You must watch this video in order to get the most of this post. Did you do it yet? Do it. Good.
Saying that I don’t think Christians should live out of fear is all well and good until it means that I have to be weak, vulnerable, and exposed to other people. That scares me.
I am filled with much fear. I am seeing it more and more these days. I saw it this afternoon when Jordan called me out about being contrary about shamrock shakes (more on this below). Again today when I was trying to defend why I don’t like Peyton Manning. I saw it when I dug my heels in about not reading Blue Like Jazz or watching The Passion. I am fear filled. I am that person clinging to the balance beam. Worse, I pride myself on not being that person and so I am clinging to my balance beam yelling at everyone else that they should not be clinging to theirs. Ah. foolish, wayward, loved child. I can feel the Father shaking His head, sighing, and looking at me with love, affection, and a heart of correction.
I am afraid to go to Him, too. He changes me. He changes you. And He will certainly ask me to get off my balance beam and be vulnerable with others. I can feel the challenge to walk forward into being honest with people when I am unsure. Today, today it was the smallest, most shallow thing: a shamrock shake.
That is right. I had a moral conviction in the midst of a conversation about a shake from McDonald’s. (this is just more proof that the Holy Spirit must be real) I have had one, and it was not good, and I am irrationally gun shy about having another because they might be AMAZING! If they are, then I will have to have them all the time and I already have a not so small Diet Coke problem; and this would be yet another McDonald’s problem.(for those who don't know, Diet Coke is just a dollar at McDonald's. awesome. and terrible.) So, instead of admitting that, or even instead of just letting myself feel my fear, I covered it up with the desire to be right. Right that shamrock shakes are not good, because if they are not good, then I cannot be addicted to them, and therefore cannot be part of the hype about them, and therefore will somehow be protected all alone in my “I don’t like shamrock shakes and this is some kind of safe identity” place.
My own sin and weakness are dripping from my pores. The point is that I was not being wholly myself, and not really available to my co-workers and friends. I want to me more open to those around me, to heed the call of God to stand on the balance beam. I think that God is calling me to be open to being influenced by others when I am unsure, and to be honest where I am weak, or don’t have all the information .He is asking me to lay down my need to be right.
This is something I am going to have to lay down again and again as it is so deeply engrained in me. This is one way I was hard-wired to be safe in my family. If you were right, then you were in some way safe from criticism and I have absorbed that, taken it in, and made it my own in all of its green-ice-cream-resisting glory. It seems like there are dozens of ways to grow in this everywhere I look: say the affectionate thing I am thinking, say that I don’t know the answer, be open to being corrected in public, be okay with someone else having the spotlight, be okay with being in the spot light, give generously of my food and beverages (seriously, this is basically a love language for me), invite people to join me in my home, invite people to join me in other places I love (the Firkin, Caribou, Wrigley Field) , go with others to places they love, let other people’s praise and criticism affect me, wear more bright colors, sing more often and more loudly, and let myself be convicted by the Spirit.
First: try a shamrock shake with Jordan and Krystal. Yes, it sounds shallow, but it is more than that for me, and I should embrace that. There is yet another growth point- don’t shy away from depth in daily activities.
Oh man, here we go.