Tag Archives: life

Fog

I’ve had to drive in the fog a couple times in the last week. Which, in Colorado, is weird. I usually drive in the fog MAYBE once every six months; to have driven in the fog several times in the last months is completely weird and slightly global-warming-end-of-the-world-the-dinosaurs-are-going-to-return ish. Weird.

The point of me saying that though is that about the fourth trip into the mountains with fog clouding my view I began to wonder if God was trying to tell or teach me something. Rule of three – if three times something is mentioned, out of the blue, in some sort of weird circumstance, God’s probably trying to communicate something. I’m just not used to the rule of three applying to nature as well. Probably why it took me more than three…and someone mentioning fog in conversation completely separate from my driving experiences for me to take notice.

Anyway, as much as I love fog during the day, it can be rather intimidating at night. Fog during the day you can’t see stuff. Fog at night…well, you really can’t see trees looming at the side of the road or the occasional deer on the road or even the car one hundred feet a head of you.

And lately, this is how my life has felt. I have seen maybe a half step ahead of me, and while I take that step, it is kinda scary, and makes absolutely no sense and a tad bit unsettling.

But, as much as I might complain about my life being in the fog, I think I prefer it to being able to see everything. For instance, sometimes if we see how far we have to walk, if we see how far we have to go, we become paralyzed with how much we have to overcome before we reach our goal. Like climbing a tall mountain. We can see the summit, and it feels so far away and like we’ll never reach it.

And honestly, God works both ways. Sometimes we see the end, but not often. Sometimes we’re in the fog and have to trust Him about the next step on the road ahead of us.

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The Here and Now

We don’t always recognize the BIG moments when they occur – often they look like all the normal ones that bookend either side.

Which I guess is another reason to pay attention to what’s going on here, now, right now.  Because someday you might want to look back and remember this very moment.

This very moment that you’re living through might be the reason a group of strangers become friends and hang out.  Or the reason you apply for that new job.  Or the inspiration for a new song you write.  Or the moment you find the courage to smile back at him.

And if you’re so focused on the past, you’re not gonna remember this moment.

And if you’re too focused on the mystical future, you’re not gonna remember the details of this moment.

So pay attention.  Don’t wish yourself elsewhere.  Don’t try to just live through it; don’t agree to just survive it.

Pay attention.

 

(Yes, I realize this is just an extension of last week.  Not sure what God’s trying to tell me.  Maybe to stop complaining and to just enjoy the journey. )

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Courage, plain and simple

The knight in shining armor, vanquishing the dragon or the evil witch.    The woman who won’t give up her seat on the bus.  The policeman who delicately deals with the man with a gun.  The fireman who runs into the burning building.  The teacher who works with students who could care less about learning how to add fractions because their mom didn’t come home.  The girl who does her best on the history test, even though she hasn’t made over a C on a test all year.  The boy who goes out for the football team again, even though he hasn’t made the team the last two years.

Courage comes in all shapes and sizes.  Which is kind of the problem.  We assume that courage looks more like the knight in shining armor than the boy who gets cut… again… from the football team.  Or that courage looks more like the woman who refused to move back a row on the bus, than the girl who refuses to give up trying in school.  But, in many ways, the everyday, ordinary, doesn’t-even-feel-like-it courage is the harder kind.  Because it’s the kind you have to deal with every single day.  Day in and day out.  Time after time after time.  Never ending.  At least with the knight, if he doesn’t succeed it’s all over – because he’s dead.  Or the woman on the bus – she had no idea that day when she woke up that she was going to make history that day.  It wasn’t in her plans.  Promise.

The thing is though, if you’re NOT courageous in the day-to-day stuff, like school, or work, or whatever is hard for you, than when it comes to facing the dragon or the witch or the burning building, you’re not going to be ready for it.  Because you haven’t practiced.  Courage takes practice.  Every day, don’t give up, keep trying, keep pushing, practice.  Courage isn’t going to suddenly burst from you when the huge, life-or-death, history-making hard stuff comes by if you’re not practicing it in your day-to-day life.  You have to practice it in your day-to-day life!!!!  The everyday, little stuff counts!

So, what does daily courage look like?  It looks like going to school even though it’s not fun or easy.  It looks like trying to get along with your family.  It looks like facing the daily grind with a smile.  It looks like hoping things will be different this time, even though history says they shouldn’t be.  It looks like gently confronting a friend, telling them how what they are doing is hurting you, or how they’re hurting themselves.  It looks like being willing to deal with the elephant in the room, to deal with the awkwardness that is, for whatever reason, between you and someone else.    It means facing the hard, uncomfortable stuff – not avoiding it.

It’s easy to avoid stuff.  Unfortunately, it’s also cowardly.  And, well, while being a coward feels more comfortable in that moment – it’s only for that moment.  It actually steals little tiny bits of you at a time, because God didn’t make you a coward.  With Him, through Him, you’re supposed to be bold and courageous (that’s in the Bible).  Being a coward means denying who you were created to be.

So, go say the hard stuff.  Say “hi”.  Workout and practice throwing all year, and try out for that football team – again.  Study your heart out, Dear, and do your best on that next History test.  Have the courage to hope that when you go talk to your boss about that thing, it’s going to be different this time.  Believe that God is who He says He is, that He’ll do what He promises…even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

That is courage.

And it is, ladies and gentlemen, incredibly important.

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Inspiring Flight

Never underestimate your story.

No, really.

More than once I’ve been told that some part of my story is inspiring or faith-building or something.  But see, to me, it just felt like I was living life.  Like I was being obedient.  It felt like no big deal.  I mean, sure, I’ve lived through moments that have been super scary.  And I’ve made choices that don’t make sense.  But in the middle of those moments, when I’m being obedient, it just feels like the right thing to do.

Now, I’m NOT comparing myself to Moses or Noah, but I bet they’d tell you similar stories.  They were just being obedient.  Doesn’t mean it wasn’t scary.  But it was the right, next thing to do.  It was their life.  Nothing nearly so epic as to have a soundtrack playing in the background, or to inspire movie four thousand years later. But they were obedient.  They lived their lives.  And they inspire movies, and teach us about God, and encourage us.

And you know what?  Your life does that too.

No, really, it does.

If you are pursuing God.  If you’re obedient to His calling on your life.  If you take a hop of faith here and there.

Then you’re life WILL inspire someone else.  Someone else will think you’re this great person because you talked to that kid, or you gave money, or you went to that country, or you pursued whatever passion it is that God has been cultivating in your heart like some delicate, strong rose.

So, NEVER say, “Well, I haven’t really done that much” or “Well, I don’t have a story like THAT” or anything along those lines.   Somewhere, sometime, God WILL use your story (if you’re willing) to draw someone else to Him.  And that person WILL be inspired by you.

So, butterfly, don’t underestimate you’re journey through the chrysalis.  Go fly now.  The caterpillars are watching.  The caterpillars need your flight as a reminder there is something better ahead for them.  Scary and huge as it might seem for them at the moment.

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