Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On Belay

The last few days have been full of anxiety for me. I've been here for a week alone…well not really alone as I have meet wonderful people here and have them all around me…but alone in the sense that everyone is new…there are no familiar faces except in my photo album or on facebook! The moments of anxiety have been especially great when I have to defend my decisions and make decisions about things that I don't understand or don't have all the information. I knew that in God putting me here, I would feel inadequate…I just didn't know how much! I knew that I would have to do things (like try to read CT scansJ, and analyizing termite infested wood) but I thought maybe there would be some time to ease into it, instead of it all coming at once.

I look through my journals for the last several years and I see myself asking God to teach me to pray, to trust Him more, to be dependent on Him in every moment, and to use me to do whatever He wills…I don't think I'll ever be done learning those things BUT I think that the time in Sierra Leone will accelerate the process! This morning the book I was reading had a chapter all about anxiety and worry; I do find that I believe this book was written for me (please let me keep my egotistical idea that the author somehow was thinking of me when he wrote it!). He talked about going on a ropes course, and I thought I'd share it with you today. Perhaps it will encourage you as much as it has me…

The pivotal moment during a ropes course comes when you are strapped in, ready to climb, and you say to your instructor, "On belay"—which I would be tempted to think is a French phrase meaning "I've lost my mind." Actually, to belay a rope means to make it absolutely secure, to fasten it to something immovable. It means that now your are connected to something that will keep you from falling, and you will entrust your body to what you say you believe. You will walk by faith. On belay….You could listen to the lecture about the safety of carabiners a thousand times; you could repeat the whole thing by memory—but that alone would not remove the fear from your body the first time you are on the ropes….The Bible and prayer were not given to us as forms of anxiety avoidance. In the long run, anytime we avoid doing the right thing out of fear, we die a little inside. When we really place ourselves in the flow of the Spirit's pease is when we say "on belay" to God…."okay, God, I will take the risk even though I don't know the outcome yet." We go through this life one time. Some wonderful things will happen to us; some dreams will come true. Some terrible things will happen to us, bringing with them pain, problems, and disappointment. Of that we can be certain. But we can go through this life worried—or we can go through it at peace.

Life is too short,

    joy is to precious,

        God is too good,

            our soul is too valuable,

                we matter too much

    to throw away a single moment of our one and only life on anxious striving.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid.


 

On belay.

(from "The Me I want to be: becoming God's best version of you" by John Ortberg, pg. 125-127)