"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Asking the Wrong Question

I had the privilege to attend her funeral this week.  This funeral was well attended and was a beautiful celebration of the life of this Jesus-loving lady.  Throughout the service I was moved and encouraged.  I found myself in a sweet dialogue of prayer with my Father in Heaven as I processed all that was shared.
Some time later, though, as my thoughts lingered after the service and my mind mulled and wandered, I began to feel discouraged and agitated.
My husband and I had the opportunity to go out to dinner together and found ourselves at one of my favorite places on earth--- the Seal Beach Pier in Southern California.  We had walked the pier and quietly enjoyed the salt air and the sea sights; but, while sitting in the end-of-the-pier restaurant and waiting for our hamburgers to arrive, my agitation seemed to increase as I reflected more on the funeral.  

My internal state culminated in a frustrated cry of heart and mouth.  In this moment of frustration, I said to my husband, "So, what real impact has my life had on anyone!?  What impact have I had?" 

Almost as soon as I uttered the words, I looked over my husbands left shoulder and out the window behind him.  Immediately my attention was drawn to two dolphins swimming gracefully in the water beyond the restaurant.  As if those dolphins were swimming there just for me!!  Instantly, I felt the Spirit's nudge and say tenderly, "Those dolphins are just swimming.  They are doing exactly what they were created to do!  You are asking the wrong question." 

You are asking the wrong question...
Seconds later, after my husband listened to my frustration-laden question, he said, "Steph, I think you are asking the wrong question."  His words were a literal echo of the Spirit's words to my heart only moment's before.
I think Father God had something to say to me!    
The wrong question..
Okay.  So, if that is the wrong question... what is the right one? 
What is the right question, Father... my heart asked in prayer.  And, my husband and I discussed.

That answer felt obvious.  ...as obvious as the dolphins.  They swim.  They hunt for fish.  They procreate and then swim some more.  Certainly their being on this planet has impact... they impact the fish count and the nitrates in the sand.  But, their life is not about impact.  Their life is about just simply being and doing what the Creator made them to be and do.  It is silly to ask what impact they have.  They just are.  And, they are beautiful!  They swim and give God glory just by swimming. 

This isn't the first time God has brought this lesson to mind before... we have had this discussion quite a few times, in fact.

But, the heart message was loud and clear.  

Stephanie, be who and do what I created you to be and to do.  That is it.  And, be it and do it for my glory alone.  Just swim.  

A life is not about the impact.  Although, yes of course, we have impact (for good and for evil.)  Life is about being who God created us to be and doing that which He made us to do.  Impact is secondary, at best.  Life is about walking in relationship with God, being loved by Him and loving Him.  Life is about obedience and doing His will.  I think that life is about obedience within this love relationship.  

Christ came and did only what the Father had Him do (John 8:28,29).  Figuratively speaking, Jesus just swam.  And, it was beautiful.  

So, now I am asking a new question...  Who am I, in You, Father?  And, what have you made me to do?

There are some clear answers I think I am hearing, to be sure... but, I think, this is an on-going dialogue that will likely last a life-time!  
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