Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Meekness, says my pastor, means balance. It doesn't mean timidity or shyness or a lack of assertiveness, but, rather, knowing when to assert and when to back down, how far to go and how much to push. It means being a whole person, a balanced person, a person whose self is in order.
I'm a late bloomer. You'd think I would have realized it earlier, but you can't really realize you're a late bloomer until you're, well, late for things. Late for relationships, late for a career, late for pushing out on your own and blazing a trail to somewhere. That's why turning 26 was a little bit weird. Finally, I could say I've achieved some kind of real adulthood; I'm over 25. But what have I done?
I asked myself. I haven't written that book or gotten that exciting job or found that perfect person. Has it been a waste up to now? Have I somehow missed the entire point of the past 26 years and bumbled around in blind ignorance while all around me were signs pointing a way I never went? Deuteronomy 1:31 There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
The short answer is no. It hasn't been a waste, and I haven't missed it.
If you traveled back in time a few short years, you would find me on the brink of adulthood--18 years old. Brittle, sharp, and coiled as tight as a spring. My idea of balance was winding myself even more tightly so that no troubling excesses or unmet needs from deep within would trouble my surface perfection. Failure was a huge, nebulous concept that terrorized the edges of my mind, and success was an equally nebulous and exactingly cruel slave-driver.
No, the intervening years, 18 to 26, have not brought me outward success as it is usually defined. If, however, you were to go straight from looking inside the fragile, miserable 18-year-old to looking inside the 26-year-old of today, the changes would stagger you. No longer would you find a nervous, breakable, unbalanced emotional wreck. Instead, you would find someone who can look life in the eye and meet it head-on, whose mind is at peace, who sees success as something that comes from a life of peaceful love and comfort in one's own skin. Revelation 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!"
Balance doesn't come naturally to me, and yet, as I look back at eight years of a non-traditional life, I look with eyes that have begun to see the edge of meekness, the start of the balance that truly makes a life worth living. That's why I wouldn't trade these years for a bigger bank account or a fuller romantic history.
I know now that God doesn't only heal what's broken; He creates new things that never existed before. He did it for me. He took eight years of a person's life, a person without the capacity for peace or meekness, and He used them in His own ways. He didn't make me financially wealthy or famous or renowned. All He did was create what wasn't there before. All He did was make me whole.
My hand in God's is not a metaphor; it's my life. When I first grabbed His hand for real, I didn't realize that if you hold God's hand, you can't help the fact that His dynamic, beautiful, and meek character will rub off on you. Every moments spent with Him is a moment of change, even to the point of creating new things in you that were never there before.
These eight years may not have seen me turn the world upside-down, but they have seen God turn me rightside-up. Believe me; it was worth every day.Are you where you thought you'd be at your age? What has God done that has surprised you? Where do you feel God calling you to go?