Ever felt that way? Must people have. You hear me say all the time that “nobody’s perfect” and it is true. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, nobody’s perfect. Having accepted that as a basic truth, we should be setting our sights on getting better. Because just because we haven’t arrived yet doesn’t mean that we’re not on our way.
It can seem on some days that we have a long way to go. I’ve felt that way. It is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to feel a sense of failure that I just wasn’t who I needed to be, and the harder I tried the more I seem to be walking in place or staking a step backward for every two steps forward.
When we lose our way and make choices we know are not pleasing to God, we instinctively conclude that God must be a million miles away, especially if we have continued in this path for a long time. It feels perfectly logical to assume that the path back to God must involve lots of hoops to jump through. But the gospel offers us a radically different perspective. Jesus once said “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink….” John 7:37. Notice the only prerequisite Jesus requires: being thirsty. In other words, the way back to God is to simply admit to Jesus how spiritually thirsty you are. That’s it. He continually extends to us this invitation: In your thirst, come to Me.
If I invited you to take a walk, you’d think I was crazy if I became angry after the first few steps because we hadn’t yet arrived at our destination. We can understand ordinary things like this, yet we have a difficult time understanding that God expects it to take some time for us to grow spiritually.
We don’t think there’s something wrong with one-year-old children because they can’t walk perfectly. They fall down frequently, but we pick them up, love them, put a bandaid on them if necessary, and keep working with them. Our heavenly Father can do even more for us than we do for our children.
The process is always difficult. Growing and learning is never easy, but the changes make us better people. We begin to think differently, then to talk differently, and finally, to act differently. This process develops in stages, and we must always focus on the end game, which is Heaven.
So my encouragement to you is quite simple: Enjoy the journey. Rest in His unconditional love for you. Let His Spirit fill you with His Presence and His peace. Realize that His purposes for your life are not thwarted. You are right on schedule. Don’t waste all of your time today trying to rush into the future. Remember, tomorrow will have troubles of its own. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34.