Thursday, December 20, 2007
"Will You Kindly, er, Shut-up?"
This will sound odd.
I'm actually enjoying packing. I am loving decluttering--it's like I'm losing weight (I feel lighter, even) and giving away a third of my stuff feels marvelous. It's as though I'm flinging Christmas presents out to the whole wide world. And I'm so ready for this change--I don't mind doing what it takes to get it.
As we've prepared to move from this dear old house, I've felt relaxed. I've taken a thousand breaks--sat around and watched tv, even. Not been crunched for time. Enjoyed the signs of progress, you know, all those leaning towers of filled boxes.
When I follow Grace, Life is like that. Smooth. Like I'm able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Like I'm accomplishing a year's worth of work in only 3 months. Like I'm actually performing tasks which are physically impossible for me. (Or something like that.)
But when I follow my own bright ideas there's struggle. Stress. Whining, complaining and kicking of things. And nothing falls into its correct slot.
This week I told a friend that Tom may one day seek to go on disability. That his doctors have all said they'd support him, what with his post-polio problems, eight herniated discs and a spine like a roller coaster.
My friend then proceeded to tell me the nightmare stories she's heard, how it's taking people she knows two (or more) years to have their disability claim approved. How they're miserable, afraid and struggling to get by. How you have to get a lawyer and fight it out in the courts for a long time. And waste money.
After not too long I stopped her. I said, "Don't be so negative." After which she said, "Well, if you don't want to hear the truth..."
But I told her, "Here's the truth I believe. When something is God's idea, it works out fine. When anything is His plan, it happens, as long as we cooperate and do things His way, not ours, and if it takes a bit longer, well, that time is sweet, too. For 29 years Tom and I have experienced that. I choose to view God's successes in our lives, not other people's failures. I look at what the Bible says, not at how the world appears to work."
I can be such a rebel. But at times, you have to be. And you cannot allow people to lecture you into feeling afraid. Words are powerful, full of the power of life and death, and sometimes you have to ask people to keep their fear-filled, negative, doubt-inducing words to themselves. Sometimes you must ask your friends to knock it off.
Down through the years I've done that sometimes--and I've lived a peace-that-passes-understanding kind of life while others are kicking and screaming against brick walls which only God, Himself, can explode apart, sometimes with just a single word. Or a simple breath. And it's our faith--not our fear--which moves Him on our behalf.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..." from Psalm 23
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
"The power of life and death is in the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." ... Proverbs 18:21