When we choose to live a Christian life we dedicate our life to God. We tell him we will go wherever He sends us, and do whatever He needs us to do. Our hearts are filled with love and joy and we are thrilled to think He might use us one day in this great plan of His. Except Africa. Don’t send me to Africa. And, I want to be married and have children, so if He could work that into His plan that would be great. And this is what happens. We get overwhelmed with all the things we are supposed to do, we limit what we are willing to do, we fall and fail, we do something we should never have done, and we have to face God again. We re-dedicate our lives to Him, and we start all over; first the promises, then the exceptions, then the failing. Or maybe that’s just me.
When I read how Joshua rededicated the Israelites to God this was what I thought of. The many times I have tried to live the perfect life only to fail again are too many to count. I have done it in secret, in public, big, small, quiet, and loud. But always I fail at my goal of being perfect because I have this unattainable idea in my head which I can’t live up to. Usually it comes from comparison.
In order to be a good Christian I need to: pray for 2 hours every morning, keep a list of things I’m grateful for, adopt children, travel to other countries, go on mission trips, feed the homeless, work in the nursery, VBS, and women’s ministry of the church, homeschool my children, and be whatever version of the Proverbs 31 woman is most popular at the time. These things in and of themselves are not bad, but I cannot do it all.
This way of thinking is not as ingrained in my heart as it once was. I have been doing a lot of undoing in my thinking. I am learning from many wise people I find in books, other blogs, and life. I no longer rededicate my life. What I do instead is give each day to God. I work hard to be the best me He created me to be. I make mistakes, and remember I did the best I could at the time. I let it go and am grateful I have learned. I am thankful for the mercies and grace I receive each morning I open my eyes. I work to know God better.
There is certainly a place in our lives for dedication to God. I don’t diminish what Joshua did, or what any of us have done. I simply don’t want people constantly rededicating themselves because they feel like a failure. God knows more than I do how wonderful you are, and He loves you more than you can imagine. Give each day to Him, and let the days past be done.