For several nights now, actually more like just over a week, I have been having wonderfully vivid dreams. These dreams tend to stick with me when I wake up, and I remember great detail about them. These dreams I share with my wife. She notices that the ‘Evil Villain’ in all of my dreams bears a remarkable likeness to characteristics and traits of myself. Furthermore, she states, that in these dreams whereby I am “Defeating Myself” perhaps I am actually trying to formulate or perpetuate the idea that I should be removing these sometimes negative traits and bettering myself. To Die to Self, in a manner of speaking.
A few days ago I was vainly attempting to get to sleep. I had been tossing and turning for nearly 2 hours and I was done. I was becoming frustrated, agitated, and I was getting nowhere and fast. I knew that if I didn’t do something soon, the night’s sleep was a write off. So I stopped. I calmed down. And I prayed. I asked God for peace, quiet, and to finally rest and go to sleep. Well, eventually it worked. I would get to sleep. But not before I was smashed in the face over and over again the verse Romans 8:28
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
I read the passage several times to ensure the meaning wasn’t lost, then I turn over and got some much needed sleep. In the morning I shared my experience with my Wife. She reminded me that the verse was the theme from Church, for almost the entire year. I guess I needed to hear it now, and not in 2019. We both found it interesting, however, that this scripture had come up at the same times as the dreams I had been having. For anyone who has been a Christian for a while will attest, when a work is going to begin in your life there are signs along the way… these where those.
This Sunday just gone our Senior Pastors Son preached. He preached on the need to be focussed on goals and purpose for 2020, as so many people fail to meet theirs every year. But, he also shared on one verse, and one verse only, which made me consider things differently, it comes from 1 Corinthians 10:31
So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God.
It isn’t just about what we do, but who we do it for. In a lot of ways, I could stand to Die to Self. I am naturally pragmatic, my wife would say Destructively Negative, but semantics. I can be forthright, which stems from my natural standpoint of wanting it done right and timely in the first place, which people have called Overbearing. I possess strong leadership qualities, some would say Bossy even when I don’t have the “authority” to be so. I am deeply passionate regarding certain things, my Son would say quick to anger. In these regards I could stand to Die to Self a little and shed some of the potency of these traits. I could “Be less of Me” as I have been told once. But in this regard I would find it difficult to simply change and become someone who is, in my book, the Diet Coke version of Me.
However, if I was to Die to Self for merely my own sake, or even for the comfort of those around me, then my journey is going to fall short even before it begins. But, if I am to die to self because it is the right thing to do by God, and in turn become a better person for those around me, then the journey is already half over, the battles are won, and I can move forward. This does not mean to say that I am from this day forth going to be better, but what it does mean is that I have a path ahead of me, and the best wing man anyone can ask for. So what does all this mean exactly, well as folks in 2020 like lists and goals here it is;
- See the light in others, if all I see is the dark then I can’t be very bright myself
- Give others a go, others can’t grow or even be given the chance to shine while I keep taking the opportunities away from them
- Soften the words I use, the old adage of catching more flies with honey than vinegar springs to mind, also people don’t like being beaten with proverbial bricks
- Swear less, this is simple, I don’t want my kids using the language and lets face it, its unbecoming anyway
- Fill my cup with something better, I can fill my cup with coffee, the news, the world, but what I need to do is fill it with the Word and let that pour out onto others
It’s a start, and that’s where all journeys begin. It’s not a resolution, but more of a personal Revolution. A chance to change for the better and perhaps move into what God has planned for my life.
Maintain the Rage