Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shame, Labor, Destiny

We sense, no, we know seasons have changed.  

I saw a posting by Kris Vallotton on Facebook.  Its a quote from Thomas Leonard, a major contributor to the development of personal coaching. "Motivation is an external temporary high than pushes you forward.  Inspiration is a sustainable internal glow which pulls you forward."  Motivation is inferior to inspiration.  This strikes me.  Motivation comes within.  Inspiration is born from revelation.  I'd rather be inspired to do the right and truthful thing than motivated by humanistic desires. 

A couple weeks ago, a retail chain store invited me in for an interview.  I went the next day, and they offered me a job.  I accepted it.  As I walked in the neighborhood for exercise the next morning, I prayed for the Lord to speak to me if there was anything I needed to know about this new job. I believe the Lord spoke to me.  I heard from another heart besides mine.  I heard, "This too shall pass."  I've always assumed it was scripture.  It isn't.  Its believed to be from Persian poetry and Jewish folklore.  I believe it means for me its clearly temporary.

A couple days afterward was my orientation day with my new employer.  It was hectic and interesting.  One difference between that day and other secular work days I've experienced was I prayed in the Spirit silently when any feelings of fear and shame came upon me.  When I left my car after supper before walking back into the store, I fingered feelings of fear.  These feelings were weaved through feelings of shame.  I stood beside the car and said, either within or out loud (I can't remember), "Lord, I will not be afraid.  I will not fear."  This made a difference.

As I wrote this in my journal, I heard Steffany Gretzinger's spontaneous song on You Tube, "Turn the Light Back On."  She sings about monsters under the bed and shadows on the wall metaphorically being demons trying to scare and influence us.  She sings, "Call out for help and turn the light back on again.  His name is Jesus."  Its ironic I'd be recording my recollection of fear and hearing that song.

The shame element in my secular work history always made me feel whatever was demanded of me I was incapable of accomplishing to the satisfaction of employer and customer, a like.  This feeling would prompt me to lie to customers in years past.  I didn't want to appear to be inept.  I lied by telling customers something that sounded authoritative and knowledgeable instead of speaking the truth of not knowing the answer to the question they asked and finding out for them.

I've read John 1 recently through the Daily Office.  What struck me about John the Baptist is he knew who he wasn't and who he was.  There were limitations but absolute fulfillment in his assignment.  He knew who he was and who he wasn't.  After some personal struggles, I've learned who I am not and who I am.  I know my destiny and what is temporary.  This new job in retail has awakened previous feelings of shame.  I must affirm my limitations and accept them and grow in knowledge of my job and not accept feelings of shame. They are fiery darts of the enemy.  I am God's child and fully accepted by my Father.  Alleluia!

As I drove to work one day this week, I asked the Lord to speak to me.  Just about as I arrived at work, I felt the impression that amounted to this: I know what it is to labor without a vision and destiny and the feelings related, and I know what it is to labor with a destiny and vision (this is this season).  Its a wonderful, comfortable thing to know our destiny.  The pain of laboring and not knowing your destiny in God is a gut-wrenching feeling of hopelessness.  I felt this before.  I've also felt what it is to lose focus on my destiny and the resulting pain.  I also know what it is to regain my focus on our vision and destiny and my own abilities, passions and gifting.  These so often get lost when hope wains.  It feels so good when they're recovered.

Today, I know our vision and destiny - to steward a place of God's great Presence with on-going worship, teaching and empowering and deliverance and healing of many at a "farm" on Sand Mountain.  Alleluia. I am not ashamed or afraid.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Whatever is demanded of me, I will do my best.  Whatever is set before me, I will look at all circumstances through the membrane of the helmet of salvation.  I am saved, God's son, anointed and empowered.  I owe nothing to anyone but to love them.  Alleluia.

One night, as I retrieved my coat from the break room after clocking out, I said goodnight to a woman I'd seen sitting in there on a couple of occasions. She sat with her left leg on a chair that night as she had on previous nights.  I reached the hall, stopped, turned around and went back into the break room.  She and I were the only ones there.  I came to her, introduced myself and asked if I could pray for her.  She said that would be wonderful.  I asked her about her leg.  She got hurt at work.  She was on workman's comp but was required to keep her schedule.  I told her I believed in miracles because I'd seen God do wonderful things, and he was capable of healing in anyway way he chose.  She agreed.  I prayed for the leg, the rest of her body and whole life.  He's good and does good.  She thanked me and said the prayer came at a perfect time.  I told her I was glad and I'd see her another day.

Seasons have changed for many of us.

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