Growing up as a pastor’s kid and a perfectionist, I was constantly striving—striving to earn the best grades possible, to be the best musician in the symphonic band, to be the most reliable friend to all who might need me, to be a model student, to be the most dedicated nonprofit volunteer, to be the most faithful Christian I could be. I was good at a lot of things, and striving was one of them. But as a consequence, I was burdened by the weight of my own self-imposed requirements for being a follower of Christ.
It wasn’t until I came to college that I realized what my striving was doing to my soul. My constant efforts to be a “good Christian” were wearing away my joy and my peace. Deeds that were intended to bring rest only resulted in restlessness. And everything I thought would bring fulfillment left me empty and dry. I began to realize that in all my striving I had been chasing after all the wrong things—I had been running hard after the characteristics of Christ, but I had failed to seek after Christ himself.
I began to understand that the Christian life is not about adhering to a set of rules and regulations—it’s about obedience that springs out of deep and unfettered love for the Savior. It’s about following after Christ with reckless abandon not out of obligation, but out of an all-consuming love for the Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. The Christian life is not about fulfilling a list of requirements and working ourselves to death to be the best we can be at everything. It’s simply about loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength and seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.
And the best part is that we are not on this journey alone. Periodically, I will be sharing with you insight I garner through my experiences as a crazy, busy, broken person in need of grace. I pray that this blog is a place of encouragement for young women like me (and maybe even a few young men) who are learning to let go of Martha’s burden of striving and to be more like Mary—to sit at the feet of Jesus, to listen to His words of life and to love Him with all that we are.
I hope that together we can learn to pray the prayer of A.W. Tozer in his timeless book The Pursuit of God:
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Until next time,