Grasping at Straws (Part 2)

As a Christian, a different “grasping at straws” image came to mind for me personally.

During my high school years and my early post-high school days, in many places I was well-known, respected and quite “popular,” supposing I can use that word in a homeschool world context. :)

Nathaniel Mervar was someone to know
back then.

A Pile of Loose Straws
I am now entering my fourth year being out of high school and a dramatic shift has taken place in my life these past few years.
When I return to those old stomping grounds, few know who I am or who I was
back in the day.
A new generation is coming up and I’ve been mostly forgotten.

Now, let me clear. I am not complaining that I am drifting into obscurity and that no one appreciates me or cares about me. :) For such a statement would be far from the truth. I am extremely blessed with those the Lord has put into my life.

My humanity has simply hit me hard this year.

  • I am no longer remembered as the lighting-fast Bible quizzer who was almost impossible to beat.
  • I am no longer remembered as the drama camp student who stood out as a leader in the midst of the other students.
  • I am no longer remembered as the Awana student who blitzed through his books and memory verses at an unbelievable rate.
  • I am no longer remembered as the up-and-coming filmmaker who won the young filmmakers award.
  • I am no longer remembered as the National Bible Bee volunteer who was a favorite among the students and the alumni.
  • I am no longer remembered as the Bible Study student who was the Bible-answer-man.
  • As a whole, I am no longer remembered for these past accomplishments and titles I held.

This realization hit me hard the past week. Like, really hard. Being human, I wrestled with it.
These former times of honor and prestige, I didn’t want to let them go. I wanted to hold onto them.
To be honest, I used to look at these things as my badges of honor. Trophies of worth that showed how incredible I was as a young man who wasn’t even 20. It was an attitude of "hey, look at alI I have accomplished!"

Apple Products with a Pair of Glasses
Yet, something strange happened to me this past week. I became okay with being forgotten in these past accomplishments. I’ve become okay with just being Nathaniel.
If I am never recognized again for anything I’ve done, I’ll be okay with that.
I truly will.

  • If BOJF never receives another film festival nomination, I will be okay with that.
  • If BOJF never grows beyond the size it is today, I will be okay with that.
  • If BOJF disappears off the face of the earth, I will be okay with that.
  • If all those dreams I mentioned back in “Watching Your Dreams Burn,” do indeed burn, I will be okay with that.
  • If Nathaniel never receives any form of recognition in this life again, I will be okay with that.
  • If Nathaniel never marries, I will be okay with that.
  • If Nathaniel never gets to speak or preach again, I will be okay with that.
  • If the Lord strips me of my health, I will be okay with that.
  • If the Lord strips me of my possessions, I will be okay with that.
  • If the Lord strips me of my very life, I will be okay with that.
Why am I okay with all this? Because the Lord has opened my eyes and shown me He is truly worth my all. (Only You Jesus)

Take the straws Lord, I have come to realize I only need You.

I’m learning to live with open hands, holding loosely to my dreams, this life, my possessions and resources, everything really.
It is hard though because I’m a dreamer. It seems I am always cooking up some great story, some great scheme, some great plan, looking ahead to what could be.

Yet, as a dreamer, I must hold my straws with open hands. The Lord knows what is best for the straws in my hands. I don’t. That’s why I must hold loosely to them and tight to the Savior. He is my anchor, my shelter from the storm, my peace, my joy, my all in all.

So here’s to living life with open hands.

Here are my straws Lord. Do with them as You please. My only request is that I may glorify You in whatever You choose for me.
Lead on Lord, I’m clinging to You alone.