I remember the first time I hit on someone. It was in college (I was a late bloomer). Some so-called friends pumped me up to talk to a girl who was reading a magazine in Barnes & Noble with her friends. As I walked between the shelves, honing in like a trembling fighter pilot, self-doubts flew at me like books in a harry potter movie. I stopped above her and had no idea what to say. I tried to be natural, but this was so unnatural. I tried to say things to make her like me. But how am I supposed to know what she likes?! I think she hesitantly gave me her number at the end of it but I was just glad to be done with it. It was about the equivalent to flying a plane over enemy territory on a mission. Deliver the message, earn a medal you can show your kids and get the heck out of there.
But even after I went home I thought, “Now am I really supposed to call this girl? Is that how it works?” That would almost be just as bad as talking to her in person.
But then in church two days later there she was, sitting a few rows in front of me with her parents. I had no idea she went to my church. And now if I had any self dignity, I had to go up to her and go through it all again. . .
I don’t think it would have been bad– in fact it might have been fun– if I had realized there was no reason to stress out, if I just could have BELIEVED it was all gonna turn out okay, whether she liked me or not.
My mentor talks about BELIEF with this allegory: He says it’s like a man hanging from a cliff by his fingertips, struggling with all he’s got for dear life. But the whole time he isn’t listening to the guy standing above who is telling him, “Dude, you can let go- you’re like a foot off the ground.”
So, I think Jesus is like that guy whispering in our ear. He just says, “You can let go; I will catch you. If you just believe me you will have a more abundant life.”
“Be honest in that job interview because you can believe that I will take care of you either way.”
“Don’t kill yourself over those sexual identity doubts. Trust I’m taking care of you and let the fear and guilt fall away.”
“Believe that I love you when you pray for your wife’s cancer, because then, no matter what happens you both can rest knowing that my plans for you are good.”
“Just be yourself at that party, because IT DOESN’T MATTER what anybody else thinks of you–because I made you! And I am still making you. I’m making you really well.”
“And you can talk to that cutie reading the magazine in the corner, because I got your back either way, big guy. Go have fun.”
I don’t think a certain number of minutes in prayer, or singing more praise songs will change us as much as simply believing what God has said.
I do believe that the Holy Spirit goes in and does surgery on our hearts sometimes, and that changes us in good ways, but I think for the rest of the time he’s just given us a pretty good prescription. This prescription is just to believe he’s got us covered. And if we just take that pill every day, a lot of our problems wouldn’t even be problems.
I think we can just do our best with what he puts on our plate each day, and trust him to cover the rest.
. . . So, I went and sat next to that girl at church that day, and it went alright. I think that was the last time I ever really talked to her though. It just seemed like so much work. But these days it’s usually a lot more fun talking to pretty ladies and any previously scary people because I believe God has made me the way I’m supposed to be, so I can be myself. And he has a good plan, so I can let him work out the details.
If you’re looking for a practical takeaway from the three minutes you just squandered on this blog, maybe it could be this. You know when you see a doll-skinned, silky-haired, busty beauty and she’s holding hands with a pimple-pasty-skinned nerdy guy who has those glasses that turn dark in the sun, socks under his Tevas, and who looks like he plays Magic cards 18 hours a day in his basement? Well, it’s because he does. And he’s a level 60 Minotaur Shaman. And this means he has confidence to go up to any girl he wants because he knows nobody can take away how awesome he knows he is and nobody can mess with his destiny because he knows he has the strongest magic in the world in his back pocket.
Well, that’s like you. You’ve got the greatest power of the universe within you.