Two days ago I spent roughly 5 hours in traffic. It’s one thing to say I was in traffic that was moving slowly – but an entirely different thing to note that the five hours were over a distance of approximately 600metres. I sat there and begun to get depressed. Everywhere I looked there was mayhem. Everywhere I turned there was a blockage. It had started out so innocently that I found it hard to believe what a nightmare it turned out to be. I got all weepy and boohoo. I watched it turn from dusk to night and from night to to deep night. I watched men and women all around me get angry, shout and just generally act a fool. I watched one lane turn into four and back into one. As I sat there, I begun to feel sorry for myself. It had been a long day at work and all I wanted to do was get home quickly and put my feet up and rest. The longer I sat there the more victimized I felt. It’s funny how you can be in a multitude of people going through the same thing but decide to set yourself apart and think that you are more special and / or deserve better than the hundreds of people in the very same place going through the exact same thing as you. About two hours into it my phone battery finally gave in and I was left to my own devises.
I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and telling him how differently men and women communicate. I told him that when a man speaks, he does so in black and white. It’s straight, to the point, and he communicates what he feels is necessary to that person at that time. However, when a woman hears, it’s a full color movie in high definition, possibly 3D with a sound track to every phrase. That’s how I felt the other day. Like my situation really was very unique from the rest and I deserved to be home more than the rest. I didn’t for one moment stop to think what kind of a day / week / month / year everybody else had had. It was all about me. That’s what the enemy does. He comes in and begins to whisper thoughts, doubts and negativity to you. You begin to hear a voice that tells you that after everything you’ve been through, you deserve so much better. You’re a good person and don’t deserve this (as opposed to the millions of serial killers in the other cars driving alongside you of course! :-o)
Somewhere in all the mayhem, I decided that I was not going to play the victim. The situation was dire enough (having moved barely 6meters in one and a half hours and no communication whatsoever with my family) and I didn’t need to compound it with my over-active imagination. Sometimes I think that everyone else’s mind is a nice calm place while mine is a full-scale circus complete with dancing bears and cycling elephants and high-wire trapeze giraffe acts. I don’t need much encouragement to go off on a tangent or to feel / think / interpret or imagine things in an extreme action movie fashion.
Over the years, the one of the things my mother has said to me again and again and over again is that I must learn to be the Spirit-controlled woman God created me to be. It took the salvation of Christ and the deliverance of the Holy Spirit for me to come to a place of peace inside myself. I used to curse like a sailor – sometimes even a drunken sailor. I used to fly off the handle emotionally like a two-year old (this was as recently as the past ten years) and I victimized myself and convinced myself the world (starting with my family) a) hated me and b) owed me something.
It has taken a lot of time and patience for God to work a new ME in Me – but it also took out ME working out my salvation with fear and trembling. Understanding and acknowledging that I had a role to play in this whole thing called (BEV’s MIND) and as long as I allowed external factors or internal escapades of my imagination to string me along, I had only myself to blame. I’m not all the way there. God knows (and my family can attest to it) that sometimes I lean towards, slip back or fully dive headfirst into those old habits. It’s a habit that I had lived with all my life and let the old self get away with. But the Bible tells us in the book of Philippians 2:12 that we are to “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God” [The Message Translation] or in more popular terms to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” [King James Version] or more conclusively “work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). [The Amplified Translation].
Back to my adventures on a Kenyan road – Slowly I begun to just relax and sink confidently into the realization that it (my situation) really wasn’t all that bad. I had gassed up my tank the evening before therefore I wasn’t running out of gas like some of the other people around me. I had serviced my car (or my daddy had :-p) last month so she was behaving and not acting out. I wasn’t hungry because I had had a late lunch in the office (and we get quite a good deal at work where they feed us some really yummy food). I wasn’t cold. I wasn’t cranky. I managed to rest at some point during the day. All I needed to do now was sit it out and I could decide to do it my way (boohoo – woe is me – why me) or I could decide to rise above myself and enjoy the ride … LITERALLY. So that’s what I did. I popped in a nice worship CD and begun to sing and praise and worship. I stopped watching our for the negativity around me and just allowed God to wash over my soul and sweep over my mind through the music. I calmed down and just chilled. The time didn’t move any faster nor did the honking, shouting, cussing and wahalla all around me stop. I just removed myself from the lane of crazy and logged into the chat room of the heavenlies. And just like that, life changed in an instant.
It’s a new month, a new season. September is the ninth month. The end of a gestational period and the month in which the time to push has come. Whatever you have been dreaming about, whatever you have been nurturing, whatever you have been carefully concealing, now is the time to push it out. Sometimes life can be like that traffic jam. Cruising one moment and mayhem the next. This month of September, the Fall, Autumn, the month where old things die and new things are birthed, the month of the harvest, I pray that you will find solace in the one who created you. That you will see Him as your anchor through the storm or your worship through the jam. He who created the heavens and the earth, He upon whose voice the foundations of the world are anchored, He who sees you for what He created and not what you have become and loves you with the same intensity, in His heart and through His eyes – the world really can be a different place. I know I am and I know my mind – though still action packed and full of fun – is no longer mayhem and drama controlled. Left to my own devises I was a disaster waiting to happen but in Him, through Him and by Him, I am a new creature.
HAPPY NEW MONTH PEOPLE!
Lessons from the class of the Spirit-Controlled-Mind
XOXO – from A-Girl-About-Town