Saturday, January 21, 2017

Extending Grace leads to Freedom - The Glorious Table

“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” ~Unknown
My mom’s words instantly dissolved the road rage that had been growing in me the moment before. In its place, tenderness and then laughter bubbled up.
“Maybe they are late for their daughter’s piano recital. Maybe they are so caught up in an exciting book they’re listening to on cassette tape they don’t even realize what they just did. Maybe they are on their way to the hospital to have a baby–how exciting! Maybe they are a circus performer late for their high wire practice; we certainly don’t want them to miss that!” she said.

I didn’t want any of those poor people to miss the things my mom described. Suddenly I was for them rather than feeling put out by them. The inconsiderate driving I had witnessed moments before lost its sting when my mom talked like this.
Her words gave me freedom: freedom to care about the concerns of others more than my own, freedom to give them the benefit of the doubt, freedom from angry eyebrows and a desire to get revenge. They freed me to be the person I wanted to be.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

When What You Have Doesn't Feel Like Enough - The Glorious Table

(I'm writing at The Glorious Table today about one of my favorite topics - facing fear head-on! Join the discussion over at The Table today!)
I know the catch in your lungs that tells you you’re not enough, that today’s needs outstrip the strength in your bones and the fight in your gut. You heard God call, but you feel deep inside that it’s beyond you. Your heart and mind begin to wrestle.
What if God asks something of me I can’t do?
What if I’m the only one?
What if I find out I’m just not good enough?
The “what-ifs” gather, mob-like, threatening to knock you down. They want you to despair and run away. Fear separates from the crowd, sidling up to you like an old friend. He warns you that protection is the only sane course of action. He tells you there’s no shame in retreat. With fear whispering in your ear, you desperately want to lie down and curl up into a protective ball.

What if I ruin my children?
What if I can’t survive the pain?
What if God isn’t really trustworthy?
These “what-ifs” get so loud that they often make us miss the biggest “what-if” of all. What if fear isn’t a friend? What if it’s playing both sides like a secret agent and is actually the leader of the enemy mob? Maybe the pounding in your chest isn’t meant to be a warning of danger, but a herald announcing adventures and miracles that fear wants to cover up?
What if the fight against fear is really our biggest battle?

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