The various subjects I discuss here appeal to various readers. With Reviews it’s those interested in the movies or games I write about. With Lovely Ladies it’s those who like good-lookin’ babes. And, with Out of the Box, it’s apparently nobody ;). With this latest series, My Christian Walk, I’m obviously writing to those who share my faith… talking about personal things I discover during this lifetime of growth.
For almost two months, I’ve been doing a 90-day read-through of the Bible. The initial reason isn’t pertinent here, but it’s been a long time since I’ve done actual, serious Bible-reading… so, I wanted a refresher before beginning a full-blown study. It’s been a time of numerous revelations, but I didn’t actually think about making my personal discoveries a serious part of my blog until just recently. So, I’ll have some subjects to catch up on, but I want to start this series off with something that’s actually not even directly related to my Bible reading. I just set that up to let you know what started and inspired this whole idea for a new blog category. Today, though, I want to briefly mention the one aspect that makes any of these discoveries even possible.
Wednesday morning, I had a job interview. It was for a sales position in a retail running-shoe store. While sitting there in a group interview amongst experienced salesmen and athletic-minded folks, two things that I am naturally the opposite of, I realized that it’d take a genuine miracle for me to get a job there. I wasn’t downhearted about it, though – if it happens, it happens, and driving home I was smiling hard as I sang along to some great songs on the radio.
Why, though? Why am I so gosh-darned jovial? It’s a question I’ve been posing to a couple of my Christian friends lately, “Why am I so happy?” Looking at my current situation in life garners no real answer, and I can be just as naturally downtrodden as anyone else can be, so why? I can tell you the answer, but I’m not actually fully in control of the solution. The answer? Joy. The solution for finding it? Read the other word in this entry’s title ;).
When I applied to work at Michael’s, it was done on a whim – a pebble in the mountain of applications I was sending out. So, when I got the interview, I was somewhat surprised. It was a casual meeting; I was, as I always am, myself, and as I drove home afterward, I just had a very honest conversation with God. “This isn’t what I’m ideally looking for, right now, God, but if this is where you want me to be, I will take the job if its offered.” And that was it. I think folks sometimes confuse trust and faith in God as one of either never telling Him what we want or as not having to take action on our own initiative. When I was laying next to my dying dog, I’ve never prayed so hard and so continuously for something in my life – that she would simply fall asleep and peacefully stop breathing. But that didn’t happen, and I accepted it… because what other choice do I have? I don’t run this planet, and as much as some folks might believe it, no other person does, either.
And so, this leads us back to my salesman job interview. I really don’t like the idea of working on commission, but it was a job offer that fit my basic needs right now, and so I applied. And, when I passed the telephone interview, I said that I would go to the group-interview in the store. I told God the same things for this that I did Michael’s. I put my trust in Him, that either way, I have no cause for worry. Anxiety has no place in a Christian’s life, because it says that we don’t trust God. We all find it, though. I spent 10 years avoiding making movies because I didn’t have enough trust – and that led, not necessarily to anxiety, but to fear. I say that only to remind you that I’m not saying this as the pinnacle of peaceful perfection :).
So, I drove home this morning feeling great, not because I aced a job interview that I really wanted, but because I’d put my trust in God. I’m not ALWAYS happy, and within that context of peace, we’re still human – there is a time for sadness and anger, as well, but the overall outlook on life is completely different when we learn to simply let go of our worries and trust God. Not only is that what He tells us to do, anyway, but it’s the most freeing thing in the world. It doesn’t mean that we sit and do nothing, it means that we are able to peacefully accept what does or doesn’t come our way. It’s peace based on trust, and through that is the only way we can count on finding true joy.
And that’s all there is to it. It’s not always easy, and I’ve gone through plenty of ups and downs (since I’m one of those imperfect and screwed up humans you may have heard about), but the answer is always there – and it’s always just as simple. How can I be happy right now? How can I have a joy that is undeterred, even when I’m not in the happiest of situations? It’s the peace that comes, as a natural gift, from completely putting our trust in God. As a young child can run freely, and happily, in the front yard because they trust their parents to protect them, it’s the same thing for us and God. For many of us who’ve grown up in church, that’s an idea we’ve probably heard very often… but that doesn’t make it any less true. Likewise, for many of us who are Christians, it’s an idea we’ve probably struggled with realistically understanding and putting into action… but that doesn’t make it any less possible :).