“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”  “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[a] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” (Luke 15:17-24 – excerpted from Prodigal Son parable in Luke 15:10-32).

I took my share in the insanity of the 70’s along with everyone around me.  God opened my eyes to the danger of where I was headed, and he delivered me from the path to destruction early in my adulthood, but I could see so many of my friends on that same path who did not turn away.  This path we were all on in a search for who we are or for some kind of meaning in life was like a wild goose chase in the darkness through the bramble with absolutely no chance of success.  This wild path of pursuit was exemplified in the description of life as portrayed by William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  In Act 5, scene 5, Macbeth, describes life by saying, “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  The sound and the fury of our lives, all the experimentation, puts us where Jenny is in Forest Gump, standing on the brink, looking out into the void, chaotic empty vacuum of the whirlwind’s center.  There’s no pot of gold waiting at the end.  We had bought into a fool’s lie, a promise of ultimate fulfillment, pleasure, joy, peace, satisfaction, etc.  We were looking for something here on this earth that simply is not here.  Instead of looking around us for answers or looking inward for them, we should have been gazing upward, seeking out the God of the universe Who created us and Who knows us better than we know ourselves and cherishes each individual one of us

This is the God that has all the answers as to what is best for us, what individual steps we should take in life along the long journey to achieve fulfillment, satisfaction, and meaning.  He can show us how we should live our lives along the way that will best satisfy us and meet our needs as well as the needs of all those around us if we will only spend the time with Him so that He can work with us, train and teach us.  He will show us the abundant life.  So instead of trying to discover who we are, we should seek him first, and He will, in His Infinite Wisdom and Boundless Love, show us just what we are looking for as well as giving us all the deepest desires that we have wanted for so long.  He will reveal the core of our abilities, our personality, and our basic desires, if we ask Him to show us the nugget of just who we are.  He loves us with an all-consuming love and knows us better than any medical doctor, scientist, or psychiatrist could ever hope to know us, even over a lifetime of studying us.  God knows all the answers and even knows what we truly want when we don’t know what we want and don’t know what would is best for us nor what would make us happy. 

Moreover, there is no finding of self.  We have asked the wrong question or presumed the wrong answer to a question that made no sense.  True identity and peace within one’s own skin does not come about through experimentation, pursuit of wild experiences, seeing the world, attaining success in virtually any field of work or study, being famous, collecting the most toys, living in the biggest house, or getting rich.  It only comes when we know our Creator intimately, and He reveals to us what we are, and fills the aching, jagged hole of desire to be loved with a God-sized love that will finally satisfy us.  And, perhaps almost as important, He will build us into what we need to be.   There is no iconic us out there somewhere that we just need to find.  In fact, we largely make us into who we are by the millions of choices and experiences throughout a long life.  Our true identity is a rich tapestry of all the experiences we’ve had, the things we’ve learned, the trials we’ve suffered, the people we’ve met, the jobs we have worked, etc.  In short, our true identity is what we make us to be and what we become as we live out our lives and are affected by millions of variables and people that influence us at one time or another.  We are simply a core nugget of our beliefs, values, personality, family life, talents, and abilities in the beginning.  But our choices most definitely have a huge impact on what kind of person we turn out to be over years of very good or very bad choices. 

In the end, we become what we have put our treasure in, what our hearts have sought after.  And if we have sought out God first, He will mold us into something beautiful and wonderful, but if we reject God, we have very little hope of turning out for the good.  Our own sin nature, our influence and control by the corrupt world systems, and the interference of the devil and his followers will collectively ensure that we end up at a bad, unsatisfactory place.  But even there, if we realize how bad we are, we simply have to turn around and reach out to God, who will be waiting, unbeknownst to us, right behind us, hoping that we would turn to Him.  Just like the prodigal son, we are surprisingly welcomed by God with overwhelming joy.  He is not angry at us, unless we are deep in willful, harmful sin, especially that which brings harm to others.  Otherwise, no matter how bad we are, nor how stained with our own sin and mistakes, He welcomes us back with open arms and a smile.  His lost son or daughter has returned to Him, and He is full of joy instead of the judgment and anger that we expected. 

I pray today that you will come to know this Boundlessly Loving God through the doorway of His Son Jesus.  But if you already know Him, I pray that your fellowship will be much deeper and much sweeter by the day. 



05/10/2016 9:30am

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 


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