By Andy Smith

In 1968, the First Edition had a hit song called “I Just Dropped in to See What Condition My Condition Was In.” The song had been recorded by another group earlier, but this time it became popular.

The song tells the story of an LSD user whose experiences are so far removed from reality that he has to get clean for a day just to find out whether he’s still alive: to clear his mind from the drugs long enough to discover the state of his life.

I’m not on LSD, but my daily life and weekly routine can sometimes keep me busy enough that I lose touch with how my life is moving along. I get stuff done–I do my job, take care of my house, pay taxes, check the oil in the car, spend some time with my son–but I can lose sight of the big picture.

What is Jesus doing in my life? I can go days without thinking about, or trying to answer, that question.

Spiritual reflection and self-examination are a chance to “see what condition my condition is in.” Discovering that I still have room for improvement is not about feeling guilty: God doesn’t want me bogged down in guilt.

Seeing that I’ve made some progress in being a follower of Jesus is cause for thanksgiving: Jesus has picked me up and brought me forward!

Learning that I’m still far short of being like Jesus is a reminder that I need Him. I’ll never stop needing Jesus.

I’ll never stop needing Jesus.

Taking a spiritual inventory helps me know where to look: How is Jesus working to shape my life, my mind, my heart, my spirit? What will He be doing with me next?

I’m flawed and imperfect. I make mistakes. To call them “mistakes” is kind: I sin. But Jesus dusts me off, and orients me toward Him, to follow Him. He makes me into His follower. That’s what I want, and I’m thankful for it.