I saw this quote pop up several times on Facebook today:
"I AM ONLY ONE, BUT I AM ONE.
I CANNOT DO EVERYTHING, BUT I CAN DO SOMETHING.
AND I WILL NOT LET WHAT I CANNOT DO INTERFERE WITH WHAT I CAN DO."
--Edward Everett Hale
It comes at a really good time, because my heart has been conflicted about speaking up or staying quite. I am impressed by God that there is always a BEST way of doing something. My heart should be right and I should pray before I post. I haven't always done that in the past. Sometimes I react, before I pray. It's all a part of the mess I am.
I know I'm a mess. I've said it before and I'll say it again. But, I don't say it as shamefully as it sounds. I say it with awareness that God has given me another opportunity to grow closer to Him in my messiness. I can struggle through the unrest in my spirit because I realize I've not allowed His Holy Spirit to go before my own reaction to things. I can be still and know that He is God and that He will give me peace as I keep my eyes on Him and trust Him to work all things out for His Glory. It's in this process that I learn hard lessons. He convicts me; then I surrender and ask for forgiveness. He forgives me and shows me His way.
God has road signs for me to follow His path all throughout His Word. Sometimes I cruise right along and, sometimes, I see a squirrel and do the off-road thing. It's usually only a temporary detour and I am thankful that when I get back on His path for me that He provides rest stops along the way. It's at these rest stops where He replenishes my soul and allows me to rest in His promises. He re-fuels my soul and gives my spirit and heart the boost I need to be as bold as I can be with as much humility as I can muster.
One of my sweet pleasures is to read the Psalms of the bible in the Message version. I don't exactly like every translation it gives in some of the more instructional books of the bible, but I love the prose and the beauty that is brought to life through this version of the Psalms. In Psalm 119 there is a verse that says, "I'm single-minded in pursuit of You; don't let me miss the road signs You've posted. I've banked Your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt". This speaks loudly to me. I'm always tapping into the vault of my heart to remember and live in God's promises. Every time I sin, I'm reminded of the cost. I don't want to continue on that road. I don't want to bankrupt my soul, so I pursue God very purposefully so I can follow His road signs.
I've needed to reconcile my heart and soul with the heart of God. My heart was in accord with His, but my delivery was a detour from His chosen path. As always, I am drawn back to the road to reconciliation. That is one of the things I've grown to love about the Holy Spirit living within me. He points me in the right direction; He points me to the Father, always. And, He is patiently leading me back to the path He has me on.
Recent cultural events have left me distressed in my spirit. My heart wants to rise up in defense of certain things: for what I know to be good and right. My heart aches for the helpless and injustice makes me want to spring into action. Unfortunately, I often use my head and tongue instead of my heart and prayers. I try to rally support and I end up doing and saying things that were all me and less of what God intends. It affects my soul and it affects my spirit. It is a detour to what God intends.
This happened recently as I "liked" and "shared" many things I'm passionate about on Facebook. I cannot even wrap my heart and mind around the concept of the abortion business in this country and in the world. Even when revealing facts came out to expose it, recently, people continued to deny the evil it portrayed, and some even rallied to defend how noble people in this industry were. I thought my head was going to spin around and explode in fury as I read about the rationalizations that people have to defend those in this industry who seem to be immune to the plight of helpless children in the womb. They say the good outweighs the bad. I say that we should dig for truth and examine the evidence. I'm fully aware of "Talking Points" that are in place by communication departments of organizations to be utilized when speaking to the press or public. In cases of publicity crisis, you will see the same rote talking points used as a defense to fend off the crisis. We have seen that with the recent response to the telling videos that came out to expose the practices of Planned Parenthood. What they deem "good" is made to look much better than it is and it is inflated to appear to be a necessity to women's health. There are so many more and better options, but people don't look any further to find out for themselves. They simply believe the talking points manufactured by the organization.
My heart has been, and still is, to speak out for the helpless, but I allowed my flesh to react to the injustice of it all. I should have been driven to intense prayer. Instead, I was driven to intellectually amassing as much information as possible so I could know the truth and defend it. My thought was to make people aware of the injustice. When they saw it, how could they continue to keep their heads in the sand or turn a blind eye to such atrocities? Indeed. I'm not really sure of the human psyche, but I quickly realized that people will ignore you and give you the cold shoulder if you speak out about things that are not politically correct. They will deem you negative to even bring it up. They will judge you for sharing such things on Facebook. Everyone seems to be free to post about whatever cause or issue they deem acceptable on Facebook. I have learned that killing babies for profit and asking people to look for truth in politics are not among the things people find acceptable. I honestly feel ostracized for even voicing an opinion. I'm aware that people didn't ask me to be their educator and I quickly realized I needed to step back and pray more than post.
I don't believe I was wrong to share facts that can educate others, but I do believe my reactions of disgust for these people were not surrendered to God. My heart was not exactly right towards them. That is where I felt my spirit in need of reconciliation. I will always continue to advocate for those that are the least of us. I will always give a voice to those who aren't allowed to ever have one. I will always rally to champion a true and deserving underdog. What I will not do is continue to try to do it in my own strength and in my own way. I am one person and I will continue to do what God gives me the grace and peace to do. I will speak only when I have prayed about it long and hard. The truth remains - somebody has to speak. It may not be me, but, if God allows me, why not me?
I believe I can effect the most change in this world through prayer. That doesn't mean I won't "like" things that spur passion within me or "share" things that can educate people with truth about important issues. It does mean I will have my heart in the right place before I do it and I will pray for God's direction. It means that I will yield to God's direction on this journey I am on. I will look for His road signs and I will purpose to be reconciled to Him and His ways so I can be someone who builds bridges instead of one that puts up road blocks in this Road to Reconciliation to our Savior and His ways.
I know I will never argue anyone over to the way I see things. But with the right heart and attitude, I may just be able to pray them into the Kingdom of God!