When Harshness Tempts You To Hide
Holding onto hope and aspirations has never come easy or without struggle for me. The despair shows up often; sometimes subtly and sometimes like a strong blast knocking me over.
This weekend I went on a getaway with two of my best friends. Three Oklahoma gals, with bags packed in the trunk, Starbucks coffee in our hands, and a cooler filled with food set out on the highway toward Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Besides spending time together, our main intention was to plan and to listen for God's leading about specific goals and dreams.
On this blog I write a lot about gentleness. As it pertains to working towards goals or projects I am learning a lot.
The last month I have kept coming across the parable of the talents over and over again in books, blogs, and devotionals. It's the story in the Bible of a servant who was given the least amount of talents/money to begin with compared to the other servants. Then he has to decide what to do with the amount he has been given.
Instead of moving forward with hope & courage, he lets fear & despair lead.
Instead of investing in his talent, he hides it.
The voice of fear says to him "You have so little to start out with; it's not worth your effort or your time. Your hope is foolishness."
Where as the gentle voice says "Your meager offering is enough. It's not to small to invest in."
As we were driving on the highway my friend Erin pulls a gift out her bag for me. It was a bracelet inscribed with the phrase "One day a time".
Erin knew this is a mantra I hold dear. I have mentioned before on my blog that several years ago I went through a period of chronic pain. It lasted seven years. I did not know if it would ever go away. I remember feeling such a heaviness wondering how I was going to handle years upon years of physical pain. It was a daunting thought.
My close friend, Princess, then gave me a key chain that I still have now, which says "One day at a time". She reminded me that I did not have to carry the weight of the future; I only needed to take it a day at a time during that season which was more about surviving than thriving in my life.
However, now things have changed. I have healed and recovered. I am able to do more! Thankfulness. And so with a different season the phrase takes on new meaning. When I look at the bracelet, it reminds me to continue to take steps forward towards my dreams and goals. It reminds me to me gentle with dreams and hopes too!
I look at the white and gold bracelet, and the gold reminds me of the one golden talent the servant was given. It reminds me how we must not compare what we have to what others have been given. It reminds me to have hope and faith in small beginnings and take steps forward a day at time. It reminds me to see things through the lens of gentleness and hope verses a critical harshness and comparison.
While we were at the lake house I also found some cute vintage books on the shelves there. They contained messages about moving forward toward goals or hopes by embracing the gradual small way dreams often take shape.
The books and bracelet were yet another reminder for me to be gentle toward hopes and aspirations. Maybe you need this reminder too?
Love and Hope in Christ,