Thursday, 12 April 2018

Father Abraham had many fears

image from http://tidbitsandtinkerings.com


Indulge me - please sing with me….

Father Abraham had many fears,
Many fears had Father Abraham,
I know some of them. 
And so do you. 
So let’s just talk them out.
One lie….. 
Two lies…..
Father Abraham had many fears…..

Yup it is true.  That man, our father of faith, was still beset with fears.  So how could a man, so graced with faith, have fear?

Here is a man, who has talked to God one on one.  Here is a man, who has promises from God.  Here is a man, who has translated this faith in his God, packed up his family, chattels and possessions, and walked out of his known home, the land of his fathers, started a journey into the great big bad world, into where God will show him, to take it into possession, for himself and his descendants - as numerous as the stars - with a barren, but beautiful wife to boot.  Total obedience.  Faith in action.  Trust. 

Abraham believed in God.  He believed in God’s promises to him.  What fears could he possibly have had?

What is fear by the way?  Google response is, an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.  The synonyms are many.  Fear has many names, to describe its unpleasantness.  Fear is a feeling -which sometimes is evidenced by action.

How did this work with Abraham.  He lied.  About his wife - not being his wife.  Recorded twice in the bible – could have been more times that are unrecorded.  Strange huh? 

What led him to tell this lie?  What was his thought process, his feelings in these instance?  Would he have used any of the words above to describe his unpleasant emotions? 

Consider, that a major factor in the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham were linked to his having offspring, and thus on his having a wife.  Did he think that if he let go off his wife, and he averted the danger he thought he was in, at least he would still be alive, and perhaps a new wife would be availed to him to bear offspring with?  Did he think that he needed to save his own life for the sake of the promises?  Did it mean that after trusting God, giving up all he had given up, doing all he had done, he could not let God get him out of his presenting troubles at each point? 

The promise was alive.  Very alive to Abraham.  He knew because God had said it, it was true, and would happen.  He had faith in God.  But still.  But yet.  Disquiet.  Not peace. 

What was the source of Abraham’s lack of peace?  Where did Abraham get his fear from?  Experience?  What experiences?  Who had been killed before, so his beautiful wife would be snatched up?  Had anyone tried to kill Abraham before, because of his beautiful wife?  I do not know.  He knew death happened for people had died.  And when they were dead, the bore no descendants.  Fear of premature death?  Far greater than the faith he had of what he was promised?  Of the promises not being fulfilled?  Of all he had trothed all for naught?

What leads me to my fears?  Which of my experiences have led me here?  Am I willing to go into my experiences, into my past and find the cause?

Mothers of Sons – a workbook I am working through, says, “Problems or challenges have roots and shoots.  Sometimes we focus on the fruit hanging on the shoots and do nothing about the roots.  Identify the root of your problems and deal with it.  Learning, or unlearning from the past, the roots is important.” 

A person I care about once told me, “I am not going back into the past.  I cannot go back into the past.  The past is gone and doesn’t matter now.”  Yet they were and still are visibly struggling with issues from their past, their experiences, that are roots to their problems today, so that they are unable to function optimally in their life.  So that they are making decisions and coping out of fear.

Fear.  Of death.  Of current perception of self. 

Fear.  Of death.  Of goals?  Promises?

I wonder if Abraham ever gained freedom from that fear, found peace, as he grew into the name God had called him to – from Abram to Abraham.  I’m sure he did.  For despite it all, Abraham believed the Lord, and God credited it to him as righteousness [Genesis 15:6 NIV].

I am in good company.




Sunday, 4 February 2018

Transition. Seasons.

My desktop for the last two years has been A return to love by Marianne Williamson.  From the time I read it, the start line resonated with me, has resonated with me for a long time.  I have examined fear multiple times; here and here and here, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.  A lot of my fear exams are undocumented. 

A return to love starts with, ‘Our deepest fears, is not that we are inadequate.  It is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light and not our darkness that most frightens us’. 

The darkness has offered me security in its familiarity.  In fact, I have often reveled in the darkness.  In the darkness, no examination of anything can occur.  And though this has not been comfortable, again there has been an assurance in its familiarity.  Stepping out into the light for me, has happened and has been threefold. 

One, it has been an admission and a facing of the latent fears that have held me back.  Stepping into my light has been a journey into a thousand past scary defeating places.  I’ve acknowledged them fears that lurks in my dark, turned my back on them and dared them to follow me into the light.  Once in a while, when I am not vigilant, they still do tap me on my shoulder, but because I know them, familiarity does breed contempt - does it not, I tell them to bugger off.  Mostly – sometimes I may inadvertently let them hang around for a mo. 

Secondly, and within the same instance, the admission of my potential.  It is an admission that I am powerful.  It is an admission that I am fully loaded, and ready to move to where I should be.  Marianne Williamson states, ‘We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”  I now affirm myself.  I am dazzling, beautiful, endowed, extraordinary.  I am bountifully gifted.  I am amazebombs!  I am too much!!  But why should I not be – I am the child of the most high, created in his image, and his life breathed into me.  I am playing big now.  And henceforth.  I will serve God as He intended for me to.  I will serve the world as I should, for ‘shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you’ has not serve them or I well. 

It is the shift, from faint hope, to full bloodied vocal expectation.  It is the shift, from being labeled too much, to personal acceptance of all I am, to leveraging my muchness and putting it all out there.  It is the shift from holding myself back, to passionately and authoritatively standing up and voicing my belief in me.  It is the ultimate transition of faith into trust, taking up my assignment and going full throttle.  It is the knowing that I am overwhelmingly capable of being what I should be.

Thirdly, has been a facing of my very real outcome driven future fears – of failure, of success, and all that lies in between.  It has involved the apprehension of what lies ahead.  They say for every new level there is a new devil – in what form, and when – ohhhh uncertainity of it all.  My fear system requires that I get intimate with all of them fears, and yet, not let them count.   My fear system has led me to the realization that it is not an event, but a continual process.  With stops and backtracking.  But with a focus on effort, dint and determination.

‘We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

God has a hold on me.  So I have let me just get a hold of Him!  I will serve!  For I was born to make manifest the glory of God through service to Him and to others.  I will shine! 

It is time.  Transition.  Season.  My desktop has something new on it.  Something bold.  Something that is not just about leaving the darkness, or stepping into light, where there is colour and all things nice, but something with movement, assertiveness, and courage – the moving on despite the fears.  Grace.  Obedience.  Discipline.  It is time to be in motion!  Into the light, Hallelujah! 
What will this mean for me? 

It means that my weaknesses will not embody me.  For God has said to me that His grace is sufficient for me, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  In Christ I rest and draw my strength. [2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV]

It means that I will not keep bounce back against the wall of fear, but scale it, and move on to greater heights.  For God will make my feet like the feet of deer, and set me on my high places [Psalm 18:33].

It means I bite my thumb at fear.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for God is with me, He is my rod and my staff, and they comfort me [Psalm 23:4].

It means that I will not be controlled by fear.  It means I will find a new controller.  A new master.  I call him Teacher and Lord and that is who He is to me [John 13:13].

It means that I have found a will to move into my transition.  For everything has its time.  To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven [Ecclesiastes 3:1].

It means that I will not be seduced by fear.  For the Lord has induced me, and I have been persuaded – for He is stronger than I, and He has prevailed [Jeremiah 20:7], though I think I may not be fully aware of all the consequences.

It means that I will not conform.  I will not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God [Romans 12:2].  But will operate in a new logic.  A God-based logic. 






Friday, 12 January 2018

Resistance to God

About God - why am I stubborn?  Why do I not obey?  Comply? I keep on asking myself this.  And
keep on not finding the answer.

Not the commandments.  Those are clear.  Thou shall, thou shalt not.  And yes – I flounder even in those – but I am not talking about the commandments now.

I’m talking about the other things, the clear nudgings, the loud messages that come to me from God.  In all manner of ways.

Why do I not obey?  What is obedience?  Submission, “the action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person”.  Will or authority of God.  Accepting that His wisdom for me is sufficient, His provision for action is sufficient?  That His grace is sufficient? Trusting God? 

Easy words to say.  But how to action them?  Consciously and consistently?

I know submission to Gods way leads to experiences God’s will in my life.  To the living of His planned purpose for me.  His thoughts are not my thoughts, nor his ways my ways, for His are higher than mine [Isaiah 55:8-9]. 

The opposite of obedience.  Disobedience.  Sin.  Is that what I have?  Lucifer, the archangel, the bearer of light, the son of God, fell and became satan – the adversary.  He had that prideful bit that told him that he was mighty and wonderful and he did not have to obey anyone, let alone this so called creator.  Eve too, wanted to will be like God, all-knowing.  Do I have a little of this unsophisticated foolishness, of thinking that the whole key to my life lies in me, myself and I?  An arrogant part of me, that tells me I am all that plus more.  I really should submit myself to God, to enable me to resist the devil [James 4:7].

Or do I hesitate to obey, because I know that submission to God’s will in my life, to His calling will cost me.  That it will hurt.  Will be painful.  A plucking out of the earthly human part of me.  A death to self?  Painful.  I know that the more I will walk into that pain, that struggle, the more I will gain.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain [Phillipians 1:21].  And a mind that is on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot [Romans 8:7]

I know submission to God is obedience to this purpose.  I know that in submission to Him, comes the confirmation of my next step in this plan.  In the right direction.  That in this submission is my key to unity with him.  In it is that peace, which surpasses all understanding.  In it is the removal of this resistance - resistance to God.



Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Life left, Left life

image from http://likesuccess.com/
She is gone
You said her time was up
Her lease expired

She left the day you looked at your past
And told it the cliché
My past does not define me

She left the day you shouted down the urging
That whispered that life was large
That there must be more than this

She left the day you refused to acknowledge
That the past was hurt
And had a hold on you

She left in that instance
And your past became your now
And you embraced it

She left the moment
Your past became your future
And you received it

She left the day you acquiesced yourself
To not seeking
To not healing

The instance
That you died
While you still lived

She did not go softly
She fought and pleaded
But you were determined

You unthreaded her slowly
In action and in deed
From the weft and warp of your being

Piece by piece into the bin
Smaller and smaller she became
Then just a smudge

You dusted off your hand
Glad for a job well done
Thinking this was right for you

That it was the best way forward
The only way you could remain
And live with who you were

Unknowingly
You had weighed the two pains
And chose the familiar

You shrunk from looking into you
Fearing self revelation
Would ruin you

You’d chosen blindness to self
For you believed the truth
Wouldn’t set you free

Better to just let it be
Easier on the I
Cheaper too

Change has a high asking price
The charge quoted in pain currency
And you cannot afford it

Better to be here with the familiar
It is not as bad as it looks
And you know how it works

Better to stay here
Master of your shoreline
Than to move to unchartered parts

I’m doing this out of love
For you and all of us
The voice soothes

Lets not recall
Examine
Or resolve

There is nothing to reflect on
Learn or gain anyway
The past has no influence

Influence your outlook
Your attitudes
Your perceptions?

Influence your decisions
Your actions
Your relationships?

Noooo
It happened, it’s done
It ‘s dead, it’s buried

You have today to live
You just live it
You are good

It is not your fault
Things and people
Just happened to you

You just keep moving
You have now to do
And the rest of your nows

The voice tells you
That it is okay
Just keep on

You never question the voice
Never recognise
That it is fear

The urging always responds
A murmur
Up through the fear

Never listened to
Pushed away
Dismissed

You redeem its place to vices
That take control of you
And dim any need for choice

You seek self preservation
Of current status quo
Of yourself and all you hold dear

You choose a treadmill life
Expending effort going nowhere
Seeking nothing gaining nothing

You gave negligence your life
Created undefined frustration
And perpetual dissatisfaction

Still
The niggling
To stop and seek

Still
You suppress it
In fear

Fleetingly
You wish it was not too late
To go back

Too late to leap out of the playback loop
Too far along the path of time
Too late

For now
Is singular
Lives alone

And yet the urge
Pushes you options
Defines them

The pain of regret
Fearful
Resigning

The pain of change
Bold
Intentional

A choice
Life left
Left life


Monday, 4 December 2017

It’s all about me

image from http://likesuccess.com/
They - the world, keep on telling me, that it is not about me.  That it is about the people in my life, my interactions and relationships.  It’s about others.  That I should view them as more important than I. And that making it all about me is the height of selfishness and egocentricity.

But, I recently had a conversation with someone, and subsequently sat in the audience for a sermon, and the message was the reverse – It is all about me.  My life is about me, my actions are about me, and what I am doing is about me.  It is all about me.

One view point must be right, and the other wrong.  Or could both be right.  A conundrous situation that.  And could there be too, a third prism?  That third part - I am not going to even entertain.

So - two sides, to it.  A coin.  With one side about me, and the other not about me?  Double sided me.  Within the width transverse of me the coin, where is the demarcation between it “being about me”, and it “not being about me”?

Let me think this through.  Others matter – in relation to me.  Which does align to my perception on the order of life; God – Me – Spouse – Child – Family – Others.  Which many have disputed when I have articulated it in to them, but that’s all right.  I don’t seek for agreement in any, let alone all my opinions.  Unless you plan to be a fixture in my life, and then I require you to agree to all my crucial opinions.  And this one, on the order of life - is an important one.  And we are not discussing it or agreeing to disagree.  It’s my way only.

So that part gets a tick on it being all about me.  Me before you.  Me before everyone else.  Apart from God.  It is about me.  What I think.  And what I want.  What I choose.  What I do.  

So if it is all about God, then me, where does that leave others?  Especially those who I know are better persons than me?   I know who I am, what I am.  I am full of vices and iniquities, a far far second to godliness.  My default setting is vice and inequity.  Or so I think.  Wrong is easier, and funner, as my child would say, than virtue and saintliness.  And the fact that there are better people than I, who should rightfully come before me in the greater scheme of things – means I’m in a quandary.  I am not sure how to proceed. 

It all doesn’t sit well with me.  Because somewhere deep within me, I know that the totally selfish and egocentric self is not right.  It is an easy place.  But it is where my mind, will and emotions, ergo my soul, want to stay.  Too easy.  My heart doesn’t like it.  My heart speaks.  Of something bigger, grander, and certainly knows, that what it speaks of is not easy. 

My heart knows, because it is God’s.  Because I am created in the likeness, in the image of God.  I am of His spirit, and my spirit, seeks to return to Him, partake of my share in Him, and not just be me.  Not just be full of me.

Have you ever heard of the anecdote about the jar, filled progressively with first stones, then pebbles, then sand, then water?  At each filling, it appears full, and then after a shake, can still take the subsequent item and the next of a lesser bulk.  I’m full of stones.  Rubbish?  But I think that space can still be found for some pebbles?  Some sand?  Water?  Some good stuff? 

Me – in all my full human stony weakness.  Can be filled with some good stuff?  I know there is room.  I know that the stones can be smothered.  Shrunk? And disappeared?  That I can be turned into a being of strengths and virtues as I get filled up with the love of the Father, with the grace of my Saviour, plus the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?  And I take on a new appearance?  The stones decrease in volume, and the good stuff rises in presence?  In my being?  My thoughts?  And actions?


Then it ceases to become all about me.  And becomes about God in me.  It’s not all about me.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Woman - Keeping

image from Pinterest
I'm keeping you
My mother
My sister
My daughter
You

We are together
Not just for a reason
Or a time
But for life
Ours

Pendulum-ing sometimes
In and out of my life
And at each incoming
Is like you were never away
Back to our sameness

You remind me time and time again
That every woman has a story
Characters and instances changing
The struggle is the same
I bear witness to this

I watch you in struggle
Grow into the you I have already seen
And I am glad
I am a part
Of your becoming

I worry about you
When things are not right with you
And wonder if you worry about you too
Or me
Or not

I pray for you
I know you pray for me
Because I get answers
To prayers I have not prayed
Or yet to pray

I love you
No matter what
No matter when
No matter why who where how
Or if

Because of love I forgive
When you have not been kind
When you have not offered a hand
When you have spoken when you should not have
When you have kept your silence when you should not have

You forgive
For real and imagined wrongs
For untended slights
For deliberate hurts
For everything

I call you out
And tell you off
Because I must
For I am your keeper
Like no other

I love you woman.
I may have never told it to you before
Because of my own limitations
Self imposed
Or not

But I am saying it now
I love you
You and you and you
My friend
Woman

You woman
You keeper
So long as providence allows
And the God of you and I
Keeps us


Woman – Leaving

image from Twitter
Though I am invested in you
And I know you have done the same
I have had to let you go
Or gone myself
Adieu

I have to let you go
Your reason is complete
Our stay is ended
Out of my life
And my journey’s space

I have to let you go
You add no value to me now
Or I to you
Because
Our time is off

Looking back sometimes I see
Albeit at times I cannot recognise
The point at which our steps diverged
To allow for singular movement
Without the other

I will keep you in my heart
And once in a while
Pull you out
In nostalgic remembrance
Of the good

The unending conversation
Truest exchanges
The story shared
Deep into the night
And forever lasting phone call

The unbridled laughter
Spontaneous tears
Of our souls
Bared
Without reserve

I will remember too
The call placed in times of strife
Never mind the hour
Or the place
And the immediate response

I will remember us
The care
The love
The concern
The presence

I will remember
Of finding out things
That I should not have known
That I was not supposed to have known
That did not appear when we were learning us

The secrets
That you hold for me
That I know for you
That silently repose
Never to be remembered again

I will miss that no one will get some things
Within a word, a look, an occurrence
Because you alone were there
Our private party line
Witness

Longing will haunt me
For that synchronic sharing
Of attributes and interests
Innate compatibility
Cosmos simpatico

I always will wonder though
How did it change
How did it end
Did it have to change
Did it have to end

I will wonder too sometimes
If it was equal
If you got from me what I got from you
Or if one of us was short changed
For then or for the future

I will struggle to make meaning
Of your sojourn in my life
Knowing for a while there
It was seemingly all clear
And then not enough

I will wish that we could meet up again
In the future unknown
And go back to before the letting go
To live those moments
Once again

Most of all
I wish you well woman of my heart
For yesterday
And most of all
For our separate today and tomorrow