Test

In a week, we’re presented with so many opportunities to live out what we believe.

Or not.

As I’m learning more all the time, some of the habituated responses in my own life make change difficult. My body responds by memory. I’m literally working to forge new paths through my rutted brain.

Every week, every day, we live tests. Facing again and again how we move out from what we speak and hold most true.

Will I speak tenderly to myself when life presses?

Will I be kind to those around me, particularly my husband and children, not seeing them as a hurdle to making my stuff happen?

Will I call on God to fill and sustain me and speak truth over me when I want to hustle and strive for approval?

Will I take care of myself with good food and water and exercise and room to breathe when life demands now, now, now?

I don’t see it as a pass/no pass test…it’s more nuanced. Like one of those meandering hand-written essay tests in college Modern World History where some parts flowed like I hoped and others came out wonky with carrots inserting words and lines crossing out the never-minds. Sometimes I eventually got there and sometimes I didn’t really know, and that showed too.

Each moment, I have the option of walking a new way where it’s not all good or all bad and where it doesn’t all hinge upon me. Where the sun does not rise and set upon whether I’ve gotten it or not, and I still have a choice.

Car won’t start. Hmm. Worry or pray?

Daughter forgets lunch for field trip. Stress about the change of plans and drive across town or trust that there’s another way — one that might even be better? Some of both?

Not as much time to prepare for or record Facebook Live as I’d hoped. Show up and do it anyway, or scrap the whole thing because I know it won’t be perfect?

And of course life fills with storms and fears and crisis far beyond my stresses of speaking engagements and out of town travel and unusually smelly minivans amidst the usual packed life. Then, too, of course — tests and choices of all kinds.

This morning in anticipation of speaking before a dear group of women, I read Psalm 27:13-14 and was struck by God’s invitation to be confident and to see his goodness in the land of the living.

It’s a choice — a test of sorts — because when I consider walking up before a room of women, I can choose dread and fear about all I’m not. Or I can believe that I am infused with strength for this day. That it is God who longs to bring his goodness to bear on their lives and in their hearts; that it is God who most certainly moves in the land of the living.

Once again, I can choose to hold open hands to receive the manna of enough and take heart with the courage to show up.

_______

Joining with the Five Minute Friday community and today’s prompt: TEST. (Today’s took a bit more than five.) 

I am learning so much from my friend, Summer Gross, and her Slow Word Movement. I will write more in my upcoming newsletter about how that ancient, quiet practice and process of Lectio Divina is changing me. (Subscribe if you’d like to receive those occasional bits of news and my posts when they’re new.) In the meantime, do check out Summer’s words and the blog post she wrote just yesterday on charting new neural pathways and these everyday resurrections when we choose life. Grateful for all of you and the precious communities where I find myself…all those helping me to be brave and choose life.

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