Sunday, September 6, 2009
In My Way
A few weeks ago my Pastor used this phrase from the 2002 movie The Four Feathers: "God put you in my way." Not only did he use the phrase he showed a clip of the aforementioned movie. I'm not a fan of movie clips used in church but this one worked well and everyone laughed. I even tweeted it.
It made me think of the people that are placed in my life. Could it be possible that they are "placed" there by God? Am I supposed to help them? Am I obligated to help them? To love them?
When I was in High School I looked for people that were weary and hurting to be placed in my path, and I had several friends that I eagerly anticipated them to confide in me. I had some friends that were really hurting with alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, serious medical issues, death of a friend, cutting and attempts at suicide. I wanted to help them; spent hours on the phone with them, thinking I was being so sacrificially loving towards them.
The reality is I wasn't so loving. I don't think I wanted them to heal or be transformed by God as much as I enjoyed this role as "helping" them. I looked forward to their phone calls, I looked forward to encouraging them.... until I entered college and realized that I was not helping them. My friend, after 3 years, was still struggling and I could not "fix" her. Oh, I still tried, until she began insisting that I was just ignoring my own problems. (what problems? And how would she even know?)
The thing is that I know I'm imperfect; I can list well over 100 areas where I fall short of being anywhere near perfect, and yet I suppose I always felt I wasn't "as bad" as my friends. I needed nothing. I did not even need God. I mean, of course, I needed God; I can quote scripture that states we all need a Saviour; but I lived like I did not NEED God. I had Him; He was with me but I did not live like I relied on Him because indeed, there was nothing THAT WRONG in my life that really required Him. Or so I thought.
There is a friend now in my life that is challenging me in a good way and I'm so resistant. I don't want to be an obstacle that is in her path that she's forced to deal with because God "put me in her path." I don't wish to frustrate her and I don't want to need her. I don't want to need anyone, and yet I look forward to her words of wisdom, and sometimes I'm even softened enough to really just want to cry, knowing what she says is truth, God's truth and then I quickly become prideful, not wanting to need anyone, not wanting to be in this position where she's helping me. I have always been the HELPER, not the one that needs help. It's hard for me to acknowledge that I need her help. To this, I'm sure she'd say that I don't need her help; I need God's help.... He's just put her in my path to facilitate that help. The question is if I'll push God away or yield to Him?
Does God put people in your path? Do you struggle with submission like I do? Do you wish to help others while you remain autonomous? Are your relationships with others a reciprocal relationship or is it all one sided? Do your friends really know you?