Sunday, August 31, 2008

Riders on the Storm

Journey: Personal - As I write this New Orleans is getting the first wave of the outer bands of Gustav. Earlier, at 6:15pm, we got the first rumblings of thunder and the wind started picking up.


There's been a lot of good news since my last post and this is probably my last before I loose power. The storm is weakening some and it sped up. All good for us. It'll still hit as a Cat 3 but better than the 4 or 5 some were predicting. So it's going to be intense, but will turn out ok.

Last night by the time I went to bed I was very uncertain about my decision to stay and ride it out. No, that's not exactly right. I was certain about the decision but felt uneasy about the situation. Of course there is an overall level of anxiety in the air all through the city. The hurricane is all everyone is talking about.

So this morning, since there wasn't a mandatory evacuation order, we had worship at church. I got up and did my usual thing. Of course our numbers were much lower than usual. But we worshiped. We worshiped good. We sang, laughed, prayed and focused on God instead of Gustav. It wasn't long before I wasn't even thinking about Gustav. Chris preached on worry. And it was some mighty fine preaching, too.

I was reminded how much fear I have in my life. Some of the fear is larger than others. Some are relatively new, some are as old as I can remember. Arguably most are unfounded in reality and maybe even completely irrational. I've made some progress on some. Some lie dormant for years, all but completely forgotten, only to rear up suddenly when I least expect it.

Categorically, many of the fears are insecurities. In speaking with some friends, they tell me that I give off exactly the opposite impression. That started in college. It was a time for me to "reinvent" myself. The me that I wanted people to see was confident, wise and secure in myself. The me that was on the inside was scared, doubtful and afraid of failure.

But God is working on me. He's trying to teach me not to be afraid. He's trying to teach me to trust. I'm getting there. This morning was a strong lesson. When there is something I am afraid of, the way I give it up to Him is to focus completely on Him. Blindingly all on Him. Sometimes that means prayer or worship. Other times it means focusing on Him through service to others. I'm not good at the serving others part. At least outside of the church. And what keeps me from being better at it is my insecurities and self centeredness.

Lord, break through my stubborn, sinful nature. Do what you need to to teach me. Put me up against a hurricane or worse yet, my own fears and insecurities.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and He will direct your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5-6

No comments: