What is holding you back? Are your fears real or imaginary? If you knew today was your last day in this life, what would you do and what would be your greatest regret? Last night I had a conversation with a friend where I was faced with my real reasons for not doing what I have been trying to do for years – write a book. Two, actually, at this point, and it’s so far past ridiculous that they are not yet done. With notes and ideas all over the house, they simply need to be compiled. After walking through a desolate season in my life and finally getting my groove back, there are no more excuses left for why I am not fulfilling the call upon my life. Lately there have been several friends and acquaintances whose life experiences have reminded me of the fragile state we all walk in – tomorrow is not ever promised – to anyone. It’s imperative that we choose to make every day count, every day intentional. When I face my God, I want to be able to say I did all He asked me to do here. What about you?
Growing up, we are taught to “do the right thing.” As adults we begin to see how convoluted that concept really can be. Recently, our neighbor came to the door, asking if we had seen anything odd while outside, as someone had evidently “seen their computer through the window and walked in and grabbed it.” He then proceeded to tell me (we are new renters to the neighborhood) that “nothing like this has ever happened in the 20+ years they had lived here.” Later, I came to find out that the wife had moved the computer and I realized he had come over and insinuated theft before even asking his spouse about it. Needless to say, it rubbed me wrong. So my dilemma became this – overcome my struggle with people-pleasing and confront the offense, OR, choose to smile and let things stay peaceful between myself and a neighbor. I chose peace. Oftentimes what might seem like the “right thing” won’t bring us to the end we desire, or to the best possible scenario. Few decisions can be made without carefully considering long-term goals, as whatever we sow we will reap. Knowing where you are going, and what bottom-line values you have for yourself and your family, can help make those on-the-spot decisions a little easier. I choose peace and harmony today.
There are fewer seasons of life in which our differences are quite as apparent, than in election years. It’s a time when our hearts are more easily shared and division comes easily. As people, oddly enough, we thrive on opposition and eagerly pit ourselves against one another. I’m guilty of it, I am first to admit. There are friends even today whose opinion I would rather not hear even one more time for fear of losing my feelings of “like” for them altogether. Politics, divorce and death – they bring out all kinds of ugly in each and every one of us. I would fathom a guess it’s all rooted in fear – fear of loss, of change, of not having things the way WE want them, control… And yet at the end of the day, there is really only One in control. God. As much as we would each like to think of ourselves as “right,” none of is quite as correct in our thinking as we might think and I would suggest to you that most of us are right on some level. God is multi-faceted and so in His image, we are as well. And the realities of life really call more for the ebbs and flows than a staunch “truth.” What is true is that none of these crucial thoughts, feelings and emotions will make the slightest difference when we reach the end of our lives. However, what WILL carry weight will be how many lives we’ve touched and how much love we take with us to our eternal destination. Take a deep breath, forgive others, put on a position of grace, and remember that we are all His children and all held in His capable hands. Shalom.
I took a hard fall a couple of months back, incurring several injuries including a pretty serious one above my right eye. Days after, I was still numb all the way to the crown of my head and across my forehead. As feeling came back, I would get spears of sharp pain, and the numbness, while it waned, has outstayed its welcome. Even today, nearly 3 months after the accident, there is still a red scar and some numb areas I am uncertain will ever be completely restored. I forget it’s there most days…until I touch it or someone mentions it. It reminds me of the fall, of my fear, but also of my phenomenal friend who helped me climb down the mountain with a concussion and gaping wound. One step at a time. My healing process might sound a bit like yours – a broken heart, lost dream or child – where the pain ebbs and flows and sometimes, even now, there are numb or sore spots. Spots that reveal themselves when you think the season of grieving is long past. You ARE healing, you ARE moving forward. Restoration can be a process, but it can be beautiful in the journey, if you let it. Give yourself grace, and time. And remember that scars add character.
Driving back from the high school this morning, I was enjoying a particular worship song…singing along…when a random thought popped itself into my brain and I found myself doing the typical girl thing – weaving one thought into another. The next thing I knew the song was ending and I realized I had missed out on a moment. It’s funny how easily we are distracted. Our attention spans get shorter with each generation and our expectations are for microwave meals – no slow cookers here! I can barely finish sending a text before I think of someone else I should connect with, or decide I just HAVE to see what someone has posted on Facebook in the past 2 minutes, or that I absolutely NEED to clean up that cobweb immediately… It’s no wonder most of us struggle to hear the voice of God, let alone even believe He cares, or even exists. We are so wired now to hurry, to “achieve,” to multi-task, that we have lost the art of just living. Of simply being. Our horizontal relationships barely exist above the superficial; it’s no wonder at all that our vertical relationship with an invisible God would bear little resemblance to much more than a comforting fairy tale! Begin today to create space. Give yourself room to grow, to think, to evaluate. Make a moment to look into your spouse’s eyes, or your child’s eyes, and really SEE them today. Better yet, look into your own and check in there for a minute or two. And, while you’re at it, you might just want to allow your Creator to sit down with you as well. Let His heart minister to yours. You were created carefully and intentionally – design a culture where He can finish in you the good work He began…