I remember daydreaming as a child of what my life would be like when I was older. One of my favorite dreams was of having a family of my own.
I remember this one particular family who lived next door to us very well. They seemed to represent the most idealistic family to me, because they were always together smiling and laughing. They would do yard work together, play driveway basketball, and shared a boat they would take out skiing. Better still, as the children grew, I saw them remain closely knit.
Perhaps this appealed to me because my parents divorced when I was young, and my dad was often far away due to his honorable service in the military.
Whatever the reason, I truly dreamed of having a family of my own.
Astonishingly, when my dream ultimately came true, I can’t believe how close I got to blowing it all due to selfish pursuits.
It wasn’t until I surrendered my ambitions, desires, goals, and every aspect of my life to Christ that I began to learn how to be the Dad and the husband I desired to be – and I’m not done learning! None of us are ever done. For it’s a daily surrender of self, and that’s a task harder for some of us than others 😊
Today, my family is far from perfect, and I know that the family I admired from a distance so long ago wasn’t perfect either. No one is. However, I love my family’s “perfect imperfections”, and am thankful to God everyday for saving me from my self-destructive appetites.
Ultimately, we all surrender to something in life. There’s always a trade off – a price to be paid. Either we surrender to our emotions, our circumstances, our career, our ambitions, and/or countless other things. Perhaps we trade the hours of our life to work and in the end, we find all the money in the world can’t restore the relationships we sacrificed. Or, we surrender to our wants and immediate gratifications and never truly learn the rewards of patience and sacrifice.
It’s not until our blinders are removed do we receive sight and break free from the strongholds of secular blindness. This freedom however, ironically comes only through our surrender to Christ – everything and anything else we might give our life to will always rob us of the abundant life God promises (John 10:10).