Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Once Defeated, Once Defiant, Now Determined

Earlier in my life, my dreams were the motivation I needed to push me through each day. If I had nothing else, I had my dreams. Believing that vocalizing those dreams would assist in the realization of those dreams, I shared with many the dreams of my heart. When a negative response came, my reactions were limited to two choices. The negativity left me defeated or it made me defiant, setting the stage for an abandonment of a dream or a push to fulfill the dream simply to prove the negative source wrong. My reaction was based upon the individual who said it could not be done. If I respected them, I gave up. If they were less respectable in my eyes, I set out to prove them wrong.

I have grown older. Each day that passes leaves me less consumed with what others think and even less consumed with what is said. Perhaps it is experience that has led to such a shift in my thinking. Perhaps it is wisdom that has come with age. The twenty year old man is about to turn forty and rather than being defeated, I look at every challenge and every setback as a learning experience. The defiance of youth has given way to an understanding that I have nothing to prove to anyone else. A few years ago, I was told "You can't save the world." The words echoed in my ears for weeks, my emotions teetering between the despair of defeat and the defiant side that wanted to prove a point. The words rang in my ears each time I saw the person from whom the words flowed, each time I tried to lay down to sleep, and every time the dream resurrected from the ashes in my mind.

Driving served as my medication at the time but as I drove, trying to figure out what to do, the Lord reminded that those words held a truth, even if they were spoken from a mouth set on destruction. I didn't have to save the world and truthfully, I could not save the world. I don't have to save the world because salvation comes not from any man or woman, it comes from Jesus Christ. The Savior of the world had already come and incredibly, is coming again. I don't have to save the world. Such a recognition laid aside any feelings of being defeated because I share in the victory with Christ. The bitter rage of defiance subsided because I have nothing to prove as Christ proved that I was enough when He went to the cross for me.

A new vision, a new way of life arose in those moments. The man I saw in the mirror was not beaten down and defeated, nor was he angry and defiant. The cross brought me to a place of determination. He became the driving force, where my life was no longer focused on what others said or thought but was solely based on what Christ had done. With such clarity, with a new definition of life, I was determined to live for Him, proclaim His name, and give all of myself for Him as He gave Himself for me. Christ set His face to Jerusalem to go to a cross for all I had done. Now, I set my face to the cross, determined to tell of all He has done.