I think I have found the secret of life. I think I was given this insight because I am a special son of God. Or maybe it was because He was tired of watching me run around in the dark bumping into things. Or maybe it was just because I have tried so hard to pick up the pieces of my imploded life. It doesn’t matter, I was given the keys.
“The secret of life is one thing.” Curly from ‘City Slickers’
“oh yeah, what’s that?”
“That’s for you to figure out.”
“Let Joy and Innocence prevail.” Elephant epitath from ‘Toys’.
That’s it. That’s the secret for me. I was confronted with the reality that I have had a tendency to not be content or happy with my situation for many years. I had everything, a good career, a business, a marriage, great kids, etc. However, I was always in pursuit of the next thing. I wanted a busier business. I wanted to be the best at my career. I wanted a marriage that was passionate, growing, fun. I wanted my kids to be perfect. I wanted a newer car, more money, more prestige. I was in a dead sprint to acquire. None of it made me happy, and even if I achieved it, I would not enjoy it.
I had built up the walls of Jericho around me. For years, I accumulated but did not appreciate. The walls got thicker and taller. I felt safe, but secretly miserable. However, I couldn’t even be honest about that. I put on a happy face for all to see. I lied. Friends and family circled the walls and warned me of the illusion and delusion I was living. The walls began to crumble 7 years ago. Slowly, I could see what living was like. I could see what it meant to not just exist. There were cries and horror as I tried to leave the walls. There were those around me who needed and wanted me to stay in the walls and wear the fake mask I wore. My torment racked the walls. My nails dug in, my fingers bled as I climbed. I tried and tried to free myself. MY life became desperate. The lie suffocated me. I asked for help. That was it. I simply said, “Help Me.” The walls came tumbling down.
Even as they did, I did not appreciate the freedom. I did not rejoice. I worried that my life was forever changed. I was afraid of it all, and lamented my fate. I let guilt, shame, and remorse shroud me. I suffered.
Last week in church, the worship music was introducing the sermon. I am not a fan of worship bands and really don’t get inspired by the music. However, I have been praying that God work on my unbelief and touch my heart. I have asked the prayer, “Help me,” once again. I have said that even though I am unable to really trust, I am willing to try and do what I am to do. I just want to not be afraid. The music played and I felt the tears coming. I cant tell you what the song was or the words, because I don’t remember. I looked for a way out. I bit my lip and got ready to “man up.” I began to cry. I sat down and wept. The pain and embarrassment began to surge. Instead of shutting off the wimpy water works and escaping the pain. I asked God to pummel me. I asked Him to really dig out the crevices. I wanted to be free of it.
He showed me that I have buried my gift of Joy and Innocence. I have not let it thrive. It wasn’t a wish…ie “May Joy and Innocence prevail”, but rather a proper use of the will, “Let it prevail.” I needed to get out of the way of it. I have the opportunity to rejoice over the silly things again. I get to thrive on the adventure of life, relationships, growth, again. I can stop trying to be perfect and just be me.
What’s your one thing?