Friday, June 15, 2012

Growing-Up. Growing Free.

I had to smile at Bonnie's comment about my last post (thanks for commenting, Bonnie and Sarah!), how, that, much of the kindness I spoke of is just common courtesy, because yes! It is. 

But. When you grow-up wrapped in painful shyness, common courtesy can be oh so hard:

"What if the person rejects my help? Then what will I say? How will I feel? How can I gracefully exit?"
"What if I stumble over my words? Or just stumble, period? What if the person is hard of hearing? What if I sound stupid?"

That's the junk which goes through the head of a shy person. And yes, much of that is pride (and selfishness) and as I've said here before, "Shyness is pride in disguise" and I agree (though with an ouch!). Yet when that bondage of shyness is deep-rooted since childhood, it takes lots of Time and a whole lot of God to fling it away and take-on blessed freedom instead.

Even now, even after letting God totally remake me these past 18 years--still--I must ask Him to supernaturally fill me with boldness just to tell that lady at the supermarket that she looks great today. 

Good gracious.

But you know? Some weaknesses stay around to keep us humble, needy for His ability, not relying upon our own and this case is a prime example of this verse:

"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."  ... 2 Corinthians 12:9

I would hate creating a self-made strength, but I love it when God swoops in and fills me with His strength for His purposes. What He does will always be way more life-changing than anything cooked-up by me.


Anyway... Speaking of my growing-up days......

Tonight is Nik Wallenda's big walk across the gorge at Niagara Falls and yay! He will use a safety harness. ABC insisted so Nik's starting out with the harness, but-- he says if it gets in the way (Nik and even his own mom said safeties can hamper a performance), he'll just rip it off and throw it away.

Oh dear.

Well, whatever. As I made Tom's work-lunch for him this morning, I thought about how--while I was growing-up--I spent time with whole passels of people who loved to verbally chew-up anyone who did anything out of the ordinary:

If a man had long hair, he was rebellious. Most likely, he lived a sinful life.
If any man or woman had tattoos, they were rebellious and 100% percent likely to regret those tattoos later in life.
If a couple put light-colored carpet in their home, they were foolish. They'd be sorry.
If an inter-racial couple married, they were just begging for unnecessary trouble and would probably be sorry, too.
And anybody who risked his life as Nik Wallenda is doing is just plain stupid and foolish and any other words along those lines.

Good grief. Imagine, expecting the whole world to feel and be and look like us.

But the one happy thing is that--because all good teens must rebel--at least I had some crazy assumptions to rebel against. For somewhere deep inside I always knew this verse to be true, even though I didn't really see it until my 30's:

"A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?"  ... Proverbs 20:24

Put that verse together with this one:

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." ... Romans 12:6

.... and it's a wonder that any of us understands anything about anybody I mean, if a man can't even understand his own way--and if we've all been given different gifts and abilities--then there's a whole lot going on out there which only God, Himself, understands, being He's the orchestra leader (if you will) of us all. So why all our opinions about that which we do not fully understand?

So what remains? My all-time favorite, freeing Bible verse on the side of this blog is what remains:

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands... " 1 Thessalonians 4:11 

Oh, when we just mind our own business! After all--we're given much grace for that. But grace for putting our noses where they don't belong? Grace for criticizing others who do things we'd never do? Nah, no grace there, but rather, a discomfort and a nagging feeling that we've crossed a line somewhere, but we're not sure just where.

Tonight Nik Wallenda will be entertaining millions of people while doing what God's gifted him to do, what he's been given grace to do, and he'll know joy in the doing of it.  And even though it's something most of us would never, ever attempt, even though it appears wildly risky--still--I will not express uneducated opinions about it but rather, I'll mind my own business which is to pray for his safety and to wish him an exciting trip across the wire and into History.


"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."  ... Proverbs 18:21


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I cannot think of anything to add to this...I am just grateful you wrote it. It is very inspiring. Now to go on with life remembering it. You got it all in there..all in that nut shell. This is the basis of human relationships. ...Those led by God. Sarah