Last week, I was sitting next to Evan. He was experimenting with an app on his iPad mini. It is a disc jockey app that Erik uses very effectively to make some very cool songs. Evan, however, only knows the basics and usually just makes a lot of noise….cacophony, I would call it. The app has two “turn tables” on it, like a real DJ set up. So you can mix two songs at once. Fade in and fade out or cue up the next song with headphones on. But Evan just plays two songs at once. I can identify each song, and, yet, the sound is annoying, unmatched, grating, and unsettling. Sometimes in life things don’t match up. They are happening at the same time. We know what they are….two sides, two issues, two ideals, two procedures….but they are in opposition to one another. When you live in both realms, it is unsettling, annoying, grating.
The problem is that we really can’t choose what realms in which we live. Sometimes, our reality and our ideals or values come into conflict with each other. We have trouble standing for what we know to be true because life around us does not match our convictions. The cacophony of life does not stop just because we know for what or whom we stand. And the simple truth, that we must give our lives and our mission over to God, is not always an easy reality. We are placed on this earth to do the work of God according to the mission He has given us. Doing so is the only way to true happiness, but somehow the cacophony of life makes our true mission difficult to grasp. And to be honest, being a Christian and living in a secular world is just plain confusing at times.
Lately, I have really been struggling with some of my convictions….or beliefs or standards or values. I guess it all falls under the same umbrella. I can also clearly identify those areas of my life where I do not struggle. The areas of peace are those where my standards match the standards of the organization…where my mission is clear and makes sense. This year, I feel very aligned at my job. I can honestly say that has not always been the case. I believe my energies are being used for the betterment of my students and the school. I feel encouraged and supported. Maybe the beautiful new classroom helps all this. I have also always felt very aligned in my marriage. Joe is a perfect partner for me. Many would call our marriage unconventional. It really is not. Yes, he does the cooking and laundry. I do the finances. We are a partnership that works.
However, recently, areas of my life that used to be a place of peace have become a cacophony of values and a question of the mission. What does it mean? Am I in error? Is God pushing me to know or do something new? Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Some days it is so difficult to know if God is speaking to me or if I am just frustrated, tired, wanting something meaningful. And other days, it is so clearly God. One day I wonder if I am incorrect in my convictions. The next day God validates my stand and mission.
I pray that we can all know and live for our mission. One thing I know….using my life to help and bless others is never wrong and is always part of God’s mission. On those days when little of me is left because I gave it all to others, I ask God to remind me I have done good work.