Saturday, October 18, 2014
31 Days of Courage: The Courage To Leave It All Behind
I woke up this morning with lots of baggage in my head. I know you know what I mean.
Like everyone else, I have 24 hours in a day. Like most people, I feel squeezed and pressed for time. This morning the rush of thoughts slammed into me like a 747. The stuff at work not done (it will never be done). The people I want to have for dinner (that list will go on until they’re having dinner after my funeral). The closet uncleaned, the bushes unclipped, the groceries unbought.
And then there are the worries. About my kids. About money. About the future. BAM. I mean my eyes have been opened for 10 seconds and I’m already slammed. The enemy of our souls wastes no time in accusing us. He starts first thing, hoping (if that foul thing can hope) that we will stay there, twisted up and torn up, without peace and forgetting Whose children he’s messing with.
C.S. Lewis said this, and bless him, he didn’t know back before I was born how these words would sustain me:
“It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”
This is going to sound weird, but there’s something about fretting that can be comfortable. There’s a familiarity to it, and a twisted sense of control it carries. All a complete lie, of course, but a powerful one. The only way to battle that sucker is with the truth.
And the truth is this: We don’t even control the next breath we take. Every morsel of food we eat comes from the hand of God. Every job we have he provided. (No man has a right to arrogance, for every man lives by grace alone. Even if he doesn’t recognize it).
To let go of fretting and that sense of control takes real courage. A relative of mine once said something that stuck all these years later from a time when she was going through a really difficult patch in her life. She said letting go “felt like I was falling off a cliff…but it turned out to be like I was tied to a bungee cord and I never did slam into the rocks below.” Her faith sustained her.
This morning I have 2 choices.
Hold on to my false sense of control, fret on, and be perfectly miserable.
Or, leave it all behind, be grateful, find the good, and trust my Jesus, come what may.
Believe me when I tell you I’ve taken option 1 far too many days on this brief sojourn.
Today, my baby girl is home for the weekend. Since the terrible accident of 2009, there is still plenty to fret about. There is plenty of brokenness, trouble and heartache.
But for today, we will be going apple picking in the rain, sharing apple cider donuts and reminiscing with the wooden Indian at the farm we’ve gone to every autumn since our babies were babies.
Today, I’m praying for the courage to leave it all behind.
Standing back from all my natural fussings and frettings…and coming in out of the wind. Praise be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ!
Your friend on the pilgrim road,