I am kind of an oxymoron. Not a moron, because I am fairly intelligent. Not as brilliant as my dear husband, but I can more than hold my own. I am bold and timid at the same time. I never have any qualms about public speaking. I make no apologies for my faith in God or my faith in the people I know and love.
Yet when I think of the future, or what decisions I am to make about challenges I face, I am definitely timid. I want to do the right thing for God. I want to do the right thing for the people I love, I want to know the big picture. I want to be able to make a wise decision. But I do not have God’s wisdom. So I pray to Him. I ask Him to guide my hands, mind, heart, and decisions. Even then there are times I do not hear His voice. Or I get a feeling that I should take a certain path.
Then I grow more timid. Is that His voice or is it my selfish heart? Am I making excuses for my own selfishness and putting God’s stamp on it? So I pray again. I ask Him to make it obvious so that I can truly be obedient to His will. I pray at that point that I sincerely mean it and am not just trying to appear compliant in order to get special treatment. Whew! It exhausts me sometimes. I look to Scripture. I look to wise, trusted people.
Then I realize. I am gradually moving towards humility and am developing a listening heart. Perhaps my prayer that began a few years ago has taken root. At that point I prayed to become kind-hearted. A trusted, beloved friend had told me back then that she would never want to work for me because I was too mean. Now, don’t be horrified at her comment. I had just finished a lengthy explanation of a situation at work. In my explanation of a stance I had taken, I had been strident; proudly strident, as a matter of fact. My friend was absolutely right. I was too mean. She risked our friendship to state the truth. I had gotten that way gradually. How? Fear of failure had caused me to ‘act tough’.
So I made it my goal to stand gentle and rely on God’s strength to cloak me and guide me. It has been an arduous journey. I was raised to speak and argue my position. I had become accustomed to stating my opinion without considering the impact of my words. But each nail I pounded into the fence boards of life left a hole even after the nail was removed. I decided that was not the mark I wanted to leave. So these days I pray that God guide my words and deeds. Even still, there are days when Satan has a field day with me and I squabble with my husband. But for the most part, God has guided me away from some of my favorite precipices and occasions of sin.
God is my GPS. He is my lighthouse. He is my rudder. His commands are the buoys keeping me in the channel and away from the rocks, wing dams, and dangers of life.
How blessed I am that He is bold and that I now try to await His leadership. He will always be there for me, His perennial optimist.