I recently downloaded an app to my phone called “Sprinkle of Jesus.” Almost everyday my best friend’s sister would share the post of the day, and after 94.3% of them brought me to tears or made me feel like I could do anything but fly, I decided I needed that kind of inspiration in my life. Today’s post is inspired by the “sprinkle” posted above. –Thank you, Jesus Sprinkler! Thank you, Novi! 🙂
Just this morning, one of my Facebook friends posed this question on her timeline: “If you could change anything about yourself, what would you change?” IMMEDIATELY, I opened my proverbial scroll where I keep a running and updated list of things I would change about myself. I didn’t reply to the post, but I did take a moment to reflect on the plethora of flaws that I have both physical and otherwise, the grave mistakes that I have made, the relationships I should have never been in or should have gotten out of sooner, the situations that I deemed to be completely unnecessary, the money that I WASTED (I want it aaaaall back… sung in my Tye Tribbet and GA voice), the time I lost, and the life experiences that made me “this way.” After analyzing and delivering my “State of the Chris Address” to myself, I surmised that all of these experiences and details have in someway worked against me. Yes I said it…against me. In my current state, I am very sentimental and, in some cases, sensitive. I am guarded, a bit mistrusting, and very slow to allow people beyond a predetermined layer of my life. I am extremely self-sufficient, independent, stubborn, and prideful. I tend to hope for the best but over prepare for the worst. Truth is, life made me this way! I have been sentimental and sensitive ever since my mother died. The array of friends and lovers who have betrayed my trust have contributed to my proclivity to be guarded and mistrusting. Those who were allowed into my “Holy of Holies” (the intimate and raw areas of my life) and misjudged or mishandled that space created my hesitance to allow people beyond the surface levels. Lastly, the abundance of let downs from people who said they would but didn’t only increased my self-sufficient, independent, stubborn, and prideful nature. I call it my “Don’t Worry, I Got It” factor. If I am truthful again, I don’t really like that I am this way or at least to this extreme. I guess what I’m trying to say is if I could, I would cherry pick specific incidences and experiences from my life so that maybe I could be closer to the “me” that I figured I’d be at this point in my life.
While reading, did you too begin running down your own personal list of life edits? And what in your past or present do you believe is unnecessary? The fact is, many of us would love to take some White Out to a few areas of our life, a few conversations that we had, a few accidents that happened, a few things that hurt us, a few tragedies that reshaped the trajectory of our lives, etc. Who would want to be molested, neglected, impoverished, abused, bullied, raised without a father, abandoned by a friend or lover, stricken with illness, left to raise children alone, laid off, or forced to bury a spouse? I’m going to say “No one for $600, Alex!” [Jeopardy reference] But do you realize that even if you could Ctrl + Alt + Delete certain experiences from your life everything would be different, both good and bad alike? Did you know that all of those experiences create the masterpiece of you?
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. “
Romans 8:28 [New Living Translation]
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
So here’s the deal, every detail of your life matters. Every. Single. Detail. The flaws, the mistakes, the mishaps, the unfortunate situations, the tragic circumstances, the words spoken too soon, the moments taken for granted, even the opportunities that weren’t maximized…every detail matters. Life can be likened unto a puzzle whether 1,000 or simply six pieces; I would believe the number of pieces is determined by the amount of details/experiences one has. There is a big picture featured on the box — I imagine it to be God’s will or design for you…What he had in mind for you to do or be on this earth. Then there are all of the pieces that connect to create the image seen on the box. It is easy to get frustrated with an isolated piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere or mean anything, but throw it away if you want to, hear? (I totally channeled my mama and mentally said that in my Christina Diane Williams Rouson voice!) Discarding that piece will leave the puzzle incomplete in the end. “But Chris, I can’t figure out how it fits,” you say. Sweetie, it isn’t for you to figure out anyway. The scripture says that GOD causes things to work together…fit together for good. When this scripture was referenced throughout my childhood, someone would say, “Your good is working for your good and even your bad is working for your good!” Well it’s true, and how ever it may be working, it IS working because you are called according to his purpose… His purpose… Hmmm, that picture on the front of the puzzle box maybe? *smirk*
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.”
Psalm 139:14 [New Living Translation]
Have you ever baked a cake? If you’re making it from scratch (a dying art form), you’ll at least need eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla extract. For more complex cakes, you’ll need more or possibly different ingredients. Most to all of those ingredients are disgusting (and/or bad for you) if eaten alone. Who sits down to drink a cup of vanilla extract or to eat a bowl of butter? It’s not intended to be consumed that way. BUT if you take each ingredient and mix them together, subject them to a process (the oven), and wait a while, you will end up with a delicious desert that isn’t just good to you but good to others as well. Your details and experiences merely bring complexity to your life, but it is wonderful! So you’re short, tall, fat, skinny, light skinned, dark skinned, loud, or quiet. So you’ve struggled, lost, fought, quit, won, dreamed, soared, or fell… God is skillfully taking even the things you don’t like and creating a masterpiece! His “workmanship is marvelous!” As for me and the things I don’t like so much about myself… my sentimental and sensitive nature allows me to have compassion for others and spread love. My guarded nature, if used correctly, could produce a level of discernment that could prevent me from making ungodly connections. Lastly, my self-sufficient, independent nature gives me initiative to do without being dependent on the encouragement of others. (Now if I could just stop being so stubborn and prideful). It’s all about your perspective, my friends. The experiences won’t be erased but they will work towards the picture that God created for us…hopefully one that we can learn to love.
“I am who I am today because God used my mistakes. He worked them for my good like no one else ever could.
…It was necessary.”
Written by: Dennis Reed Performed by : Fantasia