Monday, September 23, 2013

Letting go of goals....


It's interesting the way a movie can move me, make me introspective and pensive.   The Horse Whisperer was one of those movies.  And not for the way that it would seem.  Sure it asks the question about love and choosing love and do we even choose who we fall in love with.  What is the moral decision for the heroine to make?  When trying to decide between two good men, is there a wrong decision? (Actually, there IS as it will have a dramatic effect on her family)  But that's not what got me thinking.

The scenery in the movie is breathtaking.  But what is equally awe inspiring is the contentment with which the family lives their lives.  Into their routine, seemingly mundane ranch lives comes this very cosmopolitan woman.  A woman of obvious breeding.  Well traveled.  I'm sure, to their untraveled eye, she looks and seems exotic.  Maybe a bit of a fantasy.  But in reality, it is this visitor who longs for what this family has.  She appreciates, as do I, the contentment they enjoy.  Sure, they have imaginations and longings for travel and the unknown.  Dreams of visiting exotic places.  Who doesn't?  But it doesn't drive their lives.  They are content to live their lives with a simple appreciation for what God has given them and an equally simple but moving realization that their ARE those less fortunate.  And you can't help but get the impression that when they meet those less fortunate, they are quick to help, even if it costs them.

I've referenced this quote by Conrad Hilton, because it seems like that's how we are encouraged to live our lives.  Both in the family of God and without.  Constantly driven.  Driven to pursue our dreams.  Driven to build something great.  Do something great for God.  Keep moving forward. Do something that has eternal impact.  It can be exhausting just reading through inspirational quotes that keep driving us forward, ever forward.  We're admonished never to settle.  We EXPECT the best because we DESERVE the best.   And we're led to believe that contentment only comes as the reward for accomplishing something not simply taking up space on this planet.

But everything in me rejects this the way my body rejected some bad meatballs I ate a couple of months ago:  almost violently!  I find that I want to RUN from this kind of thinking.  I'm tired of goal setting.  Of believing that my life has to MEAN something for me to find meaning.  That I have to DO something great.  That my very existence must be justified and my oxygen must be paid for by my relentless intentions and purposeful actions.

We tend to overlook those in the Bible who lived a quiet life.   Who worked with their hands, minded their own business and loved their brothers and sisters.  Rather, we are prodded by our church leaders to make a difference.  To be driven by a purpose and to live our lives with a purpose.

And what is the purpose of our lives?  From everything I've read from the Bible, our purpose is simply to love God.  With all our heart. With all our mind.  With all our might.  And how does He say to do this?  He says, "Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."  I think it's just LOVE (as if there is such a thing as JUST love!  What else is there besides love?).   Loving those whom God moves through your path.  Loving those who are mean to us.  Showing kindness to everyone, most especially the ones who seem to deserve it the least.  Loving the life God has given us and living in gratitude for what we have not working our tushes off for what we don't.  Of seeing the value and the beauty in the lovely act of BEING a child of God and realizing that in that alone our cup runs over.

So, today, I am content.  I'll say to myself tomorrow, "I am content".  And the next day and the next.  I'm entering into the rest that my Savior promised me.  I don't need goals.  My gifts aren't made for goals, but for the delight of my father and the needs of my neighbors.  There is no success.  There is no failure.  There is a simple rest, delight, comfort and contentment just in BEING.  Godliness (which my husband reminded me that God takes care of) with contentment (my resting in the first part) is great gain.  (Read)


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