It seems so crazy to me how the year 2012 has come and gone so quickly. It's also crazy to me that there were times the days would drag on, never seeming to end.
Looking back at the year I dubbed "Man Up 2012", I have to stop and ask myself the one thing that demands an answer: Did I really man up? In the next few weeks I'm going to post a few entries dedicated to this subject to find out for sure.
These posts aren't about to be a play by play of my life or a diary of any sorts. I have taken some time to think about these posts and I've decided to write down the things that were most meaningful. These are the moments that I took something away and will keep with me the rest of my life.
I succeeded many times this year, I also failed many times this year. Each experience has taught and molded me into a wiser man of God, even if only a little bit. In many ways, It seems I had to fall far away from God in order to become closer to Him. In many ways, I had to figure out that a life of a Christian man is not a life of ease or comfort. It's become clear to me that the days I am most comfortable are the days I am not challenged in any way. Comfort is a place of complacency that looks like joy, it feels like joy, but it isn't true joy at all. Comfort tells us that we are satisfied with everything exactly the way it is. We don't want anyone to touch it. We don't want to work for anything else. We don't want to step outside of that "comfort zone" for fear of losing what we deem is enough.
The question may arise "Isn't comfort in God/Christ a good thing?" and I answer that by saying that Gods comfort is a good thing to seek out and find -- obviously. Gods comfort is different in that He continues to push us and challenge us. God never just leaves us in one spot. We are always growing and learning when we're truly seeking Him out in any way -- even in comfort. The type of comfort that paralyzes us is the one we should be most afraid of, and the one of which I speak.
This post isn't to preach on comfort or stepping outside of your box. I am merely conveying that the first thing I learned this year is that complacent comfort is never truly satisfying or beneficial in the long run. It is a mirage that gives us nothing of true spiritual substance.
Why else would we hear in James 1:2-4 that we should consider it joy when we are going through trial? Because a comfortable life doesn't finish it's work in us. Perseverence through trial DOES finish its work in us -- to the extent that we are not lacking ANYTHING.
This post is simply setting up the theme of this year -- Man Up 2012 was a mixture of several learning experiences for me. It is obvious that the overlapping theme that God wanted me to grasp was that I could not man up at all without learning to be totally and utterly uncomfortable -- This lead to an even stronger reliance in Him.
As you'll see in my next entries, this story is just beginning.
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”