Sunday, February 08, 2004

First off...props to my boiiiiiiiis in Outkast for takin home Album of the Year. Seriously, I wouldn't say they stand on the highest moral ground (Jesus, draw them to salvation) but their music is kickin. If it wasn't for "Hey Ya" my summer in Sydney would have been boring.

Second, I want to say I'm dong a lot better right now. You can't imagine the difference an evening with God can make, or the power of praying friends. (Has Stormie written that one yet? Maybe I can beat her to it. Maybe it can be a collaboration with all my friends out there who know first hand the power of praying friends.) Speaking of which, pray for healing for my friend Rose regarding a heart murmur. It's a long story, but that's all that really matters.
God spoke to me a lot tonight. Possibly too much, although technically that's not possible since He never gives us more than we can bear. One specific thing He said I feel compelled to chronical in here. (wow bustin out the vocab.)

If you don't know me, I'm a very competitive person. VERY competitive. So much so that I think it's become somewhat of a strong hold in my life that keeps me from doing things if I know I can't do it better than anyone else. I think this has a lot to do with how I was raised and pressures that I felt were put on me to be the best, even at a pretty early age. I've always wanted my parents to be pleased with me, so I always worked hard (up until high school that is) in school to get good grades. I played sports cause I was athletic like my dad and wanted to make him proud. Too bad not one of my teams ever had a winning record. Basically, for me, the fun was sucked out of everything because I always had to perform. Even when I was in choir, though I did love being involved, a lot of it had to do with "Can I be the best singer, in the best choir at my school?" (the answer to that is, "No".) I've known all this stuff about me. I'm a thinker (gasp!) and over the years through my thinking, God has used it to reveale a lot of whom I am in the flesh and who he has created me to be. Well tonight He showed me how this competitiveness and compulsion to not do anything unless I can be the best at it, is totally holding me back.
I don't write, because people can write better than me, with more original thoughts, and more creative ideas. I don't sing because I have yet to fully develop my gift. I don't play guitar because most of my friends are better than me. I feel stupid because there are people that are younger than me that have more "formal" college under their belts than I do. I don't write music because my melodies sound like every one elses. I don't debate, because someone else will always have a more educated answer. I've quit trying, because I know there will always be someone better.
But here's the thing! (This is really cool, just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait)
God doesn't judge me against other people's accomplishments! God doesn't measure my achievements against anything else but 1) What He's told me to do and 2) What He's given me to do it with.
I don't think you realize the freedom that lies in that concept. I don't think you can unless you have the same competitive tendancies as I do. And if you do, I really hope you can meditate on this and find freedom for yourself.
But do you know what this means?
This means I can write! From my heart! And I can do it well, with excellence, but I don't have to worry about if someone else has maybe said the same thing with more eloquence. I can sing and play and make music for the glory of God and if it's G C D, it' doesn't matter! However if it sounds like, "Praise Him, praise, Praise Him, praise Him cause He's Holy and worthy" then it matters. "I said now fellas" (yeeeeeah?) "What's hotter than being hot?" (Fire and brimstone!) "I said what's hotter than being hot!" (Fire and brimstone!)
See and I can make stupid "Hey Ya" parodies and not really care. I can think about, and question, and debate the great questions of theology and the universe without feeling incompitent, because I"m not! And because I can search the scriptures and the truth IS revealed to me. And I can study and grow and show myself approved. I can be free from the cloud of criticism that I can sometimes almost feel hovering over any attempt at creativity. I can create from my heart and sould things that are pleasing to God, and be judged only by him who gave me the ideas in the first place. Sounds like a win - win situation to me.

And right now I believe it's time for me to do an interpretive dance all the way to my bed. Hallelujah.