I ate lunch at a restaurant that serves Mexican food, and the salsa happened to be extra good that day, so I decided to do what I had never done and that was to take my extra chips and salsa home with my other leftovers. I asked for to-go boxes for “all of it,” gesturing to my waiter that I wanted enough containers to take home the leftovers from my meal, plus what I had not eaten of my complimentary, “You get them just for showing up” chips and salsa.
My daughter once worked as a teacher at a dance studio. She independently taught or assisted with teaching all ages of dancers and all types of dance, ranging from basic ballet to jazz and hip-hop.
One evening she was asked to fill in as a gymnastics teacher. Though normally able and willing to do whatever she was asked, she wasn’t pleased about this particular request. It wasn’t because she didn’t like gymnastics, either. It was because she was too small to spot the gymnasts safely as they were doing their twists and turns. As she put it, “They’re bigger than I am, and I always get hurt.”
And she did.
The words of the Lord’s Prayer are some of the most familiar in scripture, and I would surmise they can even be repeated by some who don’t really say much else to God besides those oft-quoted, can-say-them-with-your-heart-shut verses.
Jesus was known for often going into secluded places so He could spend some time praying. And who could blame Him? Word spread quickly about the things He could do, the way He could wipe out debilitating diseases with a single touch or raise people from the dead just because He said so. He was pressed by needy crowds wherever He went. And if it wasn’t a needy crowd, it was a legalistic bunch of religious leaders who wanted Him silenced. Not to mention that he faced the demands of teaching a ragtag bunch of fishermen and tax collectors how to save the world. OK, so there was a doctor by the name of Luke in that group, but come on.
Still, with all He faced, He was noticeably different from anyone else. More at peace. More sure. More focused. What was His secret? What did He say when He stole away to speak to heaven that made Him come back to His demands with such calm?
Do you struggle with feeling like you are not enough?
I think if we are honest, we all do. We wouldn’t have stores full of “just because I think it will change how I feel about myself” stuff if we didn’t all fight feelings of “less than” in one way or another. “You are not enough” has to be one of the things the enemy likes to whisper in our ears more than almost anything else.
And why not? It works very well to keep us chasing after anything and everything we can to make those feelings go away. After all, it can be so much easier to listen to the enemy than it is to believe the truth of what God says.
As a writer, I am always getting story ideas. I warn my friends who visit that I catch myself listening to what they say with this thought: “That would make a great story!” I say it jokingly, of course. For the most part.
I keep a stash of paper handy wherever I am, in case I need to get a story idea down while it’s fresh. There is a yellow legal pad by my chair in the living room, and a notepad stuck with a magnet strip to the door of my refrigerator. There is a small notepad in my purse and another one in my car. (I will neither admit nor deny having ever written down some key words while also looking at the road from behind the wheel of my moving vehicle.) And then there’s the electronic paper that is my phone. If I am away from everything else, especially at night after my head has hit the pillow and I don’t want to turn the light back on, I will type in a quick sentence or two that I can come back to later.