Down the Aisle of Progress

I’m writing this blog as I sit in the back of my dad’s smart car on the way home from Georgia.  We are so squished in this car we are legitimately a human suitcase.  I particularly feel like the socks you shove done in the sides of the suitcase.  My dad’s driving skills are a little sketchy… When I say sketchy I mean I have a good shot of dying as I type this, getting sick, or passing out from fear.  So if I never finish this blog you know why…

 So today I performed my sister’s wedding.  I know what you are thinking… Man he is getting old.  To that I would agree.  Last week I went to bed at 8pm, have a grey hair in my beard, and recently have started getting on Facebook to look at recipes.

 I’m not a big crier.  I cry at very few things.  For instance, when I got married, when my daughters were born, and when the Vols lose.  That’s really it.  Occasionally I cry when I have to leave the bed in the mornings as well.

 So today I was asked if I was going to cry while I officiated my sister’s wedding.  I was 110% confident that I was not going to cry.  It never even crossed my mind.  Heck, I left my waterproof mascara back in Tennessee.  I knew I was all good.

 Right before the wedding I wasn’t even nervous.  I was taking care of important things… like trying to get the Packer’s game on my phone, and playing “Toy Blast.” If you just judged me over Toy Blast then I think that’s fair. I literally had no nerves and no fear of the tears.  Well then the wedding started…

 I was doing great as I walked with my brother in law down the aisle. Was doing great when the wedding party started coming.  Then the Jr. Bridesmaids started coming… They were my daughters.

 In that moment a rush of emotion came over me because I realized “Crap, I’m getting closer and closer to them walking down that aisle.”  I mean they will be 57 years old before I know it and ready to get married.  Immediately tears filled my eyes.  I kept telling myself that I needed to pull it together but I couldn’t find “it” to pull.

 A few moments later the music changed and another wave of emotions hit.  I saw my dad walking my sister down the aisle.  I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I couldn’t believe my little sister was getting married.  It doesn’t seem like it was real.  I was happy for her and all in my feels.

 Then the emotions got flat out of hand when this thought crossed my mind, “If God wouldn’t have touched my dad after two major strokes then he wouldn’t be here to walk her down the aisle.”  I was officially in a flood zone.

 I’m sure that everyone in the wedding thought I was either drunk crying (I didn’t drink overly religious person who is analyzing this blog) or really close to my sister in some strange way.  Fortunately neither was true.  It was in that moment I was just so proud of all of the progress that people I love had made.

 My daughters are growing into two incredibly beautiful young girls, my sister is marrying an incredible guy and starting a family, and my dad is moving forward in life like he didn’t have two major strokes a couple years ago.

 You know, I can’t help but think this is how Jesus feels when He sees us.  The scriptures are clear that we are on God’s mind a good bit.  I know we often think those thoughts are probably negative, but as His child that couldn’t be further from the truth.  He sees you as righteous.

 I wonder how often He is proud of our progress?  I know every person reading this blog could make lists of things you need to do better.  All of which are probably true.  Regardless of that, I just know in my heart that when He sees us walking down the aisle of life He is proud of the progress.

Everyone wants to be perfect but it’s not possible.  That’s why we need Jesus.  That was the point of the Law.  To show we can’t do it on our own.  So walking with Jesus isn’t about perfection.  It’s about pursuit.

Don’t buy into the lies that God sees you and regrets saving you.  He doesn’t.  In fact I believe in my heart that He is proud of you.  Why?  Because of what Jesus did on the cross and your little bit of pursuit.

Stop doubting God’s love for you.  Continue pursuing Him, delighting in Him, and seeking His goodness.  It may be small goals you are after but that’s ok.  Life is about a bunch of small decisions over time that make a big difference.  Don’t give up on your relationship with God.  He isn’t giving up on you.

When God sees you walking His heart swells with love, maybe His eye’s swell with tears.  I know if that’s how I feel about my family how much more love could God feel towards us?

So as soon as you finish reading this I challenge you to think and pray about what progress and pursuit you can make today.  Why?  Because life isn’t about being perfect.  Life is about pursuing the One who is perfect.

As for me, I’m going to pray and fast that this smart car keeps making progress back to Tennessee with all of us in one piece.  

 

— 

Daniel Johnson
Lead Pastor, The Movement Church

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