Last week I did something so ridiculous I had to laugh at myself. I’ve been trying to be more disciplined about getting out of the house and walking on a regular basis. With the weather finally warming up and the foliage being so extraordinary this time of year, it hasn’t been quite so difficult to get myself out the door. I often use this time to listen to a podcast (Scott Sauls is currently my go to) or it can be an opportunity just to think and pray.
I’ve always been a girl who wants to do things the “right” way. I am definitely a rule follower. I also tend to be way too aware of what other people might be thinking about me. Those things came together in such a humorous way I still shake my head when I think about it.
There is a grass median down the middle of our street. I had been out for a while and was returning home. I was walking along with the flow of traffic when I noticed a woman coming my direction walking against the flow of traffic. At that moment, these thoughts began:
“I think you are actually supposed to walk against the flow of traffic. It’s safer. Does anyone really pay attention to that? Now that I think about it, in the two years we’ve been here, maybe everyone does walk against traffic. These New Yorkers who see me walking probably think I’m an idiot.”
Seriously, at that point I turned around, walked up to the next place to cross the median and started walking up the other side of the road. I hadn’t walked a hundred feet when I noticed another woman coming my direction walking with the flow of traffic.
I laughed. I replayed the whole thing in my head and rolled my eyes at the absurdity of it all. Had I really just stressed over what side of the road I was walking on? Did I really think neighbors were making comments such as, “Have you seen that woman who walks on the wrong side of the road? Where was she raised? The south?”
Oh my. It’s embarrassing. What’s even worse is that I know this is not the only internal conversation of that nature I have had. It’s not the first time I’ve changed my walk, second guessing whether I had made the right decision, worried about the direction others were going and what they might be thinking about me. I have made progress, but obviously from this story it is evident I have a ways to go.
Martin Luther said we need to hear the gospel every day because we forget it every day.
I have not found being in ministry makes me any less prone to forget that I am unconditionally loved and accepted by the Father. I worry too much about the direction the world is walking and forget my greatest joy comes in walking with Him- regardless of the flow of traffic.
I must continually remind myself that I live under the smile of God even when I get it all wrong. The approval of men is fragile and fickle, but the affection of Jesus is strong and secure.
I am praying for you as well as myself. That we will find all the hope, security, approval and love we need in the embrace of our Father who looks at each of us and says,
This is my child, chosen and loved, with whom I am well pleased.