Friday, April 24, 2009

Muddy Steps of Faith

Do you ever have moments where you want to just do something a little risky…a little wild??? Now before your minds start running to all kinds of places; I am thinking a bit about getting dirty…but in the sense of REAL DIRT...the mud! We all have been told to stay out of it at some time or another and I’m sure we all have experienced walking in it too—or maybe not? Just last week on a field trip I watched some Kindergarteners obey their teacher and walk around it…but a handful of them just had to sink their shoes in it. And, honestly, there was an urge inside me too…but because I was aware of the impact my walking in the mud at that moment would have, I refrained. Yet, I remembered a time I allowed myself to experience this mud... glorious mud...
I’ve been meditating on the passage in scripture where Peter walked on water and thinking about just how awesome it would be to experience walking on water!! I am a bit goofy at times (God made me that way—it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) and there were no Kindergarteners around to follow me. It was actually just after sunrise on Easter morning; and I was on a walk talking with God and praising Him for His powerful loving plan and the fact that my mind can grasp just a tiny bit of it exhilarates me and causes me to praise Him and yearn for more of Him! There was just some rain the previous day which allowed water to fill the school yard fields with ample amounts of water and I had the urge to do some walking. Yes, I thought I would try out my walking on water skills. I realized how much I was hesitant and couldn’t just get the umpff to walk across…I just tip toed over to the edge and put one foot in. After realizing my doubt and hesitation…I gave it a second try and almost ran across. And do you know what happened??? Can you believe it?? I SANK!!! I sank right into the mud. I glanced down to see my tennis shoes and a bit of the hem of my sweat pants covered in mud. Oh, I wish I could tell you of this great experience of walking on water…but I laughed at myself the entire rest of the walk home and was still smiling when I got home to rest my tired muddy feet. Why did I do such a thing??? I know I cannot walk on water…but it was the act of just trying and knowing that God is continuing calling me to get out of the boat a little everyday…not to do some HUGE thing but just take little muddy steps of faith. And let me tell you…walking in the mud felt good!!! I did realize how much of a scaredy cat I am; but that is okay…I am one loved scared cat!!! I recognized how full of hesitation I am and that only when I am full of Him am I able to overcome my fears!!! Yep, I’ll admit…He alone makes me want to be brave—but if left to myself, I am so prone to just stay in my own little bubble of status quo. I’m forever a scaredy cat and clinging to Him with every muddy step.
I love how parenting stretches me and encourages me to get out of the boat a little every day; probably partially because I have little eyes and feet watching me. While remembering my muddy feet I can’t help but think of my boys; in particular my eight year old who is facing his own out of the boat experiences right now playing baseball. He can tend to shy away from the ball and really isn’t all that eager to get out and hit the ball…yet still seems to enjoy the game. I watch him practice and play and I know that he is not unleashing his full potential because he is afraid (however, anyone would be afraid with those amateur eight year olds pitching for the first time). His poor little lips have been in a constant state of chapped since the season began because he is nervously licking and biting on his lips. Oh, there is a side to this momma that wants to just wrap my arms around him and rescue him and whisk him away to a safe corner of the world—yet praise God that He has a greater calling to conquer his fears. He is teaching me to keep walking and enjoy this life even when there are moments that just scare the bu jee bees out of you!!!
I remember watching the first time he was up to bat…his fearful eyes and quivering stance at home plate, but he does it—he is standing!!! He ended up getting walked and ran to first base (remember I told you this is the first year of them pitching…hardly see strikes thrown). Then after a couple more of his teammates are up to bat; he slides into home plate and scores for the team! All of that is etched in my memory; yet his words are carved on my heart forever…he made his way over to me and whispered, “I was afraid…but I did it!!!” I mustered up a teary-eyed ‘RIGHT ON…I’m so proud of you!!”
I sure wish we could grasp the fact that we all have fears! I mean, I know I don’t focus on what I am afraid of and I don’t think we need to dwell on them…but is it okay to be honest and say that I’m afraid. I’m afraid at times to let others know what I think; thinking I will be liked or loved less, I’m afraid to be rejected and abandoned, I’m afraid to watch a loved one die; I’m afraid to lose my health, I’m afraid of watching my children face heartaches which I know are bound to happen in this world; I’m afraid that I won’t be able to do something worthwhile in this life for my Savior, I’m afraid of being misunderstood, I’m afraid that I saying I’m afraid will make me vulnerable… oh ‘NO FEAR,’ that is not me!
I read once before that fear and growth go hand and hand…it is not about denying or praying the fear away but learning to grasp God’s hand in midst of my feelings of fear and persisting to still walk when I have feelings of fear. I’m learning to keep going even amid the fears that exist in my head and my little part of this world. So often I think we teach our children to cover up and not feel fear and oh aren’t we good at acting like we are fearless and just so confident.
I don’t know about you; but even if at first I’m afraid, I love living honestly and admitting my failures and fears…it is refreshing to be around those who love me just the way I am and who enable me to grow…which inevitably means they know my failures and my fears. God knows…He knows better than I know and He still loves me the same and that’s why He is my BFF! And thanks to Him I have others who know and love Him and love me too and I am able to show them my muddy shoes and they can smile and love me all the same.
Right now, my youngest is watching one of his favorite DVDs titled..”Mud, Glorious Mud” it’s all about some adventure trains take in the mud. I think I will choose to take some muddy steps of faith and walk with abandon towards a great adventure following my God. How about you, want to take a few muddy steps of faith with me? You never know when we might hit a home run and score one for the team!!!
And wouldn’t you know…the man who loves me most in this world took a picture of my muddy shoes. Gotta love it!!!


lucyshouse said...

“I was afraid…but I did it!!!”

Love that. That's what we all need to be saying. :)

Miss you!

minngirl5 said...

I am always afraid......but I keep trying, knowing God is always there for me.