipped chapel, went to baseball practice, partied - you get the picture.

Drinking and having a great time began to consume large portions of my time. I was still trying to "find the right one for me." I knew I had a problem, that something was missing, but also knew I could quit when I wanted to. I eventually grew up, though I still enjoy a nice Guiness once in a while.

During this time in my life I met this angel who I would eventually marry. We moved hours away from family and friends, and it was there that I met Jesus for the first time. Still trying to fill that hole, though, "trying to find the right one for me," I jumped head-long into the pursuit of success.

I worked dog-like hours in the pursuit of success. I wanted to have it all - a business empire, a loving wife and family - and I was chasing that American dream. The "hole," though, remained. I hadn't really met the "right One for me" yet, largely because of me.

The hole in my heart was a God-shaped hole that no amount of athletic prowess, no amount of alcohol or no amount of business and financial success could fill. I went to church, and most of the time did the right things, but the hole in my heart was the result of a life-time of dreadful decisions and choices, running from the One who only wanted the best for me all along, because I didn't figure there was any way He could or would love me!

It is because I found the right One for me, and that He was patient with me all the while, that John 10:10 is a becoming more and more of a reality in my world. "I have come that you may have life and have it to the full." That is not to say that life isn't full of trials and times of difficulty - not at all, but His grace is sufficient for me. God's amazing grace saved me, inspires me and has me wanting to shout from the rooftops about Him and what Christ has done, and is doing, in my life.

Having life to the full to me looks a little like this...

...A day-to-day walk with Christ, seeking to experience grace and peace in the moment, in the mundane, in my surroundings - wherever I may be...

...Bible study with people wanting to dive deep - deep into the Word and deep into each other's lives. People who enter in at the most gut-wrenching levels with us, and we with them, as we journey through this life together...

...Praying alongside brothers and sisters in the midst of struggles, whatever they maybe. (Please remember to pray for the Paul Lee family as Paul is home on the farm, living his last days - however many they are - to the full. Go ahead - pray right now!)...

...Celebrating successes with those in our lives...

...Serving others, be it in church or in random acts of kindness that happen because we have found the right One...

...Cursillo weekends...

...Praying with and for my wife as we follow Christ together (there is NOTHING better!) - and watching our kids develop a relationship with Him (a very close second)...

...Having people love you, even when they know from where it is that you come - community at it's finest - and invest in your life...

The list could go on and on. I thank God in Heaven every day for not giving up on me, for loving me even when I am unlovable, for offering me life to the full - right here, right now - and for being the right One for me. I thank Him for that amazing gift of grace, Jesus crucified and resurrected!

Is He the right One for you? What does having life to the full look like to you?

4 comments:

patty said...

I love how God pursues us...how He doesn't allow anything else to satisfy or fill us...how He hounds our hearts until we yeild. Thank you for sharing your own journey!

Billy Coffey said...

Oh, how true. And Christ is the perfect Band-Aid, able to cover our wounds and heal them.

Great, great post!

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Great little parable here. And I love how the band-aids work in a second way - we're always looking for the right band-aid to heal a wound we have, when all we need is God.

janelle said...

I can't believe I didn't leave a comment on this!

I am sometimes jealous of you; the insight to "jot" down words or phrases that people say and the way you can take every day stuff and make it into a lesson for life.

Be blessed for all you do, for who you are and because you are a child of the King!