I woke up early this morning and as I lay in bed for a while just thinking and enjoying the darkness a question suddenly came to my mind. It is a very familiar question to me. I had to smile slightly as the long reverberating echoes of this particular question came softly into my awareness seemingly out of the blue.
I have asked myself this question a thousand times. Over the past 2 or so years, it has been a big part of my spiritual and emotional healing journey. It's a simple question. But it isn't an easy question.
Is God enough for me?
I always thought I knew the answer to that query. Of course! It's an automatic "yes." But the problem with a knee-jerk response of yes is that it's a shallow response that doesn't really reflect the beliefs of my heart. I started asking myself that question in a serious, intentional way when it became obvious that for a very long time my answer was actually a blatantly loud NO.
Sure, God is enough for me...as long as my kids are healthy, and I feel successful, and my friends and family think highly of me, and I look trim and attractive, and I have my health, and I've got plenty of money...the list goes on and on.
Feeling a connection with God and dwelling in the ocean of his love for me was not where I really looked for fulfillment. I was looking everywhere else because deep down I thought I needed these other things more than God to feel content and to be okay with who I was as a person.
Can God really give me everything I need to be at peace within myself? Is his love really enough for me? Maybe I should work on securing the approval of others...as a back up plan.
Over the years, as a fury of emotions have tried to feed a tree of selfishness inside of me I've forced myself to think of this question time and time again. When I am tempted to defend myself, rationalize anything away, and prove that I'm a good person I ask this question. When I am deeply disappointed and hurt I ask myself this question. When I feel like reaching out for a comforting addiction to give myself a boost (you know, almost everyone has a few addictions; work, food, television, exercise, relationships, alcohol, shopping, there's a long list) I ask myself this question.
I would go so far as to say this question has shaped my life in new ways by forcing me to consider the true beliefs of my heart. Carefully and prayerfully answering "yes"makes me act in ways that match up with that belief. Answering "no" makes me figure out what is standing in the way of believing and working to remove or, more likely, asking God to remove those obstacles.
So of course I smiled when this old friend question of mine came into my thoughts. And I wondered if I should share it.
I guess I just did.