I sat down outside, in the middle of my work day to pray.
I thought, “God, where we at?”
I pictured all the soul troubles i have been through lately and suddenly realized that i put it all on myself. All the pressure to be someone who I, and the others around me, expect me to be.
Then I opened up my iPhone app that helps me with my bible verse memorization schedule. here are the verses for today:
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinth 3:16) Dang, i’ve been treating this body as my own temple, and navigating by how i think it should be run. Look where it’s brought me.
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinth 2:12) Ross, you’ve adopted the pressures of the world. If only you would simply listen to my simple instructions and obey each day, you would know the peace i have freely given to you.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for i am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Ross, you don’t have to worry how it will turn out; the pressure is not on you. I am strong and will take care of you.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13) Ross, i will be your strength. Let me lead.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (lamentations 3:22-23) Ross, i love you and you are forgiven for all the crap you’ve done and put yourself through. But you can relax. I am faithful. I love you. Simply rest in me and obey my simple instructions.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) Ross, you have sought peace for so long by trying to be what you want yourself to be, and what others have expected of you. You will find peace only in me. Trust in me. I will take care of you. Listen and obey.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1peter 5:7) Ross, see? I will take all of your anxiety. I love you.
Then my timer went off. It was time to do my quick 5 minutes of Bible-in-a-year-that-im-so-far-behind-on reading. It was Acts 7:51 that told me, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! . . . you received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!” Ross, all you have to do is surrender all those pressures, and listen to the spirit inside of you. Simply listen and obey my spirit inside of you.
Ok, God I’m getting the message.
Then i walked back into work and a Beatles song came on the radio in our office and my coworker (who happens to be in a band) belted out an ad-lib modified song. He sang, “Ross Boone, take a sad song . . . and make it b. . .e. . .e . . . e . . etter.”
I think i get the message, God. All this pressure that i carry. All this pain. I put it on myself. I torture myself because i am not good enough. Make this sad song better.
I think of that scene in the old UFO movie, Contact, with Jodie Foster. Remember when they received a communication that contained plans of how to build a machine that could travel through space and time?
Well the engineers followed the plans, costing billions and billions of dollars, followed them exactly, except for one part. They welded a chair to the cockpit so the person could sit. As the machine roared up and things started happening, the chair started to shake violently, throwing the person off, and continued shaking until the chair broke apart and scattered through the cockpit. Then there was perfect, silent peace and the Vehicle quietly, peacefully spanned the distance across time and space.
It’s like if only we trusted and followed his instructions, my world wouldn’t be so violently tearing itself apart.
My mentor has an excellent illustration he’s had to remind me of several times. It’s like we are hanging off of a cliff, and we don’t know how far the ground is below us. We are trying with all our might to hold on, as our handholds fearfully give way and our fingers bend and cramp. And we hear this little voice that says, trust me, just let go.
And we keep holding on anyways. I can do this. I can hold on. I can suffer through this and make it work.
Trust me, Ross. Let go. I will catch you. I will give you peace.
And the poor guy, suffers for 31 years, torturing himself, panicking, pleading to God to let him hang on to everything that he thinks is important to be and do.
If he only knew that the ground was 6 inches below his feet. and to find peace, and a friend and a daily banquet with his maker all he needs to do, is simply let go.
God, please help me let go. I can feel myself still holding so tight. forgive me, and change me. I want to let go. I’m just scared. I’ve done it my way for so long.