Wholehearted?

…for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly… Numbers 32:12

Are you all in?  Reviewing my to-do list today, I could not help but notice things I’ve been putting off.  Here’s what’s on the list:  calling an old friend to renew contact, getting a colonoscopy (Okay, who ever wants to get around to doing this?), working on a book that’s been in my heart and head for a long time, confronting someone that I love with something pretty important.  I have a tendency to move other things ahead of these on my list.  What’s going on?

I like the way Brene Brown explained in her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

I agree with Brown, but I often find that positive psychology (that is what she is doing here) has the right thing to say about life, but it does not have the ability to empower us to do so.  It wants us to be brave, to be vulnerable, and wholehearted.  It wants us to risk trusting that we have what it takes to do these things.  It assumes we already have the resources but we just can’t see it or we can’t believe it for some reason.  It assumes we are really worthy of love and belonging.  But, is this true?

yesWhat if we don’t have the resources?  What if we don’t feel worthy?   And besides, who makes us worthy?  I find that positive psychology wants us to go where only the good news can take us.  How can we belong?  How, when we have been forsaken by everyone we know, can we trust that we are worthy of love?  And, if I have had courage and connection from the beginning, why would I be struggling as I am right now?  What is been missing?  Do I simply need to practice these things to discover I already have them?

The passage from Numbers above reflects on the wholehearted service of two men who trusted God in the face of immense challenges.  They had seen the deliverance of the Lord.  They crossed the sea on dry ground when they left their enslavement in Egypt.  They tasted the manna and quail of the wilderness. Their courage resulted from their trust in God.

This is the source of our courage as well. We trust that God made us in his image, and that we reflect his glory, and because of that we have extraordinary capabilities. I am reminded of the story from Maya Angelou’s life as she explains:

One day the teacher, Frederick Wilkerson, asked me to read to him. I was twenty four, very erudite, very worldly.  He asked that I read from lessons in truth, a section that ended with these words: ‘God loves me.’ I read the piece and closed the book, and the teacher said, ‘Read it again.’ I pointedly opened the book, and sarcastically read, ‘God loves me.’ He said, ‘Again.’ After about the seventh repetition I began to sense that there might be truth             in the statement, that there was a possibility that God really did love me.  Me, Maya Angelou.  I suddenly began to cry at the grandness of it all.  I knew that if God loved me, then I could do wonderful things… For what could stand against me with God…?”

What relationship or challenge would you move into if you knew this was true?  If I think about this and then return to my to-do list, perhaps I can call the friend, get back to the book, and having a loving confrontation. Who knows? I might even have the colonoscopy!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cathy Ruiz on May 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Wow!! I am a list maker too! Long term lists, daily lists, but I find that certain items just keep getting postponed….I just don’t like to do them ( like the colonoscopy, yuck!). Anyway, it’s only when I give those things to God that I find myself able to overcome and actually check those items off my list.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sandy on February 10, 2017 at 1:17 am

    So thankful that I am NOT worthy, but “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Herein is love <3…

    Reply

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