Monday, May 7, 2012

A walk I'll remember

It was beautiful outside. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and you could smell the crisp morning air.

"LET'S GO FOR A WALK!?!" my two year old suggested insistently for the third time in a row. I agreed with him . . . again. . . for the third time.

We got on our shoes and jackets, loaded into the double stroller, and we were on our way. We made it over to a large parking lot that had several seagulls doing their little "seagull thing" swooping up and down and all around, shouting "Caw! Caw!" until you couldn't help but feel like you were at a beach when really you were just outside Long John Silvers. It occurred to me that the reason the seagulls were all huddled in this particular area of the parking lot was not for scraps from the restaurants nearby, but because a man was sitting in his van with the window open and was throwing morsels of food out the window. I described what was happening to my kids and they were VERY pleased. They asked if we could get closer to the van.

An odd feeling came over me. I knew what the answer was. The answer was "No."
Not because of stranger danger or anything like that.
The answer was "no" because. . .  Are you ready for this? . . .

" The birds might poop on our heads," I told my kids.

They seemed okay with what answer. They didn't want bird poop on their heads anymore than I did. For my children, though, this was the first time they had EVER heard of such a thing, so it was an exciting concept for them. They talked about it the rest of the walk, while I pondered why I said what I said to them. "REALLY Alisha? Because the birds might poop on your head?" I thought to myself. Where did that come from?

My mom. That's where. :o) When I was about six years old my mom crossed the street from our apartment to a store and a bird pooped on her head. She decided it was so terrible that she would wear a hat the rest of that Spring season so it wouldn't happen again.

As I finished our walk I considered what seemed to be a disproportionate response to a solitary event in my mom's life--wearing a winter hat every time she walked to the store after that one incident.

I evaluated my own life.

How many times have I let one incident that hurt me, bothered me, or "scarred me" keep me from doing what I wanted to do with freedom? How many times have I lived in fear because of my past? Fear: that crazy taskmaster that I warned myself about. (Oh groan) There it was again. "Fear is a hard taskmaster". It's true! So, here's what hit me on my walk that day:

I can be just like my mom. In the same way that my mom looked silly wearing that winter hat in the the middle of Spring, sometimes I can look silly doing things that I normally wouldn't while I let fear drive me, because of something in my past. If I really think it through, though, the chances of that thing ever happening again are VERY slim, and even if they did happen again God would meet me there and take care of me. I would come out victorious, so I really still have nothing to fear.

The Bible reminds us over and over again to not fear anything other than God, and when we do that we will be taken care of.

Isaiah 41:10
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:13
 "For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."

When I live in reaction to my fears I don't feel like myself, and I start to "look funny" and "act funny" but when I can get back to the promises of God and remind myself that God is sovereign and will take care of me and those I love. . . that is when I am able to live in freedom again. 

An old message with a new spin. . . Let your freedom ring. Will you join me in making the choice today. Be victorious in the Lord, by choosing to live in faith. Be smart; don't get pooped on. But, be free; live in faith rather than fear, knowing you're in good hands. 

 Psalm 25:12-14, 
"Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.

  They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.  

 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them."


No comments: