Saturday, April 16, 2011

Confession of an Achievement-Oriented Person #1

I tend to be an achievement-oriented person. It used to be one of my chief frustrations to not complete every single project on my "To Do" list for the day. It was much easier to dive into a task than to wait for the Lord to have input (let alone leadership) in it. Yes, that was pretty presumptuous for a person who had supposedly given her life to the Lord, and I realized it, but it took the Holy Spirit's intervention to get me off dead center and become a different me. It has taken about six years, since I got serious about it--but that's a short time compared to the decades I spent previously, knowing I wasn't very "spiritual."

I don't mean to say that I have completely arrived, but a few months ago I noted that a shift is taking place in my in my basic motivations. Accomplishments alone do not satisfy; I need to do things in fellowship with the Lord.  This morning I realized how I had arrived at that point: by experiencing partnership with God often enough to develop an appetite for it.

I now believe that's how all true spiritual growth occurs--by desire born of much tasting. (Or hunger for something that seems superior to what we now have.) Yes, my default personality came in handy in determining that I wanted to change. But then I impeded progress by trying to engineer transformation (by praying harder, spending more time reading the Bible, etc.--which could have been highly fruitful if my heart had been connected with the Holy Spirit as I did so). Gradually, I learned to respond to the Lord instead of always initiating. At first, learning this new style was as painful as pulling teeth--and very sporadic. But once I perceived that I was changing from a perpetual motion machine into a person of peace and focused effort, my old habits began to give way to my new appetite for following the Lord.

To try to become more spiritual because we "ought to" is like trying to fall in love with a random stranger. Love grows by itself--one incident and one shared experience at a time. It's just the same for coming into closer partnership with God.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good" (Psa. 34:8 NIV).

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