The first night Pat Sokoll asked us, "What is it you really want?" I jotted down the question to ponder later..not when I was trying to keep my baby quiet and content on her blanket, not when my three year old was beginning to melt down from exhaustion, not when my 5 year old was telling me in a whisper all about how much she loves her friend Lindy. But later. The trick is actually returning to the tid bits I jot down. But I did.
Here is what I wrote: "I want most to live a life that is purposeful and worth living. I want to change the world and be changed [by God]. I want to shine."
Ah. It sounds so beautiful at first doesn't it? Maybe even poetic.
Well, the conference wore on and tid bits grew on the margins of my notepad:
You cannot take anything to the next life, not even all you accomplish for God. You can only take your relationship with Him.
I need Jesus every moment.
If I had it "all together" what would that look like?
Where am I spending my resources? my time, beauty, energy, money?
I came back to the tid bits. I was challenged by them. And slowly they congealed into a whisper from God.
You are using Me.
Yikes! But it wasn't harsh or angry, but quiet, accepting, and all the more convicting for that. I have been using God.
Now this wasn't something I was knowingly doing... our sinful motivations rarely are. [One summer God had to get my attention by being a little more direct and call me a prostitute.] And yet it was true. I wanted to live a "big" life. I wanted to change the world and knew the only one with the power and know how to do it was God. He became a means to an end instead of a personal God who wants me to know Him and Him to know me.
So what did I take away? The same thing I took away from a Christian camp back in 1995 where I first prayed to have Jesus in my heart: that I need to have a RELATIONSHIP with God that is personal and real. It is the same thing I learned my freshman year of college and every year since. And I guess I will never stop needing to KNOW it. And that is fine by me.
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Galatians 6:14