You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A life not worth living

Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Apparently, in Socrates' eyes, my life is worthless. I'm not good at self-examination. I'm more of a plod along kind of gal. I don't set goals (Well, that's a lie: I set them, I just never keep up with them), I don't journal my deepest-darkest and how I feel about everything that happens to me (at least, I haven't done that since high school). My pastor and one-time employer was always good about seeing things in my life and seeing how I felt about it. He'd call me in the office and say something about what he was observing. He'd usually preface it with, "I may be way off the mark here, but..." and then hit it spot-on: a frustration I was feeling, a pull in a thousand directions, the slow crumbling of priorities as being a mom won out over being our church admin. Then he'd say something like, "Is that a fair observation?" and I usually gave him a blank stare and an "I don't know."

But lately I've been challenged by God to live an examined life. If I don't know where I'm at, how can I know where I've been and where I'm going? How can I chart spiritual progress if I'm not really tuned in? It's key to spend time with Him, this isn't news. But what's the end result? We are called to look at our lives and compare them to Christ: always using Him as our example. By moving along obliviously, I ignore the precepts in the Bible.

An examined life gives purpose, gives direction. The end of our life is really just made up of a string of regular days. If those days have no goal, our life will not have one either. The apostle Paul struggled with the same things we do and shared it with us in Philippians 3:13-14:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. He had his goal squarely in mind. It's the picture of an archer lining up to hit his target. He keeps his eyes on the goal, the end result, and makes adjustments in his body and stance (the "here") based on the target (the "there").

Haggai 1: 5 and 1:7 tells us, "Consider your ways." We are not called to plod along thoughtlessly. And I could open pretty much any chapter of Proverbs and find a verse about heeding instruction. We are meant to seek God and make sure we are on His path.

So I have begun an examined life. God has been revealing the areas I need to examine, the areas that need to have goals and purpose so that I can press on toward the goal. So maybe there was something to Socrates' quote after all. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some examining to do.

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