The Question That Sucks

I appreciate friends who ask hard questions.

Deep thinkers, imaginative brains, question askers. I appreciate all of you. Because you make me think.

That being said, you also make my brain hurt.

A few months ago, I decided to shut people out for the day. Maybe not only the day, but it definitely was for the entirety of that day. And on that day, in an incredibly stubborn and probably pretty unfriendly state, while doing everything I could to avoid a conversation that probably needs to be had, a friend decided to drop a bomb on me.

The question that sucks: how do you see life?

I laughed at him. And that automatically meant that I need to pray about it.

Because he’s right:  our perspective is so important. The way we see the world around us can affect everything. So I am going to try to explain in words how I see life.

Folger’s is not real. There is no way on earth someone in their right mind can take finely ground pieces of dirt stored in a plastic can, pour some hot water over them, and call it coffee. Sorry, but I’m not sorry. Snow is just another thing on the ground for us to walk on, and all it is good for is making everything a huge mess. Self-righteous people generally drive me nuts, I hate being talked to by adults like I’m five, and the girl in my class in college who doesn’t know which solar system we live in–well, enough said. I mean come on, do I need to bring the Magic School Bus to class?

Although all of these things are true (which sometimes seems unfortunate, because the lack of common sense in our society sometimes is enough to make me long for Heaven all the more,) this is not how I see life. You see, I am an extremely joyful, optimistic person. I see the good in absolutely everything–except Folger’s. There is nothing good that can come from dirty hot water.

And people are constantly asking me questions. “Why are you so happy constantly? How is it possible for you to be happy all the time? Do you ever get mad?” And my most frequent answer: YES. Of course I get upset from time to time, and I occasionally see things so negatively. But in those moments, I know exactly where my focus is.

The key to living a happy life–the key to seeing life the way I do–is the direction of my focus. When our focus is on ourselves, it is really easy to look at life negatively. Bad things happen on this earth, and we cannot control so much of it. Negativity creeps in when our focus is on the pain, sorrow, and sin in this life. But what happens when our focus is on Christ? When He is our focus, we do not even see the negativity in the worst of situations. All things, no matter how hard, are always working for good.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. (Romans 8.26-28, MSG)

I see good in everything, because I see GOD in everything. To me, life is a reflection of Christ. Everything in life reflects upon Jesus and His work, will, and authority. All good comes from Him. There is nothing good outside of Him. All sin, all negative thoughts and actions are used for good because of His love and grace. All things in life are a reflection of Christ.

It’s been a cool journey to see Jesus work in my life and show me the good in His creation. I’ve learned to seek the good in everyone and everything. I don’t believe that God made us with all of our bad on purpose. I believe that when He has completed His work in us, we will be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. And it’s a cool thing to know that Jesus sees our us in our perfect, completed state and wants us to be there.

I’ve learned lately that Jesus doesn’t get mad at us for doing the wrong thing. He doesn’t love the right things we do and hate the wrong ones. He isn’t about right and wrong. Jesus would rather see us in our perfected state. What breaks His heart is when we do things that aren’t true to who we are. He sees our perfected selves and the person He has for us to be in His plan, and His heart is saddened when we are not acting like the person He created us to be. We don’t have to live in sin because He already defeated it, and sin corrodes who we are and who He created us to be. He doesn’t care about the “rights or wrongs” of our actions and beliefs. He loves us and wants us to be who He created us to be.

Maybe that makes who we are less about being successful and doing good things and more about rejoicing in our weaknesses and using the gifts He has given us passionately.

I don’t claim to know all the answers. I have learned that as I grow in my faith, I have less answers and more questions. But I have fallen in love with the process. I have fallen deeply for loving Christ more each day, and letting Him teach me what He wants me to know as He pleases. He doesn’t want to overwhelm me. He loves me perfectly, completely, and passionately. And He is SO patient with me. It’s been the coolest blessing. I just have a lot to be thankful for.

Sometimes I feel like people don’t understand me at all. Sometimes I feel like I see the world differently than others do. But then sometimes, maybe, I don’t at all. It’s the coolest journey to be on, because I am constantly questioning myself and how I see situations in our world. It makes me thankful for such great friends who push me to have tough conversations and see my life differently than I do now. I love the perspectives other people can give me about how I can learn and grow. Sometimes we need those friends more than we think. Even in the days where we don’t want people in our lives, we need them. We were made for community, and I am so thankful for the friends that ask me the hard questions.

They’re the best ever.

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