When I was younger, I believed there was only one way to fulfillment and happiness. One way to truly live. It was what I was taught in school, what I read in books, and what I saw on television. What was it? Being “true to yourself.”
This is the idea that happiness comes when you are the master of your own destiny. Fulfillment comes when you’ve figured out what you were always to do; when you’ve embraced the identity you’ve always felt was yours. I believed this for years. For my entire life prior to 12 years ago. And this is still how so many of us live, trying to create an identity, accumulate enough stuff, and be whatever we want to be for as long as we can before we shuffle off this mortal coil. The problem is, it’s a trap, promising life, but leading to death.
And if this is what it means to truly live, I think I’ll pass.
Thankfully, there is a way—a better way. A true way. But it is radically different than in being true to yourself the way our culture understands it. It’s praying, “I see, believe, live, when thy will, not my will is done.”1 It is denying ourselves. It is trusting God’s will ahead of our own, and not putting our feelings on too high a pedestal, for we know they are not entirely reliable.
That is the way to truly live. To, by God’s grace and the Spirit’s help, continually take our desires and lay them down before Jesus, the one who died to redeem us. To admit our weaknesses and imperfections—to turn from our sin and recognize that God’s will is better than our own. To rely on him more each day, as we see that his love for us surpasses even our love for ourselves. That is the one way to truly live. It’s how I want to live more every day.
Lord, help me to continually see that I only truly live when “when thy will, not my will is done.”
- Valley of Vision, “The Divine Will,” 14. ↵