I can pretty clearly recall waking up in the morning with the painful reminders of a previous day in which I had indulged my own desires. I can’t too clearly recall the actual events that led to a miserable hangover.
Of course, that didn’t stop me from beginning to plan the next night of annihilating brain cells and plotting my next scheme to make it all happen.
Every single day, I got out of my bed and plotted how best to satisfy myself. I was really good at it, at least the results looked good to all my other partying friends.
But, there were those quiet moments, those times in solitude when the emptiness began to show itself. It would appear as a tiny doorway into a black nothingness but then it would grow wider and wider into a vast vacuum that folded over itself to envelop me in a never ending void.
I’d work hard to play hard and at the end of the day there was nothing but a ringing in my ears from sounds that didn’t exist and the pain of the hole consuming me.
The fruits of my labors didn’t feed me or anyone else. I was starving.
Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
God’s transformation in my life wasn’t a light switch clicking on. With me, it was years of God saying, “Over there, that’s the switch. Turn it on and you’ll be able to find the next one.”
It wasn’t until I could finally say, “This resurrection I am trying to perform on myself is just not ever going to work and I am going to stop trying to do the impossible.”
This morning I got out of bed and as soon as my mind cleared the sleepies out of my skull, I started thinking about how I can please God today. It all started that day I thought I turned my life and will over to Christ.
I thought I did. I actually did turn my life and will over, in as much as I understood it. But like I said before, I flipped that light switch and saw another over in another dark corner of my heart.
I’ve been flipping switches ever since. It turns out my heart is a lot bigger than I ever thought it was.
I always thought that this was good advice for those beginning their spiritual journey. But, if I want a spiritual journey that produces the things that stop my starving soul from drying out like a piece of bread left sitting out on the table too long, I need to keep flipping switches.
There is opposition to reaching into that darkness to turn the light on it. There is fear, at times, about what I will see. But, I’ve always liked a good scare. I’ve gotten to the point I look forward to seeing what demon is getting his butt kicked next.
Yep. Cultivating and nourishing the good fruit God is wanting me to bear in the places in my life that were once dark and barren is a pretty good thing to look forward to at the beginning of each day.
This is walking in the Spirit. This is allowing transformation to happen where all my best efforts failed decisively. This is God making me the image of himself.