Within this photograph, I see the world.

 There's a thirst for knowledge and wisdom. There's a quest for beauty and wealth. There's an admiration for the natural world around us.There's community. There's also solitude. Last night, I read in Galatians 4 of Paul's dismay over the new believers. He pleaded with them: "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?" Paul's own conversion was so real, so true. He could not possibly fathom looking for satisfaction anywhere else. And this was a man who had much worldly status to be satisfied in! I crumbled a bit under his words, feeling pierced to my heart over my own recent sins.That seems somewhat dramatic, even now as I write it. But sin it is. I've felt a bit wilted lately. I typically test as an INFP or INFJ on the MBTI and from what I've read, this wilting is fairly common, especially when met with what it is perceived as negativity. I'm driven by emotions and hate anything that breathes of conflict. One of the things I hate most is disappointing others. All of these things together tend to result in one thing: I'm highly dependent on the attitudes and actions of others for my own well-being. This can lead me to a bad place, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As I read these words last night, I perceived a pattern. I go through stages of wilting, only to have some worldly thing build me up again, before I fall again. Because humans, ultimately, will let me down. To think otherwise is folly, even of the humans that I love and admire most. They sin. They make mistakes. They speak in stress. Just as I do. I'm seeking worth in the wrong places. I start to convince myself that my worth is dependent on someone else changing. When really, it is the complete opposite. It is dependent on me changing my own heart. It is dependent on accepting my worth in the eyes of a God who does not change.Psalm 119 holds some of my favorite words. A prayerful refrain that should be on my mind more often than it is: My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word.Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.Consider how I love your precepts!Give me life according to your steadfast love.Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word!Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word. And who is His word? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." Give me life, Lord, according to your Son. Give me life, O God, according to Jesus