Living the good life and staying away from the bad shouldn't be the driving force of your life. Life itself is a journey of ups and downs. There are times that circumstances take you to a negative place, where you are completely out of control. There are times that consequences of bad decisions take you to another negative place, and there are times that life just gets overwhelming. Sometimes there is no reason to back up the way you feel, but you just feel down. Or the same could be said the other way. Sometimes it just seems like the world is on your side, and everything goes right. You're having endless opportunity or that your hard work is paying off, or that you're getting by without facing immediate consequences to your bad decisions. Either way, there are times that life seems good, and times that it seems bad... but its really all a matter of perspective.
There is always good present. You can choose to disregard it, or ignore it, but good is always there. Sometimes its easy to take it upon yourself to be at a zen place in your life. Where the good and the bad somewhat cancel each other out, or when the good slightly overshadows the bad...but life isn't meant to be lived in a place with zero conflict.
Conflict happens. You can choose to avoid it, and stay stagnant, unchanged, unfulfilled, and somewhat emotionless, or you can take it as an opportunity to learn, grow, mature, and appreciate the moments where conflict is removed. I think I've gone through some seasons of my life where everything is so good...that any one bad thing just really throws me off. I get all bent out of shape when any type of conflict invades my little bubble. Someone wrongs you, or disagrees with you, or you can't afford to do all the things you want to do, and for me...its easy for me to get real down on myself because of those things.
But God has just been showing me that its not about living a life free from tension. LIFE is LIFE. And its not about me doing all the right things to stay a "zen" state of mind. I love this quote from Galatians 5 in the Message
"But what happens if we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way fruit appears in an orchard--things like affection for others, exuberance for life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."
I love it, because it puts plainly what a life lead by the Spirit will bring you in a very practical day to day sense. And note it says that HE brings these gifts. Serenity and excitement for life are gifts that God gives us. This passage just really says everything I want my life to be about. man...a willingness to stick with things? Can you imagine how different the world would be if everyone would just stick with their marriages? Honestly, a whole family bringing forth whole individuals. There would be a lot less pain in the world if people would choose to live the life God has for them. Its not all about rules...its about LOVE.
To fall in love with Jesus. I used to think I would never be at a place where I was truly dependent on God. I thought I would always have to strive to love him more. That I would never actually desire him and it would just always be a fight...or a burden. I don't know where the change took place...but it did. Apart from Jesus I am nothing. I don't know who I am, I don't know my purpose or my calling. If Jesus weren't a part of my life...my life would be 100% different. I am serious. The friends I choose, the places I invest my time, my money, my attention. The qualities I look for in a future spouse, my aspirations for the next several years. The way I view myself...if I didn't know Jesus, none of that would be the same. I wouldn't be fulfilled. It just really burdens me for the people out there that don't know Jesus. Jesus CHANGED whatever my life could have been without him, to something incredible. Its not just about salvation in eternity...its about salvation in LIFE!
Life is so crazy...without the promise of God to bring peace and serenity...there is no peace. Wow, think about it? There is no PEACE outside of God. The world will offer things to escape, numb, or disguise pain in this life...but Jesus offers a way of life that bring peace into every situation.
I am just so thankful and blessed that Jesus is active in my life...its beyond salvation...is he IN YOUR LIFE. Active...TODAY? If he's not...I would encourage you to never give up...and keep at it...because once you find something worth living and dying for...you can't be content without it.