Some things we can do as a group. It is really nice to belong to something larger than ourselves: family, neighborhood, community, church… I like not sharing the full load, having others’ ideas to inspire me and maybe find a little false solace in drawing comparisons that cast me, in my twisted mind’s eye in a better light
With other things, for better or worse, we are on our own. Personal accountability can be denied for only so long. The truth is, at some point, we must answer for our decisions on our own. There is no one else to blame, no excuses to be made, the distractions will melt away. All that will be left is you. Me.
This is a simple enough concept, but life takes on a hectic pace and it is easy to forget. Days and weeks slip away from us before we even recognize what happened.
If I have a hard time with keeping my eyes on the truth, how do I teach my children to see through this temporary world into eternity? I long to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But all I hear ringing in my ears is, ‘you are such a screw-up!’ Then there is the seemingly inevitable and vicious circle: try hard, fail, self-loathing for failure until forfeiture into more failure, which leads to more self-loathing. After a while, it is as though I am just somersaulting through life; I feel like I will land before the Throne bruised, dizzy and completely wasted. Which, of course, is another assurance of how completely I stink.
I need to let go the past, of course. The resentments against others and the guilt of my own failings. But—and this is a more subtle, but just as sinister trap—I need to let go the future. No plans, no promises, no dreams or resolutions. Today. Today is all I have. Today I will give to the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad for this day. I will make the most of this day by calling on His name, loving those in my life, and taking care of my responsibilities.
Because no matter how many excuses seem valid, or how many others ‘did it, too,’ this is personal. I will be alone facing my Creator. With ashes blowing through my hair, I want to bow down before him to hear those coveted words.