I’m reminiscent of the time gone by this week. Kids entered my doors with flashing smiles indicating mischief or just genuine happiness. October weather was out of character with its delightfully warm days. The nights consisted of joy-filled wedding thoughts, future meal-planning, sprinkled with a few soccer games and loads of beef stew.
All great and wonderful things. Yet, I found myself short in the area of patience, consumed by anxiety, and imprisoned by thoughts of inadequacy.
Have you ever had a time where you asked, “How did I get here?”
Why did I lose my cool with a student? Why did I crumble under Wagner’s chastisement? Why can’t I just get this teaching thing down? Why does my hair look like I just walked out of a car wash? Why can’t I do anything right?
Seriously, how did I get here? I’m at this point where I am crushed under the weight of my expectations and my heart is left shattered and broken. Failure is imminent and the feeling is like deafening blow to my spirit.
I concur with Augustine that we either love what we ought not to love, or we fail to love what we ought to love, or we love more what we should love less, or love less what we should love more.
The idea of reordering my loves is an intricate process. It takes deep reflection and the work of the Holy Spirit to have the mountainous sludge building up in the confines of my heart to bubble to the surface. Ultimately, I came to the realization that I have not loved God supremely.
“It is only if God’s love is the most important thing to you will you have the freedom to love other things well and properly.”
What we ultimately love governs how we think, process, and proceed in life.
It is no wonder that when my love for control was struck when my student defied me that my first thought wasn’t to give him a pat on the back or a hug. No, my first thought was to protect and love myself by making sure that that child felt the heat of my displeasure about his behavior.
It is no wonder that when my love for approval was knocked by Wagner’s loving challenge/chastisement that I would respond in an attitude of self-pity and failure. Choosing not to engage in conversation, but to embrace the silent treatment.
My anger, frustration, anxiety, and failure are all outcomes from disordered loves.
How do I change the cycle? How do I break the ties with those things that have captured my devotion?
The transformational piece in this train-wreck is to worship and adore my God and love Him supremely. C.S. Lewis states, “the more perfectly we can praise an object, the greater our enjoyment, and “the worthier the object, the more intense this delight would be.” Man’s chief end is to glorify God. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
My disordered loves have been the contributors of my lack of thanksgiving and praise for God. My disordered loves have been the blinders to God’s goodness and his example of love in His word. My disordered loves have caused my misery and heartache. My disordered loves have hindered the beauty of my friendships.
Today, I don’t know where you are. I don’t know what cycle you find yourself in. I don’t know what you love the most or what has you weighed down.
This is a piece of my heart. I’m not perfect, and I don’t pretend to be. Sin marked me as inferior and broken, but being covered by the blood of Jesus Christ I am treasured and restored. He deserves the honor and praise due His name. I am desperate to rest in the arms of comfort and joy. My Creator God, maker, protector, sustainer, friend, judge, and father is to be my only love, my only joy.
I hope this encourages some hearts in the world to take a good look at their loves. To determine what governs their steps and what guides their hearts.
Choose Jesus. Choose Him to be your first love. Don’t let your heart be enraptured or lured by the deceptive pleasures of this world which are fleeting. I John 2:16-17 “For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
Choose to order Him as your number one.