True North Is Not—Perfectly Turned Down Beds
Since childhood, I’ve habitually sifted through my days making two piles, good day, bad day. Good day when everything I did was right. I tried not to look too closely at the wriggling black mass of bad days. Someday, I promise myself, that black mass will shrink to the size of the period at the end of my sentence. For every bad day I asked the question a hundred times, what did I do wrong?
Then You put your hand between me and the hammering question and ask, will you stop and give me your heart?
Stop? I almost shriek. Stop and let all I’m working for [all the good I’m doing for You!] slip further from my grasp. Stop and let You see that I am something to be ashamed of.
I don’t see actions. I see heart. Out of the heart, actions are made, You say so quietly, gently.
The truth stings me quick and sharp. True north is not—perfectly turned down beds, steaming hot meals in an immaculate kitchen, a social calendar that makes Hollywood wish, a career that redefines the word.
The compass of my heart wobbles, and I fantasize about what my life could look like if I focused on Your face first. Suddenly I feel, in the slow release of my white-knuckled fist, the unknotting of the muscles in my shoulders, that from here—in a heart-aligned—outflows all I’ve ever strived to achieve.
What radical, upside-down kind of love would offer me such grace in a moment of such confessed shame. I read, “Surely goodness and mercy shall radaph [Hebrew word for pursue, run after, chase] all the days of my life.”*
That grace could find me here, at the end of a list of my very worst days. That such a Great Love would deem me worth so much. That He could pull out my striving, senseless strain, and create life immeasurable in its absence.
So here’s a question, because I love hearing from you, what’s a new direction God has been pointing you in lately?
*Bible verse and Hebrew meaning pulled from this blog post from Ann Voskamp