I spoke at our church this weekend, which is not unusual, but I felt very shaky about the message I had developed, which is unusual. I love to study so I typically just keep hammering away at a message until I feel really ready to speak it four times to lots and lots of people. It didn’t work that way this time. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get it to take the right shape. Like a tennis player who’s racket breaks a string, this message just didn’t seem to be fully functional and I was frantically re-writing my notes (which I didn’t even end up using) on Saturday night at 6:15 – minutes before I was supposed to teach it.
The weekend ended up going great. Lots of people talked to me about how it blessed them. I received a lovely string of encouraging emails. No one threw tomatoes or walked out in disgust (to my knowledge!) There was no doubt in my mind that God had stepped up to the plate for me and everything had worked out fine.
And yet…last night I woke up from three separate dreams about the weekend and they were thus:
- I dreamed that one of the other pastors was standing in the back of the church, motioning me to “wrap it up!”
- I dreamed that my husband was sitting in the front row, telling to me to, “Simmer down -you’re talking too much and too loud!”
- I dreamed that the table I stood behind was as tall as I am and I could barely see over the top of it.
Do you see a pattern in these dreams? Do you see what my subconscious has been telling me?
I’m amazed at how powerful our inner thought life is. These dreams and my insecurity going into the weekend are waving a red flag at me because: I clearly have some work to do in aligning my thoughts about me with His thoughts about me. I’ve done it before, but this is a steady necessity, like watering the plants or using moisturizer. My thoughts have some how shifted to an insecure, self-protective posture and I know that’s not right for my life. It’s not right for your life, either. We don’t have to live in the land of Not Enough, when Jesus calls us Worthy. Sometimes I mask my insecurity in hypocritical robes of “humility” but insecurity is really just another flavor of pride. It’s still focused exclusively on my own silly self and it becomes toxic, moving through my system and poisoning everything it touches.
So, how to fix it? For me, it will be a rugged determination to filter my thoughts -all of them – through the truth of the Word and ways of God. I will fast thoughts of inadequacy and insecurity and feast on thoughts of His good work in my life. This morning, I read about the lovely lily in the field and I wrote this creed for myself. Feel free to borrow it if it fits your life:
Today I want to live like a lily. Lovely, because I am loved. I will not toil through the anxious fields, digging frantic through the dirt for my own security. I refuse to spin – ‘round, ‘round, ‘round, in a mad rush to build secret Plan B’s lest the Creator’s promise of provision fall through. I will stand today in fields of grace, covered in His kindness and certain of His affection. Today I want to live like a lily.
With love from the fields of grace,