I had another interesting conversation in the school playground as we waited for the kids to come out a couple of days ago.
I see God, I sense God, I “hear” God in the most unsuspected of places. I say unsuspected, because if you knew me and those who know me well, know that I am an introvert, and I always try to shy away from small talk in environments like the school playground. My nature and my personality see it as an up-hill struggle to exchange a few words in those circumstances when you know that you are not going to deliberately be discussing anything significant, and because of that, you end up standing there like a lemon whilst your mind races to come up with something original to say. Not for me, I am afraid.
I am polite and I like acknowledging people and making a point of letting them know I know they are there and that I am glad to see them, but if I want to show someone that they really matter to me and that I want to share of my time to hear their concerns, I will go out of my way to arrange and ensure that I see them at another time, in a more favourable environment where “authentic” relationships can be forged and nurtured.
Anyway, all of that to say that God surprised me yet again the other afternoon as I arrived in the school playground and attempted to get to my usual spot where I knew that I would not have to enter into one of those silly conversations that in the majority of cases simply serve the only purpose of killing time before your child comes out. God, however, had a different plan for me that day and so I started talking to a friend, and as we shared what we had done throughout that day, I explained how I have recently started spending half an hour three or four times a week on an exercise bike that we were given by one of my husband’s colleagues.
Again, those who know me well, know that I have an aversion to regular exercise because there is not a lot to me, and anything strenuous on my body normally becomes a negative instead of a positive, as it takes me longer than others with more fat reserves to recover from such efforts. The thing is that when I was a child and a teenager, I used to be quite fit, understood not in the sense of attractive to the opposite sex (which I was, of course!), but in the sense of healthy and in good shape. I absolutely loved running, not as a discipline to keep fit, but simply running for the joy of feeling the breeze on my face as the speed increased; for the joy of feeling alive; for the joy of feeling the power in my physical body to get from A to B. I even got a gold medal at a 100m competition once when I spent a summer in Ireland on an English Language Course. I used to race the boys my age as a kid and always won. Oh, those were the days of the female gender domination. Just kidding!.
Anyway, we continued talking, and my friend and I came to the realisation that at some point when we grow up we start losing faith in ourselves and our ability to do the things we dream about and to follow the desires of our heart that cry out to us. I can’t remember exactly when, but I know that as I became a grown- up, my zest for life and my joy of living ebbed away, one little bit at a time, quietly, subtly, without me realising it was happening. Day after day I started to listen to that other side in all of us; that other part of our nature which time and time again persuades us of our inability to fulfill those dreams, achieve those goals, and to aim higher.
One day I stopped running, and my perception of myself changed with that too. I started believing I have no physical prowess or ability to achieve in that area. Have you ever noticed how the things we proclaim and admit to others may not necessarily be true about ourselves, but we declare them with such frequency and resignation that in the course of time, they have actually become true, we have allowed them to be true? What sort of things does your heart long for that the “enemy”‘s persistent voice has convinced you you will never be able to do or achieve? At what point did you lose all faith in yourself to better your physical ability, your character, your attitude and your behaviour, that in the process you also forgot that there is a Superior Being out there, a God who created you and for whom and with whom nothing is impossible? At what point in the course of your life have you pointed your receiver in the direction of the lies of the enemy instead of Jesus Christ’s reaffirming love, compassion, mercy and encouragement? What are the things that you heart still longs for but you lack faith to pursue? What will be the dreams that as you lie in your death bed you will regret not having had a shot at?
Well, I have certain things that I would like to attempt and do for God’s glory in this world, but His word tells us that those who are faithful in the little things, will be entrusted with bigger things, so although to many, my little epic of getting back on the exercise “saddle” seems trivial and insignificant, I know that the mere fact that I have broken that negative pattern of thought of setting limitations upon myself, HAS destroyed a stronghold in my life which had been there for long enough and had stopped me from believing in my own potential to achieve more. As I overcome fear and negativity in the small things, I trust that the Lord will guide me through the path of bigger and greater challenges, but I know that I am not to try and do these things in my own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in me.
Faith can indeed “move mountains” that to others may seem like mole hills. What are your mountains? What walls do you hit every time you try to fly? Are there areas in your life you are determined to succeed in, but you constantly fail because God in his loving mercy is trying to redirect your efforts and energy in a new direction, a better direction?
I was absolutely elated to receive so many comments to my last post. It is fantastic to be joined in this journey by so many others who like me are looking for answers to valid and life-shaping questions. And it is even more wonderful to actually be able to exchange viewpoints and still accept and have time for each other when our perspectives are quite different. A true blessing indeed!
Don’t forget to comment! Blogging is much more fun when we do it together!
God bless you!