So my two year blogiversary came and went. No hats. No streamers. But chances are I probably had Starbucks that day. I unconsciously celebrated.
I love being loved. Not because I think I am some great source of entertainment, grace, beauty, and genius. But because I think everyone else is way cooler than I am and I want to have swag too.
Last night at small group we talked about Philippians 3. Paul lists his credentials of why he should be loved and respected by everyone, and proceeds to say that to him it's loss. Not loss as in he doesn't care, but damaged goods. Any respect and love he were to garner from people because of his accomplishments, birth rights, and academia were warped, and likewise of no value to him. Paul understood at the core of him that the Gospel was the value in him.
And then there's me. The one who loves being loved. Not that that is inherently a bad thing. But to operate on the joy I gain from that is wrong. Because I love being loved, I have a hard time letting go of relationships. Since I was young, my mom has always used the analogy of a butterfly with me. If you were to hold out your hand and a butterfly landed there, you would admire it. But to try to close your hand to keep the butterfly would kill it. She always referenced it within the confines of people being the butterfly. But it has come back in my mind lately as everything being the butterfly. To find joy in things is not the issue, the detriment comes in operating off of that joy as being sustenance. The Gospel causes me always to live with an open hand. Except with the Gospel. I get to clutch that tightly, because Jesus is sustenance. He is that which I function off of and mercy and grace are my banner.
At Redeemer yesterday, Kevin Cawley spoke of how it is worthless for us to expect the Gospel to be of value to other people if it is not first the most valuable to us. So I go back to square one. What am I feeding off of? Compliments and beauty or the Gospel? Because I find joy in compliments and beauty, but neither of those things are hefty enough for me to be established on. To put my hope in that is to be annihilated.
I'm asking to be more open handed with things, to allow them to come and go as they please and be honest when I begin to tighten my grasp. I want so badly to experience the fullness of freedom that comes when the Gospel is all I have. It allows me to love beauty, food without them warping me and becoming the compass, and it invites people to experience freedom with me to come and go as they please in my life, because as much as I love being loved, it isn't my anchor.