From my earliest remembrances, I have always been a procrastinator. I was the one who always studied for the test or worked on my book report the night before it was due. It stressed my parents out, but not me. It was who I was. In many ways I’ve always been a day late and a dollar short. It has brought me a good amount of shame, especially when I witness the life of those who are really on the ball with getting things done. For years I’ve tried to pray it away, asked others to pray for me and derive strategies to combat it, all to no avail. But the truth is I am learning to accept me for me. This year, I have determined to let myself off the hook. If you can even remotely relate to this, I challenge you to do the same.
Recently, while sitting with a friend and ministry partner over lunch, I was asked what I am most passionate about since stepping down from a leadership position I held for 5 years. This was a great question. I was almost embarrassed to admit that I didn’t particularly feel passionate about any one thing right now. What???? As a 32-year-old Christ-Follower, mentor and leader, shouldn’t every moment of my life speak of something I am passionate about? Well maybe, but this was the truth. I didn’t have any one thing making me want to jump out of bed right now and get to it. I am not concerned because this has been the ebb and flow of my walk with Him. I’ve learned to cherish both seasons of life.
I love Jesus, my family, friends, my church, and my ministry roles. I have for years. I suspect that will not change. I have told myself that it’s okay to wait on the new thing that will make the pilot light in my heart burst forth in a full flame. I am letting myself off the hook from trying to pretend that I’m always a burning bush. Actually, I could never sustain that intensity. I don’t believe God wants me to. I do believe that He wants me to have moments of rest before intense passion meets me face to face again. So I am resting.
Here are seven ways I’m letting myself off the hook from my own and others’ expectations:
1. I don’t feel pressure to read the top 10 Christian books every month and let everyone know I did. If I can read the jacket cover, I am grateful. But I’m not pushing. I let myself off the hook.
2. I don’t have a set quiet time every day. It may be morning, noon, or at bedtime. Maybe not even that day. I let myself off the hook from trying to be just like so-and-so who wakes at 3am to get alone with God. God bless everyone who does this, but that’s not me. I am okay with God. If He wants to say something to me at 3am, He’ll wake me up. I can rest in that. I’m letting myself off the hook.
3. While I have a continual conversation with God (and He with me), I rarely have times when I spend hours or days lying prostrate before Him in total surrender – literally or physically. I am okay. I promise I am. I’m letting myself off the hook from that expectation.
4. I don’t always like hearing or repeating the newest trends in Christian jargon. Each year there is a different ‘catch phrase’. I’ll just talk normally, thank you very much. I’m letting myself off the hook.
5. I spent many years journaling and nowadays I find little time to pen my thoughts and prayers. Maybe I will again. But for now, I’m letting myself off the hook!
6. I don’t have a need to be with the ‘in crowd’. I never really fit in anyway. I like being with all kinds of people. I’m okay with that and let myself off the hook.
7. I don’t’ beat myself up when I forget to pray for something or someone. I’m getting older and I don’t stay on top of those things like I used to. It’s okay. I don’t beat myself up about it either. I trust God to bring to remembrance everything I forget. He is Able and because of that, I let myself off the hook.
Bottom line, I am determined to let God be God in my life. I do not desire to exchange my walk with God for anyone else’s. Please don’t misunderstand me, I desire to be the best Christ-Follower I can be. I want to seek Him more and love Him more passionately every day. Like you, I want to serve Him more and be passionate about my worship and during my worship. I just can’t live up to the mile high expectations of what others believe a Follower of Jesus should look like. I want to live up to His expectations, not of someone else’s. The sweet Holy Spirit that lives inside of me is the one that charts my course. While my friend asked a great, piercing question, I’m letting myself off the hook from having to have the million dollar answer. The super spiritual answer. I just want to just be me and not need to impress anyone. How about you?
P.S. For everyone who has ever felt judged by me, I deeply apologize. Peace.
+What scripture best conveys that being yourself is okay?
Through The Looking Glass:
+How might you let yourself off the hook from fulfilling others expectations of you?
+What does God expect of you and how can you please Him?