Do you have a favorite wall in your house, apartment, room, or whatever? A wall that displays pictures, paintings, or trinkets of some kind which hold value to you? I have a favorite wall in my house. It’s in my kitchen and I catch myself stopping to look at it every once in a while. Adorning the wall are pictures of me with my parents, my kids, my husband, and his extended family. It also has a framed collage of wine labels I have drunk with my dad in years past. And to round it out is one of my favorite bible verses, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
I love this wall because I feel it describes me, the things I cherish in this world, and the memories I have to hold onto for the rest of my life. As we are knee-deep in Holy Week, I have given thought to a lot of messages on the love of Jesus and how it is THE most important thing in this world. And I completely agree with this-I know it to be true. Sometimes it is so hard for our human minds to even fathom that kind of love, but I am learning to trust in it and to follow it whole-heartedly. I sometimes feel like my children, who learn religion in school every day. I am taking faith one day at the time, learning to not overwhelm myself. Not growing up in a house that attended church regularly, sometimes the concepts I hear coming from scripture boggle my gray matter. So I do this; I journal and flesh things out on my laptop.
I have heard some preach before how things in this world are just that, things. They are objects we can’t take with us to Heaven. Spending too much time focusing on them separates us from Jesus because we open ourselves up to harboring love and adoration for simple objects. And apparently the same can be said of the relationships we hold close with people. They do not come before our relationship with Jesus Christ. So as I look upon my favorite wall and gaze on those things I do hold dear in this world, I find myself wondering how am I supposed to separate those loves? How do I distinguish between the love I have for Jesus and the love I have for my family? Are they one in the same? Am I loving one more than the other? Do I feel Jesus gets angered when we extol love for those blessings He gives us?
No, I don’t think He gets upset, but I do find myself constantly thinking about how I am supposed to reflect upon this notion. It becomes a cycle, much like the convection cycle my daughter is learning about in science class right now.
This process stirred last night in my head as I again passed by my favorite wall after cleaning up dinner. And then I realized I am not being forced to choose here. I am not being forced to love one over the other. Instead, I am to know that my blessings bestowed on me are given BY Jesus. It is my responsibility to acknowledge thanks and praise for the “objects,” it is my duty as a parent to raise my children in a Christ-centered home, and it is by grace that I have so many wonderful memories to smile fondly upon, especially when some of those people are no longer with me on earth. The love of Jesus endures for me because of what He did this particular week.
As I tend to do, I get encompassed in thought and over-analyze myself. It’s what made me so good at figuring out the meaning behind speeches, books, etc., in college. But just when I get too close to the edge, something in me stirs and says to “Be still and know that I am God,” so don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. You see now why that’s my favorite verse because it keeps me grounded, makes me stop and listen instead of barreling ahead with ideas and notions.
If you are celebrating Holy Week this month, perhaps you can relate to this constant internal struggle when it comes to growing in faith and growing in knowing ourselves. If not, this can certainly be applicable to other areas of spirituality. Because, you see, we all have moments in life that make us stop and ponder, no matter what spiritual place we call home. If we are really looking through the right lens of life, we should see our kismet, or destiny, a little bit clearer.
Until next time,