We Worship What We Complain About


“God is willing to sacrifice what is important to us in order to reclaim our hearts…” 

I read this and for a moment I feel the Maker’s pursuit.  I breathe in His affection and His radically intolerant love.

The days don’t make sense.  And for moment, I believe they don’t have to. My focus hugs the horizon instead of clinging to the near-sightedness mess, the clutter so desperate for empty comforts.

But usually the world’s jagged song calls out, and I lend my ear until I can only hear its abrasive clanging over God’s whispers of truth.  And I join in.  I join the clash and replicate the dark.  And then mock His plan.  We love to blame, and I’m no different.  I shout to the Maker and tell Him it’s all absolutely wrong, and then go sin some more and make an even greater mess of things.  It’s all so broken.

“We worship what we complain about,” my husband said one day. 

“What?!”  My reaction comes across a little too strong, more annoyed than I meant to. But deep down, I’m loving his counter-cultural wisdom that’s not threatened by mystery.  He beckons my mind to wrestle, going deeper than I ever thought my intellect could… past fear, past impressing others.  I’m still surprised, still challenged, after all these years.  Grace.

“Yeah.  We worship what we complain about.  At least I do.  Think about it.”

Indeed. The very things we scorn in conversation are what we ponder all the time. Our bodies. Our stories. The past. The future. Others. Yes, the demands we make in solitude shadow our worldview until we’re practically tripping in the dark.

My Maker dares me to find the horizon again.  He dares me to see the forest through the trees.  He reads aloud His Love Story bursting with tragedy and miracles, drama and reconciliation, grief and hope.  He sings His song to redeem the ancient brokenness I’m fostering yet today.

He delivers me from that which I worship.  From that which I complain about.  Over and over.

“God is willing to sacrifice what is important to us in order to reclaim our hearts… Much of the loss that tends to take our breath away has to do with God’s jealous love… His love is beautifully intolerant… He is willing to do drastic things in order to free us from slavery to this that were never meant to rule us.” – Paul David Tripp

Listen. Silence for clashing. Perspective for complaining. Wholeness for empty worship.

photo source

When You’re Just Shy of Feeling Fulfilled

urban mirror

I don’t love looking in the mirror.  When I’m walking down the sidewalk and pass a full-length window, I take a deep breath and focus my gaze forward.  Every time.  I know I have partners in this.

But I’d much rather look at my body in the mirror than see my heart in one.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

I grew up hearing preachers equate our check book ledgers as proof of what’s important to us.  I agree — my bank statements show I love food and modern utilities and traveling and education and clothes and random bits of home decor.  I’d be a tad embarrassed if you saw my spending, but not really ashamed.

But put a mirror in front of my heart and mind — in front of my deepest privacy masked by a smile — and I don’t think I could bear it.

What you’re longing for — what you spend time thinking and dreaming about, planning and hoping for — radically impacts your fulfillment.

Sometimes I look around at my blessings and still find myself just shy of feeling fulfilled, wondering if what I do or accomplish or have will ever be enough.  Put a mirror in front of my heart and you may just have to look away.  I certainly would.  The discontentment might be too much for you to bear… especially if you can relate.

What do we repeatedly find weaving itself into our thoughts?  These quick moments — over and over — eventually turn into daydreams.  And then into plans.  And when those plans remain but a dream, they command center-stage of our thoughts, becoming all too important.

Oh, how unmet expectations can be so dangerous.

Just across the sea from Greece, in the ancient town of Colosse, broken Christ-followers wrestled with the same mess.  If you have been raised up with Christ, Paul wrote, keep seeking the things above… Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. Colossians 3:1-3

Keep seeking.  I’ll try to grab the on-going choice, for when I forget there’s a battle waging for my heart, the daydreams creep in again.  And turn to plans.  And become unfulfilled dreams.  And on and on and on.

And the silent whining and bitterness could cause almost any looking glass to crack.