Archive for April, 2013

Just Be…

The title for this post is just two simple words.  But the reality of what they mean in my life is not simple at all.

Just be…  Don’t think, don’t analyze, don’t compensate, don’t rationalize…just rest in the reality of Jesus Christ.  He is here.  Always, no matter what.   Just be.  Just relax and enjoy His presence.  Just listen for His loving guidance.

I know that I know that I know…   Years ago, I heard this phrase applied to believing in Jesus Christ.  It’s a nice, catchy phrase that conveys a deep truth.   Lately I have been exploring it, digging deeper.  Do I really have the total assurance indicated by these words?  If I am completely honest and transparent, I must admit that there are times when “I know that I know that I know” changes into “I should know that I should know that I should know.”  Ouch.  So then I asked myself…Why is that?  What causes my assurance to waver?  It’s definitely not anything that Jesus does or does not do.  It’s not His presence lacking strength or permanence.  It has nothing to do with Jesus at all.  He is the same…always.  Magnificent and Holy, yet, at the same time, loving me so much that He desires an intimate relationship with me.  He is.  Period. It does not matter whether I am in a state of complete concurrence or not.

I have discovered that if I can truly “just be”, everything suddenly shifts and I am flooded with knowledge that Jesus is real, He loves me, and He wants His best for me.  In those moments I can feel His presence so strongly that I wonder how I could ever be anything less than absolutely certain.  A new realization is that what keeps me from that steadfast knowledge of Jesus is my incredibly strong desire to run my life on my own.  How’s that working for me?  Ummm…it’s not.  I also recognize that my personal tendency is to overthink…a lot.  A whole lot.  I find myself constantly striving for an answer for every single nuance of my life’s journey.  I want to understand everything, all the time!   It is exhausting!!  But the opposite extreme, to just be, is a very difficult concept for my to grasp.  Unfortunately, I tend to treat it as a last resort instead of my first choice.

A while back I did some study on one of my favorite Bible verses:

Psalm 46:10.   “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV) 

I looked at this verse in several different translations, and found my new favorite translation of this verse from the Amplified Bible:  “Let be and be still and know (recognize and understand) that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!”

“Let be”…that shouted at me…that brought clarity.  Being still in God’s presence requires passivity so that God can take over.  I must “let be” first, and then I can “be still”.  Actively trying to be still is like actively trying to avoid a particular thought.  Trying not to think about something brings your focus to what you are trying to stop focusing on. I hope that makes sense…

In this journey God is leading me on, my goal is to increasingly “let be” by replacing my active pursuit of the illusion of control with stopping, listening, and allowing God to calm my heart and guide me to His plan.  Then I can be still…and when I do that, I can realize the rest of that sentence – I can know, recognize, and understand that He is God, He is Jesus Christ, He is the Holy Spirit.  And He will be exalted in all the world, simply because He exists.

Advertisements

Who’s drivin’?

I am a horrible driver. Seriously. I am not a “think on my feet” (or in my car) kind of person.  I am a slow, methodical, analytical thinker.  No time for all that when I am driving down the road and need to make a split decision!!  I do drive of course, because it is a necessity for me.  lt would be a VERY long 20+ mile walk to work every morning!!  🙂  So I approach driving like I approach most everything in life…very cautiously.  I drive to and from work, run my errands, do my thing…because this needs to be done.  That, and there is a certain amount of freedom to enjoy when driving around on your own…which I can do OK with if I am somewhere relatively safe and familiar.

But then I have to add another important element to my lack of driving finesse.  To put it bluntly, I am severely directionally challenged.  As in I have absolutely NO sense of direction. At all. Ever. Now those of you who drive all over the place all the time without a second thought and were able to figure out how to get most anywhere before the wonderful invention of GPS…right now you are thinking I am exaggerating and just being over dramatic. But those of you who know me, and have been anywhere with me, know I speak the truth!  🙂  One of those “sad, but true” things about me.  I really do thank God for my wonderful iPhone GPS!  It has helped me quite a bit, but still…very, very lacking in being able to get somewhere unfamiliar with much success.  And because of this directional issue I have…I experience various levels of irrational fear when faced with driving somewhere I have never been.  Yes, I know.  Weird.  Or, the politically correct word…”Unique”.

So put all that together, and you have a perfectly able adult woman who will avoid driving to unfamiliar places if at all possible.  And I also avoid driving when there is any type of group event.  Like even going to lunch/dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.  We get ready to leave and they KNOW not to ask me if I want to drive.  Because they already know the answer, and they love me anyway.  Thank God for my wonderful friends.  I am truly blessed!

I know people who actually enjoy driving.  I can’t imagine that.  I even know of doing this whole calculating game while driving down the freeway constantly adjusting for the most advantageous position.  (I won’t name names, but thanks for that info…it helped me gel the idea for this post)  Thinking like that is as foreign to me as….well, I can’t even think of anything that foreign.

If I could, I would just wish to be places and suddenly appear there.  Kind of like Star Trek “Beam me up Scottie!”.  That would be so cool, and would relieve no small amount of stress in my life.

So I’m thinking about how I relate to the task of driving.  I’ve described to you what the physical task of driving means to me.  Let’s take that to a spiritual level.  Ouch.  Why do I act so differently in the spiritual realm?  What makes me think I can drive?  Why do I experience those times of wanting to take the wheel?  Every time I do, it’s a different level of disastrous.  It never ends well. I learned the definition of insanity several years ago…doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.  But that is a whole different post…maybe someday.

I have learned that my God is so very, very patient.  He is the One who totally gets me, who understands me and all my various struggles…who loves me always…Always.  And He stands ready to take the wheel back from my shaking hands after each catastrophe I create when I try to drive.  He is there as I face and deal with the consequences of those times.  At this point, He is helping me recognize when I am taking the keys with grandiose ideas about what will happen when I try to take over my life…my life? No, really His life as I belong to Him.  Thank God.

I am a lover of music…especially of the contemporary Christian variety.  Ginny Owens has a song that says exactly my thoughts…

So now I march to the beat of my own drum, sing out the words to my own song, give thanks to the One who gives me life.  Every day is like a new adventure.  I can almost hear Him whisper:  “If you wanna take the ride of your life then,

Come on, Get in, I’m drivin’.” 

Launch!

OK – so here we go. I am sadly technically challenged, but I know that I need to do this. As with many things in my life, I am learning as I go.

God has given me a passion for writing that began when I was very small…literally. In elementary school I learned that I like to put my huge imagination down on paper just for fun. As a teenager, I added prose and poetry and found that it was a great outlet for teenage drama, and I discovered that writing helped me learn about me. As an adult I know that writing helps me see who I am and who I long to be in Christ. The gap in between those two points is where God is working, and it is also a place that is continually covered by His love and grace.

The title of this blog is a description of what is happening in my life at this time. God is “chipping away” at my walls. Sometimes gently and lovingly, and other times quite forcefully, yet still lovingly. And when I say I am a work in progress…that should be all capital letters. WORK. My walls are thick, hard, and reinforced with all manner of materials in a completely lame effort to protect myself from…well, most everything.

So you are invited along for this journey to parts unknown. I’m not driving. God is. So feel free to come along for the ride…I can promise it will be at least somewhat entertaining as you learn along with me what God has planned for this new endeavor.