I’ve stayed over in the village, settled in my bed, the talking finally stopped, and now the singing and dancing has begun outside, and I am so tired I just want to cry.
And tomorrow, I’m on deck, for two or three sessions of Spiritual Development and life-giving prayers that sap the energy from me as God’s power pours through.
It has been a hard few days.
The bulk of the work has begun, and in the midst I can’t see heads nor tails.
I’ve been reminded that once we enter the fray, we are either ready or not.
We have either done our homework beforehand, or we will be found wanting in the midst.
Once the work starts, we’d better hope that we have our heads screwed on straight.
It is a bit (okay maybe a lot) like flying blind.
It’s as though I’ve entered the darkness and can’t see my hand in front of my face.
And but for my well-honed intuition and years of character development (and thank-you God for wisdom gifts), I don’t think I would be lasting.
The wait has been long to enter this work, and now I get it. Those years, every single one of them, were absolutely necessary. Not a speck of time has been out of order.
Makes me think of a pilot who trains and practices and trains and practices so that when the blizzard comes the pilot has the no-how and guts and instinct to navigate well and come out the other side.
Thank-fully, I’ve got one of those little bobble-head compass things in my head
And my list of do’s and don’ts:
- Never manipulate through emotions, making others feel guilt or shame
- Never uncover a persons weakness in their own home (country)
- Make no excuses, take 100% responsibility
- Always honor
It’s not an exhaustive list, but one that has worked well over the years. And it is working well now. Through these benchmarks for my own responses I am safeguarded from allowing my humanity to destroy the work.
Work taken years to build can after all, be undone in one swift movement.
And I’ve learned one more this week:
- Do not give authority for decision to others, that are supposed to be my own.
It is easy to give our authority away. When faced with a hard call and voices all round declaring this and that, pulling and pushing…
I gave way and handed over a decision to another
I recommend you do not do this.
BAD things come of it.
And I am reminded that we are to carry the responsibility and the authority of our lives.
And when we default these to others, things do not go well.
I wonder how much of the things in our lives that are not working well, are because we’ve given over the authority to another.
Having somehow forgotten that we will stand before God one day and give account for our lives. Not anyone else.
In the years of preparing for this work, years of tentatively stepping out in various ways, of pushing the boundaries of who people knew me to be…
Trust me, I’ve had my share of naysayers.
What kept me on track has been a holy fear of God.
A sermon years back jolted me to the Biblical passage that goes something like this, ‘she who has been given much, much will be required’
And through my mind went all the things I’d been given, such as legacy, wisdom, intelligence, among others.
And I clearly saw myself standing before God and answering for my life.
“What did you do with what I gave you?”
And I imagined my pathetic – at the time – responses,
“Well you see, my husband mocks and ridicules me.”
“Well you see, my friend doesn’t understand.”
“Well you see, my pastor won’t give approval.”
“Well you see, I have dishes to wash.”
Can you see it, standing in the throne-room of heaven before the God of heaven and earth and I am giving these excuses…
I knew they wouldn’t fly, and that I had to be faithful to HIM, and not any other.
And here I am today, holding full responsibility for my life as any adult is meant to do.
So, in the midst of the fray, and the flying-blind, that just might continue for the rest of this trip, I’m remembering to keep authority close in my pocket,
While giving honor and respect and emotional freedom in spades, I do NOT give over the authority that I have been particularly called to walk in.
Rather, making decisions I am to make, boldly and with courage, and to hold fast,
Trusting the one who has prepared me and trained me and remembering that He does all things well, and His timing is perfect