If you haven’t been following everything that I’ve been sharing in the past days I’ve been more intentional in looking at mindsets that have outstayed their welcome in my brain.
As early as two decades ago I wrote how I wanted absolute social dominance, and now I’ve felt the need to drop this frame of mind, in favor of understanding that true power is not without peace, just as true peace is not without power – and, for the man who has considered that God is who He says He is, eventually he would come to a point in his never-ending journey of faith – a point that would have him live and move, knowing that true power AND true peace are found in nothing and nobody else but Jesus Christ, whom the Word of God proclaims is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Today I lost control of my emotions at our Pastor’s meeting, and if I was in the former mindset I would have escalated the meeting into a melee very easily, very quickly. Or, well, a shouting contest, at the very least. The thing is, I already knew I wasn’t going to be accomplishing anything when I flipped, and it took a while for me to regroup, it took a while for me to take deep breaths… It was better sooner than later. I then thought it would be prudent and necessary for me to apologize as publicly as I lost myself, so when the opportunity called for it, when it was my turn to speak – that’s precisely what I did, and I did not only apologize to the one I slighted (I felt slighted first but hey, doesn’t really matter), but I apologized to everyone in attendance for breaking the mood.
Power held me in my place as I delivered my report. I was in control, not going too fast, and stopping every now and then to encourage any questions. The Peace was enforced. And while I thought I was in the clear as the meeting ended, power and peace protected me from kicking myself in the ass, verbally whaling on myself and unnecessarily replaying the scene in my mind more than I should during the drive home. The Power and the Peace is all from Christ, and He is present in my actions, and even in the consequences He is faithful to make all things work together, real-time for me to see and behold, or eventually I’d realize it… Or even if I never figure out why something happened to me the way it did, I know that Christ remains to be my Power, and Christ remains to be my Peace, in every stage of every circumstance.
Even as I typed all that, just to understand that Christ is the Life I live – just to jump into appreciating Galatians 2:20, no longer I but Christ who lives – that’s just set me free from so much anxiety from wondering why things happened, or trying to figure out why things are happening, or thinking too much about what may happen. Christ’s resurrection Power keeps me at peace, and Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, directs me in power. Christ is the Absolute that prevents me from being reckless and throwing myself into the status game again.
When I was younger I was usually hanging out with the older crowd. See, on average I was two years younger than everyone else in the class, and this was my predicament turned to my advantage, since grade school. After graduating college, I apparently held on to this said mentality that would have me expect those around me to treat me like a younger brother, so that they would do more of the leg work, and/or they would applause me even if the job I did was shit. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize that I was draining the hell out of this sort of mentality for far too long, any time sooner. I mean, I’m already so old. That really wouldn’t slide anymore.
Instead, I’ve come to a point that I need to step up and put on shoes that would have me moving, not as everyone’s younger brother – no, quite the opposite. There’ve been so many more men and women I’ve interacted with that are younger than me, and it cannot be avoided. Time has brought me to the role of being the older brother.
Not that I didn’t come prepared for this role. It’s times like these that I am thankful for older brothers who have been good to me. I mean, they weren’t paragons of light, nor were they anywhere near perfect – but as I would say about my Dad, they love me the best way they could. I’m just glad that I’m able to realize this (I also realize this about my own Mom as well) while they’re still alive. Makes more opportunities and room for appreciation, even if we aren’t very vocal to each other.
See, that’s the thing. We barely talk nowadays, but my older brothers still have had such a great impact on how I’m an older brother in my own sphere of influence. I’ve had a good mix of a strong eldest brother and a smooth middle-elder brother, and how they encouraged me back in the day serves as templates I could mix and match with my own experiences, customizing my experience with other people, depending on what I’m led to believe they need at any particular time.
What comes into mind now is that passage in the Bible that acknowledges that Christ is the firstborn of the New Covenant – in other words, He is an older brother to all of us who have been born again because of the faith He established in us. And although I mentioned that He is absolute, the truth of the matter is that the power of Christ is so variable that it reaches out to each and every one of us according to how we are built; Christ proves how static and absolute He is by way of showing how dynamic and variable He is. The everlasting love that God has for us is truly deep, wide, long and high, and the more we meditate on it by way of thinking of Christ and His finished work, behold – the love that flows out of us would not only be strong and smooth, as my brothers are, but we would celebrate and project said love deeper, wider, longer and higher.
It’s fun to transition from being a son to being a brother. Eventually, in God’s timing, I would transition from being a brother to a husband, a husband to a father. All in celebration of God’s great love for us, through Christ.
And oh, to know that we are loved, and loved by God, maker of time and space, and therefore master of eternity and infinity… The more secure we feel in His embrace, the more we are able to truly live and move and have our being, beyond the finite expectations we set up for ourselves, which easily turn into obsessions that would trap us within an extremely short-sighted and absolutely limited point of view. It is in this way that God truly sets us free of obsession… and Lord knows I’ve obsessed over many people back in the day – The repercussions of said obsessions to my mind and in my way of thinking are still present, but I do thank God, because He has brought me to this point of realizing, in all of this that I’ve been intentionally getting into – that even now, at my age, I still move, from glory to glory.
It’s true for all of us, no matter where we stand, or how long we have walked this messed up world – God is faithful and true, and we surely behold His perfect and everlasting love in this reality, until the end of time, and beyond.
There’s still so much I’d like to share but I’ll end with this for now.
I pray we all have a good week ahead. God bless us all.