Sitting in church last night during my first ever Ash Wednesday service, I listened intently to the words my Pastor spoke about the meaning of Lent. When he spoke about putting God first, and doing everything we do for His glory, I thought about my own life in relation to that. I don’t always do things for God, in fact, I don’t think much about Him at all when I am going about my day to day life.
When I do things only to glorify God, my reward comes later. But I prefer the instant feedback I get when I do things for people. I give to charity, but I have never done it anonymously because I want people to think of me as generous. I take care to dress well and put makeup on every morning so people will find me attractive. And I change my opinions about things sometimes because I want people to like me.
I used to think that meant I was open-minded and flexible, but actually it leaves me wondering what my opinions about anything really are. I feel like the chameleon who walks around confidently in his brown skin only to find that two minutes later as he lays on a leaf that he is green. Think of the identity problems he faces.
I guess I always thought living a life that is pleasing to God was too hard. He is, after all, perfect, so His standards are pretty high. But the alternatives are to please people, and live my life constantly trying to figure out what it is that everyone wants from me, or worse, please only myself, and live a life not caring at all what anyone thinks of me.
So going forward during this season of Lent, I feel inspired to examine my motives. Who am I living my life for and what am I expecting in return? And will my answers change the more I focus on getting to know this God who loves me so much that He gave me a whole book to read to figure it out.