Thursday, August 30, 2012

Written on My Heart...

"He has written His signature
 on my heart..."

A pillar of salt, I don't want to be! I listened to a speaker (Janet Davis) on Moody the other day. She was discussing her new book, My Own Worst Enemy. This is a book I haven't read yet, but am planning to very, very soon.  In the interview I listened to, Janet offered us a peek into the first chapter of this book on the subject of Lot's wife.  

I share some of her unsettling questions and insights here, for you own consideration.  Trust me though, proceed with caution.  If you're anything like me, you might get seasick feeling your boat feverishly rocking beneath you!

Lot's wife, someone we usually hear so little about, is a tragic figure mentioned briefly in scripture (Genesis: 19), as the one who looked back as they were leaving Sodom and was instantly turned to a pillar of salt. I have always run past that story as quickly as I could, not wanting to linger too long over the picture of a woman whose life was destroyed instantly. Janet slows us down and invites us to look and learn. Once again, I was amazed at what she saw that I never did. Janet draws a comparison between us and Lot's wife. She asks us to consider some hard questions in our own lives. Here are some that I recall.

Do I count the cost of “staying where I am”? Of refusing to move forward to where I know God is leading me? Is it hard for me to “let go” of the past? Am I willing to do the hard work of moving forward with God? Do I shut down the future God is offering me to stay with the familiar past, even if I know it isn't the best for me? 

Am I willing to ask the hard questions about where I've been (my family of origin)? Do I cling to anything that God has told me to leave?  Are there any dysfunctional patterns in my life that I excuse because "that's the way we do it in our family!" What is God asking me to admit that I am resisting? 

Janet suggests that refusing to face the hard questions stifles our growth. We "forget who God made us to be."  Who will I be if I refuse to move into where God is calling me to go? What do I forfeit? Where is the “deadness” in my life? Do I discount my passions, for fear of the risks I will have to take to develop them?

I found this to be a compelling interview that shook me up in the “little safe place” where I prefer to live most of the time.  Nothing wrong with safe, right?  Or, is there...?

How about you? Do you recognize His voice calling you out of something “old” into something new that He has designed just for you? Are you afraid to let go and move on?   What's the thing that scares you the most about "letting go"? What might you have to do to move forward?  Do you discount the unique gifts God has entrusted to you in order to fit the mold assigned by your family, your parents, your friends, even the church?  

Only God has the right to define us. Not even our parents have the right to do that in our lives. We should not give that power to anyone but God.  As a parent, do I claim that power for my own in my children's lives (including my adult children)? Or do I "set them free" to be what God uniquely created them to be? Ouch!  Janet, please stop stepping on my toes...!

At the end of the interview, Janet gave a little assignment for us to explore. She suggested that we list ten things we feel passionate about. Here's the list I scribbled pretty quickly (less than a minute!) in no particular order. Creativity, in all it's forms, tops my list.  The question is “Do I value the passions He has written on my heart?"  Or do I discount them in ways I'd rather not admit...?  I refuse to answer on the grounds I may incriminate myself...!

Try making your own list. See if there's anything there that takes you by surprise!

What Am I Passionate About?

Jesus Christ and His Gospel
Family, Kids, Grand-kids
Beauty in Nature
Hurting People of all Ages

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How are you doing on your journey with the Lord? Started yet? Still searching. My prayer is that you will be encouraged to seek after Him with all your heart. Without a doubt, you will find Him. He is searching for YOU!