Life sucks when it has no purpose. I know. I lived in the land of suckiness for a very long time. Going to God with my hand out, palm up, forever asking, why not me? When am I going to get what I want and at the precise time I want it? For most of my young adult (heck, let’s be real and my mid-adult life) I most often resembled Veruca Salt…”I want an oompa loompa now!” in a seething, annoyed voice and would guffaw at the mere thought of having to actually work for something. I would pray every night to wake up thin, bartering with God for a boyfriend or to win the lottery…thinking all of these worldly things of least importance was just the thing I needed to fill the emptiness in the pit of my stomach, not realizing that feeling was actually absence of a real relationship with God.
One of my favorite verses in the bible is 2 Peter 5:11 because it so clearly states what I need to strive for to become the person God needs me to be in order to live effectively. “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love.
We trick ourselves into thinking believing in God and going to church is enough. We trick ourselves into thinking our volunteer hours are enough. They aren’t. We need to constantly be striving for knowledge, however that looks for you; perhaps a new book, a different song or talking with someone who has peace and serenity in their eyes and ask them how they got it.
To have the faith first, then desire to be good and seek the knowledge to be better are the first three steps to living a fruitful life. Taking these steps in manageable bite size pieces allows me to follow through with the tasks at hand. After the habit of the first three, we have the courage to tackle the rest.