This morning I was going to town on my Macbook Pro… reading blogs, writing blogs, checking Twitter, replying to emails, listening to the new Carlos Whittaker record, you know… just multi-taking like a boss in general. All of a sudden, everything kind of slowed down and a screen popped up that informed me “there is a problem with your main identity.” (an ‘identity’ is a personal profile in Entourage that houses all your info, settings and preferences, and personalizes your experience with Microsoft Office for Mac)
I was given the option to “verify database integrity” or ignore and close. Selecting to “verify database integrity” would check for database corruption. If problems were found, I can then choose to rebuild the database or not. Ignoring the issue and closing would be a quick fix to get me back to the task at hand, but it would not fix what was actually wrong.
I selected “verify database integrity” and it started doing it’s thing. It took quite a long time. Finally, the verification was complete and it confirmed that indeed, problems were found with my database. From there, I could choose to “Rebuild” the database, or “exit without rebuilding.” I knew there was a problem, but had to make a choice. What was I do to?
As soon as I clicked “Rebuild”, the next screen said “Rebuild In Progress…”, stuck there, and it hit me like a ton of bricks…
It was a little over a year ago when the screen popped up on my life, informing me there was a “problem with my main identity.” The following 9 months were certainly a verification process, identifying problem areas. Finally, earlier this year, after months of status checking, it was revealed that indeed there was a database issue…
improper file paths…
problems with my contacts…
objects pointing to the wrong source…
Once I realized there was a problem, I had a choice to make. I could choose to “ignore and close”. I could have kept going, knowing about the problem, but functioning a partial power. Instead, I chose to “rebuild”.
It has been almost 4 months now and in a lot of ways, I feel like my screen has been stuck on “Rebuild in progress…”. Some days I am encouraged when I see marked progress and growth, while other days feel like this season is going to last forever. Yeah, “dot, dot, dot” indeed.
This Sunday at Cross Point, Pete was talking about waiting on God. He talked about the story of Lazarus and how Lazarus’ sister, Martha had confronted Jesus when he finally arrived after Lazarus had been dead four days. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21) Here we find Martha putting her hope in Jesus’ “activity” rather than in His “identity”. It would have been worth more to Martha for Jesus to show up and heal Lazarus when he was sick, but Jesus knew the real worth was in who he WAS, not what he DID.
In recounting this story, Pete made the following point:
“God will allow suffering, pain and crisis in order to detach hope from other things and attach it to himself.”
In Martha’s case, Jesus wanted her hope detached from his action, and attached to his person; detached from from his activity, and attached to his identity. The vehicle he allowed to get her there was suffering and pain.
In my case, God wanted my hope detached from finding my identity in my career, and attached to the cross; detached from “doing” and attached to “being”. The vehicle he has allowed to get me there has been disappointment and crisis.
In the very next verse, Martha then confesses, “but I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:17-22)
She chose. She didn’t choose to ignore, exit and live in a place of pain, attached to a shattered dream. She chose to rebuild; to rebuild with a hope attached to who Jesus was, not what he did.
All of this reminds me that change is a choice.
There are many things in life that corrupt our “main identity.” It is so easy to find ourselves wandering, drifting, looking for another savior. Sure, you don’t set out to do it, but before you know it, you look up and have database issues that have corrupted your info, settings and preferences. You say you want God, but you really want what you think he can give you. Or maybe you don’t even want God at all, or at least not nearly as much as you want a family, a beach body or the corner office at work.
Once we become aware there is a problem, we are also presented with the opportunity to choose. We have a choice to rebuild. Ignoring, exiting and avoiding the situation is a quick fix, but it is no real solution. Rebuilding is a process, sometimes a long one. Rebuilding speaks to fixing holes in the foundation.
Pete also said this week, “is is possible that you will live out your deepest and truest purpose not by doing, but by waiting?” Wow. Your character is revealed in the choices you make in the waiting… in the middle… in the rebuilding. This goes hand in hand with what he said last week, “the value in your shattered dream is more about who you’re becoming than where you’re going.”
Rebuilding is not just a single choice, but a series of consistent choices which point to a desired result or destination. The fact is, whether you are aware of it or not, you are choosing SOMETHING right now. What are you choosing?
Want to change? Choose.
Later today when doubt grips your heart, choose again.
When you wake up tomorrow and feel alone, choose again.
Tomorrow afternoon, when you are tempted to despair, choose again.
You may be tempted to click “done” right now and move to a place of avoidance, but let me encourage you to fight. Choose to rebuild. Maybe your rebuild is taking longer than you thought it would, the status bar is creeping and you’re about to click “cancel.” Don’t. Rebuilding is a fight… every… single… day. It is the fight of your life, but it is worth it. You must choose.
Is your “Rebuild in progress…”? What are you choosing?