Life is this crazy journey of self discovery. Just when I feel like I am comfortable in my own skin, my skin sheds like a snake and suddenly I'm exposed and vulnerable all over again. And of course, this "shedding" happens at the most inopportune times and I almost never see it coming.
I could also compare it to going to the eye doctor to get your eyes checked. When you go to the eye doctor, what is one of the first things he/she does? They dilate your eyes. While you are with the doctor, this is no big deal. You are in a dark room and he/she is trained to keep you comfortable and safe during your exam. It is only when you leave that you can sometimes feel disoriented because your eyes are suddenly extremely sensitive to life outside the examination room. The whole reason the doctor needed to dilate your eyes in the first place is so that he/she can get a better look at what is happening below the surface. But the effects of this check-up can at times remain even after the exam is over.
This pretty much sums up what it feels like to go through my own "spiritual eye exam." These occasional (ok, sometimes quite regular) exams ensure that my vision remains clear. Because if left unchecked for too long, I may not even realize that I'm missing the road signs that the Lord is placing so clearly in my path ahead, pointing me in the right direction. As much as I dread the discomfort of these exams, I long for the clarity that comes with them. For clarity brings confidence. And with confidence comes boldness and courage.
I love reading and re-reading Psalms 119 in the Message Translation.
Verses 1-8 says this:
You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You're blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That's right—you don't go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I'd never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I'm going to do what you tell me to do;
don't ever walk off and leave me.
I LOVE this: Oh that my steps might be steady, keeping the course you set. THEN I'd never have any regrets...
That is the kind of life I long for. No Regrets. No need for Do-Overs. If I'm honest, there are plenty of things I'd like a second chance at. But that comes with being hopelessly flawed. But I don't want to get to a place where when I take a good look at my surroundings and I wonder "How did I get here...?" I want every step of my journey to be marked by God. I want His fingerprints to be everywhere. Then I can't possibly have any regrets. It may not look exactly how I had planned, but just imagine how much better it will be...
I feel my life is in mid "shed." I feel the old skin falling away so that new skin can surface. Is it enjoyable? No. Do I wish I could just pick at it and pull it away faster to expedite the process? Heck yes! But wouldn't that just cause unnecessary pain and possibly even scars?! So I will remain patient. Allow this "shedding" to take place in it's own timing. Because even though the skin underneath may look the same as the old skin doesn't mean I haven't changed. It means I'm growing. And that is a beautiful thing.