“Praise be to the God who sustains me!” – a common church praise I grew up hearing and saying. It is a phrase that is recited mechanically and repeated over and over without reflection. I never really thought about it until one day I considered what the word sustained really meant. It is a word that means to remain at a given level. No more, no less. This can be applied when examining the fact that if God sustains my life, He is just maintaining me at that last breath.
Life is more than taking one breath after the other. I have learned that life never stays where it started. In a spiritual sense, God built me from the ground and gave me the breath of life to get going, but in that same story, He also built a ladder for me to climb. I was never meant to live at the bottom. No one is. We were meant to grow and climb rung by rung to each level of life’s achievable hierarchy, inspiring a growing desire in our hearts to continue upward. This desire motivates us to face increasingly difficult challenges, and it provides us with the confidence needed to keep fear from forcing us to retreat down the ladder. The result is a metamorphosis that changes us from a static life into an indomitable spirit. Without this process, what God has to offer is obscured. A lack of this realization – that God has more to offer than just superficial sustainability- left me feeling aimless and without purpose.
How could I see the potential in myself if I was okay living with the minimum necessities to survive? I realized that was not sufficient. No more would I question, “to be or not to be”; I was never meant merely “to be.” To see myself as a prized treasure, I would need to be open to better things – a vision of what could be possible. How could I expect to meet my successful self if I was satisfied sustaining my beginning self?
It was during the stagnant phase of my life that I remember my heart feeling empty. This apparent void was due to the fact that I ignored what God had put there all along- unlimited potential. It is this potential that would spark a new way of seeing myself- a Sky who was blessed and worthy of deeper satisfaction and happiness. I was not made to fill a space here in this life using as little as I could thereby allowing others to progress as I stayed behind. I had to remind myself that I am loved, and that my life was never destined to remain near the bottom rung with limited quality and meaning. It simply waited for me to make the decision to climb the ladder to the next level and receive the rewards that came along with each ascending effort.
To merely be, or to be open to betterment- that is the real question.
Note: Writing was published in a magazine That Girl About Town- Link:/