Last night Bible study hit me like a ton of bricks! It happened to be on how busy life is and what we do to fill all of our time with crazy busy “crap”!
My favorite line of the night went something like this (and I’m paraphrasing), “We fill our lives with so much crap, even if it’s good crap(favorite part), it’s crap if God isn’t directing it.” Lindsey McPhail runs a Bible study in our town for women (http://fearlessexperiment.com) and does an excellent job of sharing through her own life lens issues that women are challenged with and solutions we can find through our relationship to God. Upon returning home, from the group, I realized it was time to stop, hit the pause button, and give gratitude for God’s direction. My life is full of examples of God’s goodness and work in my life. Specifically now, I’d like to share how he has helped in my story telling. I’ve spoken about passion before and following your dreams and heart to do what you love to do but I haven’t given proper credit where credit is due. I have taken quite a bit of time convincing people that God exists in my life, arguing, and pushing for them to know what I believe is a powerful force for good in all of our lives. I take much less time getting quiet and trying to hear what God is telling me to do. This week, however, and interestingly, before Bible study, I had an experience that would lead me to do just that. I was absolutely STRESSING to the max trying to figure out what I was going to do with my story on Aaron Freedman, the fighter. How was I going to tell the story, what were the themes, what would he or his family be ok with me sharing? Who could help me? What consultants or writers could I hire to do it for me? Panic, sheer panic set in. It was a quiet panic, not a screaming panic. It was a sort of grumpy panic or lack of focus type of panic that didn’t allow me to do what I loved to do or love on my family or anything for that matter. This confusion set in to confuse me and throw me off track. I’ve learned in history, the 39 plus years that I have under my belt, that panic is never productive and it is definitely not of God. “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalms 46:10 comes to mind as I type this, something that I’ve leaned on over the years when in doubt. Funny how quickly we forget to remember these things! I was all in a tissy when something said to pull out my Bible lesson for the week and in it were themes of peace and calm, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,” Paul, I Corinthians 14:33. I experienced a gentle reminder through just asking for this wisdom, that all was well and to rest in these thoughts. And what happened, that night, without a lot of human rest, because I was operating on little sleep from the stress, I was moved to go to my computer and look something up about an interview subject that I had. The most amazing thing happened! You can call it a lightbulb moment;
I call it thoughts from God elevating us to a new level of understanding that no combination of hiring people, racking our brains, or busy “crap” we can do could unearth from the great store house of ideas. When I typed in that person’s name, the story was placed in front of me and I knew without a doubt I had found the heart of the story and the additional character who would add depth and context to the story I was trying to tell about the fighter. I went to work on cutting together my trailer for the film and in it was a quote that Ray Longo shared in an interview about Aaron, it was said by Mike Tyson, “Fire will either heat you up, or it will burn your house down.” On the following Sunday we sat the kids down to listen to last weeks podcast of Ben Courson’s sermon from Applegate Christian Fellowship in Oregon (http://www.bencourson.com) and he talked about these very same ideas and even mentioned fire as an analogy. At the very beginning of his sermon his first reference was the movie Rocky II and he reminded us of how Rocky was so burnt from exhaustion in his fight against Apollo Creed “Mr. America” that they looked like they both got hit by trucks. They both fell to the ground and Apollo was KO’ed, but Rocky managed to use the ropes to climb up wearily to his feet again. He was then declared champion. Courson went on to supply examples of famous people in history that failed many times and in some cases thousands of failures before they had success exemplifying how the art of resiliance allowed them to overcome the defeat. These included Reggie Jackson, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and more all demonstrating that the victor is the one who gets back on his feet after he has been knocked down…..coincidence? Never! God is in all of it and that is why it connects, that is why it is great! I went to the editor I work with and shared the ideas I found and he agreed. We have the story. The most important thing I have recognized is not only do we all have our own story and salvation to work out, when we take the time to hit the pause button and commune with God, we are lead to do great work. It’s kind of minion-like, at least the innocence part and willingness to work for a larger purpose, but with God at the helm instead of Gru. Gotta love those minions! The secret to that minion-like joy is not just ice cream, it’s also looking up, maybe the one eye is symbolic for only having an eye for God? Maybe I’m taking it too far.