Why Are We Called to an Examined Life?
It’s my usual wake up call - eyes wide open at two in the morning, but this time I’m too tired to get up. Why did I stay up so late last night?
I pray, "God will you please understand it if we miss our mourning meeting just this once?"
Then I come fully awake and jump out of bed almost running to the Secret Place. Why? Because in the struggle I know something important is going to happen. The enemy of my soul would rather I stay in bed.
So I run to the room with a spirit of expectation. I close the door behind me and settle in. I open my Bible and with prayerful lips I find these words waiting for me. “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:5)
Oh No! I don’t want to examine my life. Maybe these words aren't for me. I try to think of someone else who might need these words poured out into their life, so I begin to pray for them (at least that get's the pressure off my back).
A few verses later these words greet "me" again, “Give careful thought to your ways.(Haggai 1:5). Now, I can't deny it. These are words for me alone. I don’t want to go there. Honestly, for a moment there I even wished I had stayed in bed. What if I’m found wanting, selfish or unacceptable in some way?
I stop arguing with myself and in the silence I conduct an internal examination.
"I spend time with friends and family - can't find anything wrong there. I meet with other writers and work part time as an Administrative Assistant - I've not left anyone offended. Oh sure I’m a little anxious about some personal stuff just like everyone else. I work my daily domestic duties so I'm not slacking there. My roles as wife and mother take up a considerable amount of my time and I've not left them wanting. Check. Everything. in. order."
So there is my examined life. Then I realize I'm not yet finished. I need to address the spiritual part too. In the shadow of this examined life is my God.
In Him I live, move and have my being. In Him I am complete. In Him I write. Here, with Him, I grow words into a garden of thought. It’s an intimate place filled with an aroma of Him and Self. I admit Self pushes her way aggressively to the surface more than I would like, but then it never seems to smell right until I move to yield to Him by giving Him His rightful place.
In this move I've find sweet aroma.
This is my favorite place, my best time, and my real life. In this examined life I've find value in Him. He wanted me to examine my life to show me the good in it. This is a good place. I look down again into Scripture only to find with clear eyes these words of affirmation: "'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9b)
At first I didn’t want to do it. An examined life is not always easy thing to do
So many times I’ve sit here in the "seat of correction" weeping like a baby. Many times my pride has been shattered into so many shards of glass. Regret, worry and frustration thrown on the altar. In the correction I find these struggles, heart hurts and tears become something beautiful.
The examination today was not what I expected. Today I have given careful thought to my ways and found no guilt, frustration and inability. I found Him finding me acceptable in His sight. His touch, affirmation, and an “I love you too” moment color this examined life with goodness.
I then lean in to hear Him whisper in my ear, “From this day on I will bless you.”(Haggai 2:19b) Joy now springs up in my soul. I'm so glad He woke me up for our morning meeting and didn't let me skip it.
Does the Almighty God want to whisper these words into your heart too?