I woke up today, like most weekends, and decided to slip out the door before anyone else woke up. Well, before the teenagers sleeping downstairs and the old guy in my bed woke up. The little kids, of course, were already up.
I threw on some makeup and headed out the door. Anxious to get into the van alone. It is where my brain works the best. In the car, going down the road, alone.
I opted not to play my new birthday CD at max volume but instead turned on KTIS and prayed as i drove North.
My favorite drive.
Heading to Cambridge without a defined agenda..
And as my brain prayed and wondered and questioned life, i found myself pleading, like usual, for God to just lead me. To fix me, to shape me, and to mold me.
To help me be better. In all things.
And as i drove to Cambridge, the response seemed silent. My mind a bit foggy.
I got to Walmart and returned a life jacket and slowly walked around, not exactly sure of what i needed, but enjoying this pressure free moment.
As i got back into my van, i ran to Caribou--got a coffee, and headed to the coop.
I sat in the parking lot of the coop and sipped my drink and made a list of what i needed. I grabbed my reusable bag (which is an accomplishment in itself) and headed straight into the sliding door which didn't open...because they were closed.
I quickly looked around and realized the parking lot was empty.
So i got back into my car and headed home.
I took the slow way, the way that takes me through town. And i thought as i drove.
Wondering what i was doing in life. What was i making a difference for.
And as i drove around the big beautiful stone church a song came on the radio that started off with the words "Empty hands held high...." And i know this song. And heck, i don't really even like it, but today....i thought about that visual.
The visual that us, as Christians, see all the time. We hear about this, we know this. Hands held up in worship, praise to God. Lacking in nothing, filled with everything.
And then i began to think about how that is a sight so many of us enjoy. To see the person who may have nothing in life, but has everything in Jesus. Smiling. Thankful. And full.
I think its safe to say that we all like that kind of person. A person who always has a kind word on their lips, who's patience is abounding, a constant smile to match the sparkle in their eyes, a genuine sweetness and concern for others with--no selfish motives. Who lives out their faith.
This person. We might all know of someone like that. Maybe. Hopefully.
Not only is that a rare thing to find--love expressing itself in the purest of forms. But it can feel impossible sometimes.
So why can't we be that?
Why is is to hard to do what we all know is right. To show unconditional love. To turn the other cheek. To listen first and to speak second. To love, love and then love some more.
I thought about the person that i wish i was and then considered the reality of who i really am.
Too many words. Too much anger. Inability to hold my tongue. Resentful. The love that i give, exclusively.
And darnit if its not frustrating. To be at the bottom looking up. The hill seems too steep, too difficult to climb. Its easier to just make due at the bottom. If you don't try, you don't fail. And that battle, that constant uphill battle just wears me out. I feel like i am at the bottom of every hill in life. And that can be defeating.
But if we don't take one step.....then what?
What keeps me from being that person that i want to be?
The flesh. My own sin.
I know this.
I know that we can conquer anything and accomplish everything through the utter reliance and total faith in Jesus Christ.
And i have that. I do.
But sometimes i can feel jaded because i realized that everyone, in this life, gives freely of what they want to share. Trusts Gods with much. Teaches in areas that they excel. People teach us and give commands and yet their life is in utter chaos behind closed doors. For everyone that teaches and is pure and loving in what they teach--i have found about 10 that aren't. And that is disappointing. And what the world sees when they look at us "Christians." They see a mess attached to a finger pointing at them in judgment.
And i hate that.
But if ya look deep down, everyone is holding tightly to something. Controlling some area of their life that they won't give up. They just don't tell you about it.
Like a person who isn't anxious or fearful, they may have all the advice in the world on how to let that fear go or how to just "give it to God".
And that is great. Those people seem to have things together. They are anxious to teach others how to accomplish this.....
...and yet, those peoples personalities aren't naturally fearful, so for them to say they "overcame it" or "gave it up to God" really isn't true.
Because it was never something they held tightly to in the first place.
If you look deeper, they have white knuckles on an issue that maybe the fearful person doesn't.
Does this make sense?
I just think about each and every persons genetic make up, their predisposition towards a trait. And think about how we are all so different and all overcoming different obstacles.
And as i drove today, i say a mother sitting in the shade of a tree next to the trailer park. She was on the phone, and her little child, was standing beside her, playing with her hair.
And i just felt sad.
I wondered if that mother knew the gift that she had been given when God gave her that child?
How special, and wonderful and very vulnerable children are. How they look to us to teach and love and protect them.
Do we remember that when we look at our own children? When we are at home, exasperated, and repeating ourselves for the 739th time?
I know i don't. Or at least i haven't lately.
Do we consciously think that our job, as parents, is to shape these little tiny humans? And to do it just right so we don't exacerbate something in them that triggers their natural tendency towards fear, or control, or disbelief?
Or are we speaking softly to them, raising them according to their individual bent, soothing their fears and teaching them the power of Gods love and his constant protection and oneness with us?
Do we do damage, or are we raising up the faithful? Who's hands are held high--as they cry out to Jesus and rely whole heartedly on Him to provide for all their needs. To give, as only He can.
My trip to Cambridge, as usual, provided much to think about.
I feel like today God reminded me to try to see others like He does. To speak sweetly and softly, with a heart of patience and love.
To be a coach to my kids....not the warden.
To look up from that pit, although i feel tired and broken down, and to rely not on my own strength to take that difficult first step.....but on His.