The last couple of years have been the most self-reflective years I’ve ever had. For someone who thought they were constantly interrogating themselves and trying to figure out what I could do to become a better version of myself this came as a bit of surprise. There are a couple of reasons why, but the biggest by far has been being in a long-term relationship. I’ve heard it said that relationships, especially intimate ones serve as a mirror that sheds light on the parts of yourself that perhaps you’ve been able to ignore. This has certainly been the case for me. Everyday in a long-term relationship, I’ve had to come face to face with some new insecurity, or responsibility that seems to loom large and highlight an area where I’m lacking something seemingly vital to the success of my family.
This is humbling and scary in the most intrinsic ways.
Your realize that if your not careful and diligent in addressing your shortcomings, people will suffer. Your wife will suffer. Your children will suffer. Future generations will inherit the fruit of your faithfulness or irresponsibility. It’s made me much more appreciative of the Father’s who came before me who withstood the almost constant messages of the world that their own personal happiness should come before the wholeness of the family that they’ve taken an oath to build (speaking especially of men who hold themselves accountable to God).
There is a particular bible verse that helped me this particular morning as I was struggling with the enormity of the task ahead of me, and to be quite honest, my dissatisfaction with the state of things. I feel anxious and worried about the future and scared that I’ll fail. I lack practice in being content and struggle with comparison which is THE thief of joy.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:6-9
This verse is actually an amazing framework for doing battle with anxiety and the stresses that come with attempting something bigger than you are.
- It clearly says that we shouldn’t worry -> instead we should give things over to God
- It lets us know that if we do give things over to God – he will will “Guard” our hearts and minds. This is so powerful because it implies that our hearts and minds are under attack by an external force and that we perhaps need this protection.
- It gives practical instructions on how we ourselves can do battle on the fields of our minds and hearts – by mastering our thoughts and focusing on [paraphrasing] “whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable..anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”
Lord as I head to the airport to get my family – give me wisdom and strength and the ability to lean into the word you’ve given me. Help me to fight the good fight of faith and to think on the things that are positive and inspiring and not the things I don’t have. Give me a new mind as I seek contentment and joy in you and in the life you’ve gifted me. Amen.
Fly or Fall.