“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (ESV)
What if I told you that there is an extremely simple way to dramatically change your life for the better? You’d jump at the chance, right? Most of us would. I’m going to share with you the secret that you can use to improve your life, along with a word of caution: using this secret may take you to places you don’t expect!
Back in the 1980’s when most of us were glued to our TVs watching Miami Vice, Patricia Hopkins and Sherry Ruth Anderson were doing some extraordinary research. They were curious what it took to go from being a child of God, to an adult of God who could weather the slings and arrows of life and mature into your authentic self. They published the results of their research in a book called The Feminine Face Of God. The take-away of the book for me is this: there are two questions to ask yourself to create a luscious life. However, you ask those questions at your own risk, as they may drastically take you away from the path you are now on. That is why we call them perilous.
The first question is “What is true for me?” The bible is big on truth. The word appears over 200 times in all of the translations. Truth sets us free. (John 8:32) Knowing what is true for you is vital to understanding where and what to put your time and attention to. It is important to understanding your purpose and mission. Anytime we are not living in our truth, we are wasting the precious resource called time. In essence, we are wasting our very lives.
The second question is “What do I really want out of life?” For many of us, this verse will ring true: “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15) If you don’t know what you really want out of life, how will you ever find it? You’ll do things you don’t like. You’ll do things that keep you from your true path.
If we fail to ask and to answer the two perilous questions, we not only run the risk of wasting our precious lives, living a lie, and not becoming our authentic selves; we also risk living apart from God. By the way, it is important to ask the two questions in the above order. Your truth will help you determine if your wants are in proper alignment.
Can you imagine the things you can accomplish if you wake up each morning, spend some time in conversation with God, and set your day according to 1. what is true for you and 2. what you really want? I bet you’ll find that you stop wasting time, going down dead-ends and feeling frustrated. Of course you may not be able to attain your big-picture wants quickly and that is okay. Small persistent steps in the correct direction will get you there in time. Be patient. It’s purported to be a virtue!
There you have it: an easy and simple way to lead an extraordinary life. I dare you to ask the two perilous questions and see where they take you!
F.R.O.G. Practice: Carve out time today to sit down and think deeply about what is true for you. Pray for God to help guide you in this exercise. Write down words or phrases that capture your truth. Next, write down what you really want out of life. Take a break then come back to your list. Now spend some time distilling your words down to a few powerful words or sentences that you can use as a filter for your thoughts and actions so you can achieve your truth and what you want. Make sure that everything is in alignment with the purpose that God created you for. (Don’t know why God made you? Stay tuned.)