Dear younger Lisa,
You think times are tough now?
You have no idea!
Given the opportunity, that’s not what I should say to my younger self (even though it would prove true).
I’d rather her know this . . .
Dear younger Lisa,
You don’t really get it yet. That’s okay. He does.
You’re going to find that matters more.
You’re on the verge of learning something bigger than your church, bigger than your religion, and yes, (even though you might find this blasphemous right now) bigger than your Bible.
What you can’t see clearly now—but you’ll zoom in on later—is it’s not about a system; it’s about a Person.
Follow the Person.
Even when it means leaving the crowd.
And sometimes it will.
That’s okay, too.
You’re going to find yourself in situations that are too big for you. And you won’t know how to make them right.
You won’t have to.
Learn sooner rather than later that being right isn’t the end goal. Being His is.
You’ll never be right enough because you’ll never know enough or be capable enough to walk it out even if you did know.
So stick with Who you know, not what you know.
I know you like to be über-prepared for what’s to come. (Sorry; that won’t change.)
But frankly, there’s no way you can prepare now for every situation then. (Most won’t even happen. Some will.)
The better use of your time (yeah, that efficiency idol won’t die easily) is to invest in knowing the One who’ll walk with you into every situation.
And you know what His main direction will be? Love.
Be more intentional about loving than about proving doctrine. Loving than being right. Loving than being good.
Your doctrine, your righteousness, your goodness—they won’t be enough. His will be.
Ultimately, choosing Love IS right. Love is where Grace lives. Where Freedom breathes. Where Joy delights.
You’ve got nothing to prove if you’ll stick with Love.
So keep growing, changing, thinking. But most importantly, loving.
- When in doubt, love.
- When afraid, love.
- When sad, happy, tired, energized, love.
Yeah, do it with a church, maybe inside a religion, and deep in your Bible for sure, but don’t let it be those things. Let it be Jesus.
There will be some tough times ahead (heads up for 2010). And some surprises (ever heard of El Salvador?).
And plenty of amazing gifts. Those gifts? Oh, my! You can’t even imagine . . . but I won’t give it away. Find out for yourself . . .
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
* * *
What lesson do you wish you could have learned earlier?