Life should not be more complicated than need be… problems and drama and crazy-making should not take up our time. People should not be simple-minded … drawn into things that are of no significance.Each of us should hope to be made of something deep and substantial. We are more than animals following the grumbles of our stomach or the desires of our flesh. How do we know WHO we are? Why are we HOW we are? Why do we have such a need to explain ourselves to ourselves and to others? I’m an Aries. I am a youngest child. I’m a Southerner and a Protestant. I did not pledge a sorority. I played sports and sang and acted. I partied VERY rarely but the few times I did, I did it with the ignorance of one who forgets how it feels to want to die. Moderation is not my nature. I am an all of nothing kind of girl. But is that good? Do I like that about myself? I have had to learn a lot…and learn to practice things that are not my nature. I have had to face my limitations and short-comings and desire to change. Seeking and Understanding and Knowledge and making a change to become more is, I believe, wisdom.
Let me explain. For those of you who are reading this who have known me WELL my whole life…it will not surprise you for me to say that I am a Leader. Albeit a very reluctant leader. I was the captain of the sports teams, an officer of my class and FCA. I was the one who wrote, directed and co-starred in elementary school class performances (I was “Danny” to Kristie Phillips’ “Sandy” in our 3rd grade production of Grease ….we had almost our entire class cast and traveled from room to room to do our show. It had a good run until a second grader went home and tattled that we had cigarettes! Of course they were just rolled up paper! But the show got canned just the same. Ce la Vie!) I was a mischief causer too. I had my entire 9th grade Math class turn their desks around so that we were all facing the back of the room when the teacher came in…why I thought that was funny at the time I will NEVER know…but the thing is, everyone did it. Even when I was a Senior in college I was doing stuff like that . We had a TERRIBLE Journalism professor who did nothing but prance and strut and talk about nothing that had to do with what we were there to study. He loved to hear himself tell of his wonders…and hear the laughter of a few silly girls who obviously wanted to be his pets. He often left the room for several minutes during our class time…and he had a clock on his desk where he perched himself when he talked…when he wasn’t prancing. So, one day I was weary of it…of him…and when he left the room I went up to his desk and changed the time to show that we had very little time left in his class. When he came back in, he talked a little more, looked at the clock, and dismissed us.
Could I have gotten in big trouble? I don’t know. But I took matters into my own hands…good or bad…and no one protested. They went along. Is that a good thing? I don’t know. All I know is that until I was older I was a leader. Always. I was NEVER EVER a follower unless someone was headed in the same direction that I was planning to go anyway.
So, what does this have to do with anything? I just wanted to put into words what occurred to me this morning… I have not changed. I have continued to lead…although I did not recognize it…as a mom and a teacher and a director of children’s choirs and plays and activities in school and church settings. I have been a leader organizing neighborhood functions and dinner clubs and discussions on books.
and people have followed. But if they didn’t, it wouldn’t matter to me…because I don’t have to impose my way. I have never felt like I needed anyone to follow…or that I needed to tell anyone what they should do. If they came along…great. If not…so what. I can have my way even if no one else understands or follows. I will not have someone else impose their way on me, so why would I try to do that?
I am not and never have been and never will be a follower…except as my name implies. “Christy” meaning “Follower of Christ”. That does not mean that what humans tell me will not be received, but unless God through the Holy Spirit tells me that another person’s plans for me, or another person’s vision or revelation are HIS plans for me too…then I will not go. I will not agree. My prayer is that I will not disagree just because I can. That I will not turn my back to a teaching or rush the time because it is not in my time…or that I will ever lead others to turn their backs or rush a lesson if it is not what they should do too. Wisdom…like knowledge of high math or extreme athletic prowess can not be transferred to another person. Each of us must gain our own understanding of what God wants for each of us. And it is not the same thing. We are all One Body but we are all different parts of that Body with different functions. No one is greater or less important than anyone else.
My prayer is not that I have a certain “Gift” or “Personality” or “Function” that explains me, but that I be willing to put aside what is natural for me and comfortable to me and easy for me…and stretch myself. My abilities are limited if I am the one doing “it”…but my ability is unlimited if I am letting God do His thing through me. Knowing this is growing. Knowing this is called becoming wise. I want to become wise…but I have to recognize that God imparts wisdom…I am ignorant about anything Important…unless God opens my eyes and my mind and my heart. Understanding ME and the nature I was born with is not a good use of my time I think. None of what I have done matters unless God used me to do something good…and it was seen as God in me. Understanding what God wants me to be… spending time learning and practicing living up to my name is Important. Not my astrological sign, color of my mascara, my shoe size, my school grades. Nothing like that matters. At all.
Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.
READ THAT AGAIN. AND AGAIN. AND ONCE AGAIN.
We are to invite everyone…to tell them what is important…to prepare a place for them…to tell them that God desires us to Know him and Understand Him and that He wants us to share everything about our day all day everyday with Him.
But some people will reject this message. They will mock us for trying to tell them that there is so much more to life than living like an animal who eats and drinks and spins around going nowhere. Going nowhere. Their lives may be full but they are empty and already dead. So sad. Terribly sad.
That is why we keep calling and inviting…even if we are rejected…because there are some who want to Know. Who want to Live.
My Pastor has preached on two different sermons recently that I can not get out of my head. One is short: “We have an audience of One”. Even among everyone else on this earth…only ONE do we really perform for. Only One should we care whether or not we get applause from at the end of the performance.
And secondly…God has done AMAZING miracles to save his children time and time again. Specifically with Pharoah…God led His children out of Egypt, provided for them…in the dessert for 40 YEARS!!! It could have taken less than 2 weeks to get to where they were going…but they did not trust Him! They sent 12 spies to look at the Promised Land and to report back on what they saw. 10 of the 12 reported back that there was NO WAY that they could enter the Promised Land without being destroyed. Can you imagine? And it is true…they could not do it…BUT GOD COULD. That is our human condition. We have such little faith that we can not do things because we are limited by our weak nature and our weak body. BUT GOD CAN! God can do anything He wants through us…but we have to allow it. Do we want to remain slaves wandering around aimlessly…falling into the same holes and going nowhere for our whole lives because other people say that we can’t…that we aren’t smart enough or strong enough or wealthy enough or good enough? We are listening to the fears and seeing through eyes of humans who are reporting on what they see!!! We HAVE TO understand that we have an Audience of ONE …and His vision is perfect…and He tells us not to be afraid…and He tells us to believe in His Power and His Promises.
Stop being a slave…and trust that God HAS A PROMISED LAND for you. And when He starts to lead you to your Promised Land that He WILL see you there safely. Don’t stop believing in Him. Don’t listen to other’s that God won’t or can’t. Of course He WILL and of course He CAN! We are meant for more than spinning our wheels. We are meant to be leaders…with Jesus as our example and the Holy Spirit as our guide we are meant to take people out of simplicity, out of their human condition, out of slavery. Knowing God … ALL THINGS are possible for us…if we only believe. Let’s help other’s see God for who He is –
The Beginning and the End and everything in between…and yet He wants to be with us. Wow. How in the world could we even consider NOT Following? What an honor. Thank You, God.