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Recently we watched a local youth theater's production of the musical, "Little Women" based on the book by Louisa May Alcott. It was one of my favorite books when I was a girl. I admired Jo's passion for life.
Unfortunately, old Aunt March didn't love what made Jo unique and loveable, such as her honesty and exuberance. As I listened to Aunt March bribe Jo with a longed-for-trip to Europe if she would become a mini-Aunt March, I inwardly cringed.
Aunt March wanted Jo to be untrue to herself. She thought Jo should try moving up in society by using her feminine wiles to attract a suitor. What Jo cared about was writing and adventure.
She disapproved of Jo's lack of desire to become wealthy. Jo's family was poor and not upwardly mobile acccording to Aunt March.
However, Jo's family was rich in loving relationships - which is infinitely better.
Have you ever had an Aunt March in your life? Someone, who by her words and/or actions, clearly told you that it was bad to be you, and that you must change.
It kills one's joy when one tries to be someone else to win another's love and approval. I believe it also breaks God's heart. He never wants us to base our identity or worth on such outward markers as power, prestige or possessions (THE GIFT OF BEING YOURSELF by David G. Benner, pp. 87-88). There is nothing wrong with having those things; it is only harmful if they become the driving force in one's life and identity.
The good news is that you don't have to listen to your Aunt March. It can be hard because she is a skilled manipulator. You need to listen to the voice of your loving Father God.
"Our calling is therefore the way of being that is both best for us and best for the world. This is what Frederick Buechner means when he states that 'the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.'"(Benner, p. 97, emphasis added).
Listen to the good desires that He has put inside of you. Do you like creating music? building? writing? helping others? programming? Are you an introvert? extrovert? It is okay to be who God designed you to be.
By writing this blog, I am not listening to my Aunt March. Instead I am listening to the "deep gladness" within that comes from my loving Father God.
Who are you listening to today?
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