Thank you to everyone who has submitted a comment on my previous blog post, “What if I never get married?” On thinking through this issue and responding to replies a few thoughts occurred to me, and I think it is necessary to share them as a post-script.
Firstly, something about my own life and way of thinking became really clear to me. That is, that I have, yet again, allowed myself to embrace a vision for my life that is centred around me, rather than around God.
I made up my mind a very long time ago that Jesus and God would be the centre of my life, no matter what. However, even from that point I recognised that one of my own biggest challenges would be about remaining centred on God, rather than myself. It is always a challenge to ambitious Christians to genuinely remain focused on God. It is always easy to subtly revert the attention (and glory) to ourselves in the name of pursuing God or working for Him. Eg : “Look at what I have achieved for God!”
Thinking over my own writings, it struck me that my insistence should not – should NEVER be on my goals, my dreams, my greatness, but always, ALWAYS on Christ alone. Looking back into the past I think I can spot how I’ve almost set myself up for this. I defined a number of hugely ambitious goals for my life (I cannot tell you what they are, but please trust me, they are exceedingly ambitious!) – but I made up my mind that Christ would come first. I made up my mind that I wanted to know God as much as it is possible to know Him, as much as He would make Himself known. I made up my mind to know the Bible absolutely inside out, to hunger deeply after God in prayer. However, I think my mistake was that I made this the chief of my goals, rather than my only goal. Now, it is those other goals which are asserting themselves in my thinking, epecially concerning marriage leading me to be focused on my dreams, my goals, my greatness…oh yeah, and God too! – so that God is almost a postscript to everything else.
This is wrong. I think it has struck my mind very powerfully that God has to be everything. Not only the first, or most important goal, but the only goal. And yet, does anyone understand when I say that my mind grasps this, but I will need to work (pray, etc) on my heart to get it truly rooted into my heart? If you were to logically or rationally choose from 2 options- 1) God, or 2) absolutely anything else – then obviously the correct “no brainer” answer would be “God”, and resoundingly so. This is the mental, or rational answer. And yet I have cultivated these dreams for so long: I have meditated on them, I have focused on them – I can see them, I can taste them, I can touch them! -to genuinely give them up so that I can be single mindedly and exclusively focused on God is going to take serious prayer and determination. And yet I am determined. God has to be the centre of my life. You know what, I am even going to have to stop thinking in terms of my own greatness. My mind knows emphatically that this is right. Now I just have to train my heart to submit to this truth and embrace it instead….. 😉
Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Photo of sunset from Pixabay