Here we are at Thursday and I have enjoyed being on task and following through with a theme this week! I love order and consistency. Being flexible is something I can do with grace when I am well-rested, nourished and have most of my ducks in a row…or at least know where they are.
But throw me a curve ball when I am hungry or tired or juggling too many things in my hands or my head…and watch out. Mary Poppins, I am not.
If I don’t completely lose it in front of you, I say something snarky and harsh and then get in the car and bawl my head off as I rant and rave before God about my plight of woe.
This is me.
So as I read the next set of questions raised by the sermon notes I am revisiting with you this week, conviction hits me square between the eyes.
What’s the loop that is playing in my head? How am I talking about the circumstances I am in? How do I take about situations that seem out of my control? (hello 2020/2021….I see you) Because they ARE out of my control. This part is true.
What do I say about them?
What do I say in them?
What do I say about myself in them?
How do I talk to others?
Because what I say bears fruit! Life or death!Chris Otts, Antioch ATX January 4, 2021 sermon “New Year – Talk to Me” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/new-year-talk-to-me/id1257271009?i=1000504316920
Often I speak words about them and about me in my overwhelming circumstances that I would never say to another human being.
But the self-talk IS talk and it bears the fruit of death in me as I spew out the poison of words carelessly.
I grumble and complain. And right now my reading is Numbers and I can tell you, God does not groove on grumbling and complaining.
As I consider the current circumstances that dominate how I am able to function in February of 2021, I have to admit that there are a whole lot of things that are out of my control that make life challenging.
I don’t think the answer is to sugar gloss the reality of a pandemic, a nation that is fiercely divided, a lose-lose when it comes to reopening and regathering and an economy that is imploding…just to mention a few things that can get me stirred up with anxiety and fear.
Pushing down my inner turmoil is not applying the wisdom of Proverbs 18:21.
Instead I find that I need to thoughtfully set aside as much of the emotions as I can (which is a mighty act of God in me, believe me) and make the effort to first acknowledge who God is.
As I come before Him full of angst and grasping to control what I think I can, I first need to enter His Presence with reverence and awe. Centering my mind on what I KNOW to be true of my God, I can then present my concerns and spiraling thoughts before Him recognizing that He not only knows what’s going on and how it is going to end; He also knows ME. He already knows all the stuff going on in my head.
So rather than charging the Throne Room of God with my words, I can quiet my heart and just pour out all that is swirling in a trusting flow of a child going to her Father and seeking His help, guidance, comfort and wisdom.
As I feed on His Word before I spill out my words, I find that I am not a tumbleweed blowing across some deserted expanse of a hopeless world, but a green vine attached to a Branch that will be nourished to bear good fruit.
Easier said than done some days, but going back to the list above helps me reorder my thinking to land in a better place to speak words of life – to myself, to others, to my God <3