Ruth 1:16 NLT
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.”
I have ditched God occasionally, drawn by some distraction that caught my heart. Yet God does not rush to any swift judgement because of my waywardness. Why would he need to, since he knows more about me than I will ever know about myself? It seems, however, that our humanity is wired towards criticism, notably of others yet equally of ourselves. Perhaps it’s a British thing, but complaint appears to be seeded deep within our DNA. Even when asked how we are, we respond: “I can’t complain.” I have taken quite some time to throw off the cynicism such criticism births. For too long I confused being clever with being a master of the sharp reply. Time has taught me to quieten my inner critic and wait for God’s presence. Life is only ever complete when in God’s presence, or in hot pursuit of my Lord.
So in this latter season of my life, I have settled within my heart that I’m to live for God and simply and quietly follow in Jesus’ footsteps. God will never ask me to turn back or take my leave. I have become far better placed to say yes to God and deny myself. My greatest contentment is hanging out with God. The normal weft and woof of daily life appears to be draining of all colour. It is with a growing sense of detachment that I feel somewhere between heaven and earth. I know in a way I have never known before that heaven is where my heart is and where my heart longs to be. Following Jesus is really quite simple. Like Ruth, it is a matter of taking a decision to go wherever God leads, without fearing the consequences. Will you follow?
I have a deep sense of contentment in Christ. I’ve little way of measuring the value of so many years that lie behind me. But I remain confident and comfortable in following Jesus, and that he holds my life in his hands.
QUESTION: How can you quiet your inner critic?
PRAYER: Lord, help me to live each day of my life with and for you.