One of the things I talk about in my latest book Empty Promises is this idea of living the “Aware Life.” I wrote…
In an effort to find out why I felt so empty, I started to pay more attention to what was going on internally. Paying attention or examining my life forces me to face the internal questions I can no longer keep quiet. I was compelled to come face-to-face with what was lurking at the deepest level of my soul.
These were questions I could no longer ignore:
• Why do I continue to say yes to others, even though I’m overextended and hurting those closest to me?
• Why do I continue to struggle with showing my wife love on a more consistent basis, the way I should?
• Why are my emotions affected more by how many people show up at church than by just being in the presence of our caring God?
• Why do I continue to strive to find my identity in things like acceptance, power, and money instead of in who God says I am?
Each and every question that came to my mind revealed another level of self-deception in my life. It revealed another empty promise I was chasing after.
As I’ve been spending more and more time alone with God, trying to get to the bottom of the empty promises I’ve bought into, I’ve started praying, “God, help me to know me. Help me tear down the scaffolding of power, praise, perfectionism, and performance that I use to prop myself up. Strengthen me so I can bear to be naked and vulnerable in your presence, willing to see the areas of my life where Christlikeness is so lacking.”
“Willing to see”—that’s crucial. Because most of us are experts at hiding from what we don’t want to know about our own lives.
When my middle son, Gage, was just a toddler, he loved to playhide-and-seek. He especially loved the hiding part, so typically I would have to be “it.” After sticking my face in my hands and counting to twenty, I would search the house for him, announcing out loud each step I took and each place I looked. Whenever I found him hiding behind the couch or underneath the table, he would quickly close his eyes as tightly as he could, convinced that if he couldn’t see me, I wouldn’t be able to see him.
Often we play a similar game with God. In our adult version of hide-and-seek, we hide behind all kinds of noise and distractions.We get up in the morning and turn on the TV, hoping it will distract us from having to think. We’ll get in the car and immediately turn on the radio or jump on the phone. Our days will be full of surface level, meaningless conversations about the weather, politics, or the latest celebrity gossip.
We actually fool ourselves into thinking that if we don’t acknowledge the areas of our lives where we’ve bought into empty promises, maybe God won’t notice them either. We all desperately need to open our eyes. We’re not fooling anyone.
And while self-awareness can be painful, it can also be the beginning of transformation.
I continue to pray this book will serve as sort of an invitation for you to look deeper into your own life. I pray it will serve as an invitation to start really paying attention to your life. It’s an opportunity to wake up and look deep into our soul to uncover the layers upon layers of self-deception and the truth that lies beneath them.
Sound like a journey you might need to take? You can pick up your copy today RIGHT HERE