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Without Doubt

photo 3 (2)-011I will.
What powerful words.
A promise, an intention, a commitment.
If I say I will do it, I will.

I am reluctant to say this to God.
‘I will follow you all the days of my life.’
Because I know I won’t.
I will trip and fall.
I will stumble or swerve or slam on the breaks.
I will not follow, so let me not say so.

But what if I did say so?
Would that not be arrogant and proud?
As if I knew I was a special one,
Selected from among the many,
Singled out for my…my what?

You’re no more special than the other, my dear.
Come, simply at my request,
Come willingly, but without reservation.
Say you will, knowing fully that you won’t.
That is the price —
which I have paid.

And in that instant, the ground under my feet is firm.
Of course, I say.
I see it now, I say.
How could I have doubted?

The very thought!
Oh my God!
I have ushered in my own demise.

The ground begins to crumble and my balance gives way.
My arms grapple with the air,
But there it no holding, no grasping, no righting.
Only tumbling, falling, twisting, turning,
confusion, chaos, peril, and fear,
until, blessedly,

I knew it was too good to be true.
Yet, it is true.
I saw it, I felt it, I was there.
Briefly, ever so briefly.
Were it not for my doubt,
Oh doubt, will I ever be rid of you?

I brush myself off
and attend to my scrapes and bruises –
No gashes, no stitches, no broken bones.
I seem to have survived the fall.

That is why I came.
Falling is part of believing,
It draws us closer.

What can you possibly want with someone like me?

You are free to go.

Where should I go?

You can come with me.

Taking the low road to get to the high road

God’s idea for me today was… “sometimes you have to take the low road to get to the high road.” Now, I have never considered myself a settle for average or below kind of person. (And let’s face it, when my kids say they “failed” a test, they are usually worried they may not have gotten an A.) But what of the “C” grade? What of the middle ground? By definition, that’s where most of us fall, even though we reach for the heights.

Honestly, I am thinking about this as I consider how to get one of my children to do “what’s good for her.” (the high ground) Why doesn’t she see that if she doesn’t get off her butt and get exercise and work on her skills she will fail at the soccer tryouts? But telling her this is not motivating. Yesterday, of her own accord, she apparently pulled out the hand weights (I know because she left them for her sister to trip over – okay). I am pretty sure she did this because she wants to look better.

Now I have designed training programs for her, sketched out stretching routines complete with stick figures, made the calisthenics workouts fun with the latest exercise equipment, and nada. The equipment sits and stares at me. And I think to myself, what’s good for her doesn’t even start to get her interest. Taking the high ground is way beyond eye level. Nope. I know what’s motivating: appealing to her vanity, her baser human nature, perhaps even her fear of falling. Because then she will respond. But that feels like such low ground to me.

And then God says, “Sometimes you have to take the low road to get to the high road.” And then He spoke Christ among us who said, “Follow me.”

I think the highest roads may not even seem like an option to most of us. I have to climb all the way up there??!!! But small steps along a gradually inclined road – that sounds more like the Lord’s style. Gradually progressing, continuously rewarding. That does leave most us navigating the middle ground. And perhaps that is just where He wants us. Because I think it may get very steep at the top. We’ll need a bit of fitness training before then.

I read a piece of great advice this week: “If you struggle with resolve, try intentionally having a mediocre day. Shoot for 60% in everything you do, and see if you don’t exceed expectations all day long.”

Something about a new year is inspiring. I don’t think it’s the view. I am hoping it’s the perspective. Have a 62% day, y’all! Tomorrow, let’s go for 64%.

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