Be bold!

“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness . . . .” Acts 4:29

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” This is the question that greets me every day on a little sign in my kitchen. Some days I hardly read it, some days it stops me in my tracks and I wonder, “What would I like to do with my life?” One recent morning I allowed myself to admit that I’d really like to pursue inspirational writing – really pursue it, not dabble in it once every few months – and I was overwhelmed by a sense of God’s presence, a feeling of awe and gratitude. God’s spirit seemed to be saying “Yes! You can do this. You must do this.” Later that day I received an invitation to write a series of devotionals for a Presbyterian publication. When I described to the person who had sent the invitation what I had experienced that morning we both were amazed at the timing of God’s grace.

I invite you to contemplate, prayerfully, your response to that question. Let God work in your heart to reveal hopes and dreams you haven’t yet discovered, or been willing to admit. Be bold, shutting down the voices of doubt that immediately will crowd out any timid response. It may take some practice, so go ahead and make your own sign and put it in a place where you will see it every day. And let me know what happens!

Lord, thank you for your awesome, amazing grace. Amen.

Finding what I’m looking for, or not

I was sifting through the kitchen drawers, looking for the lobster crackers. You know, the shiny silver colored kind you use to crack open the hard shells of the lobster claws (or mixed nuts, if you prefer.) I looked in one drawer then another with no luck. I checked and rechecked. I knew they were there somewhere, as we had used them before. Shiny, silver, . . . nothing. So I asked my friend, in whose house we were cooking the lobsters, to look for them. He dug around in the drawers and found them. One was black and one was maroon, the plastic kind.

As I was digging it had occurred to me that I wasn’t finding them because I was looking for what I thought I would find. I wasn’t really seeing what was in the drawers, just what wasn’t. But I hadn’t stopped long enough to reframe my view. I kept on looking for what I thought I should find!

How often do we do that? How often do we see what we are looking for, instead of what’s really in front of us? When I am looking for it, I can see trouble, bad news, bad luck, or “evidence” confirming my side of the story.  My pre-conceived ideas can lead me see what I want to see, or to overlook something else. And I can be so sure of what I think I know that I don’t stop to consider that my assumptions may not be accurate.

I need to be careful to set my viewing filter to a setting that is less focused on what I think I’ll find, and more on what is there. I need to be more willing to see what’s possible, instead of what I’ve already decided is there.

Lord, open my eyes to see so that I can see all the good that you have set before me. Thank you for your gracious abundance and forgiveness.