Not only was this a fast paced week, I also feel like I rambled and meandered from topic to topic. So as we readjust ourselves for what may lay ahead, let’s enjoy our time together now by examining the past consecutive days along our shared path of “Becoming Today”.
One common note I found throughput this past week had to do with fear. Which of course has multiple meanings.
Fear can mean to be afraid, as in an unpleasant emotion that gives you the heebie -jeebies.
It can also mean awe. As in the Scriptural context from Hebrew meaning which also includes respect, reverence, and worship.
We began our conversations this past week with a question I posed “Do You Really?”.
On our shared path of “Becoming Today”, we all must deal with our own consequences, the result of our actions, decisions, attitudes and beliefs. So why not make it so we are celebrating the outcomes rather than trying to repair, overcome or run away from?
We have to find the strength to at times realize that not only do we not have all the answers, we also don’t need to know.
Pretty scary, huh?
However, the concept is not new, evidence of it has been around for centuries as in the Scriptures we find Moses on a number of occasions, unable to give details to his people.
Chosen to lead them, Moses trusted the things God was instructing. Many times when asked how and when things would occur or proceed he had to tell his people, ‘I don’t know”. Then remind them as he did in Exodus 13:13-14, “Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Worry is useless and I for one refuse to allow it to take my empowerment away, to make me sick or feel less than.
I hear you. Easier said than done. Then again so is anything really worth having or experiencing. It takes effort, dedication and fortitude on our parts.
Do I still worry? Yes I am only human.
Do I get stressed out and lost in anxiety like I used to? Absolutely, not.
I have come to learn that often what we call worry is a sign from God. A warning that we may be approaching a situation we are not yet ready for or have diverted off our path. Gently accepting his nudge of correction I can then ease the tensions by remaining faithful, staying steadfast, being forbearant, living joyfully and expectantly while I wait for God to lead me forward.
Taking the time to do all that I simply don’t have any left to stress, lol (audible giggle)!
Overcoming our fear of not having to have all of the answers on Toosday we pressed forward and discussed, “Gifts You Already Have”.
I was not talking about you receiving two of the same item from different people, or even that time when your husband forgot he already bought you that, for an earlier anniversary.
Rather our conversation examined those Gifts You Already Have, that you may not be making use of or even realize you have them.
The gifts of the Spirit manifest themselves for the common good and are readily available if you accept them and choose to make use of these resources within.
Picking up The Passion Translation of the Bible we find a good explanation of just exactly who can receive these gifts. And spoiler alert it’s all of us, if we choose wisely.
In 1 Corinthians 12:11, we read, “Remember, it is the same Holy Spirit who distributes, activates, and operates these different gifts as he chooses for each believer”. The footnote simplifies the language as “Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit at any time to anyone, he choses”.
So at any moment, including possibly this one you can be selected. However you need to be in it, to win it. In order to be qualified for this drawing of course you need to register in advance. However there are no forms to fill out, or is a valid email required, you enter into this process by believing.
Your belief in God, your faith in His promises and your trust in the process ensures all things work for the ultimate good, including your ability to receive the gifts of the Spirit.
So now knowing you’ve got a great chance of receiving at least one if not all of them at some point in your life, let’s identify exactly what they are.
Going back a few verses in 1 Corinthians 12, they are listed beginning in verse eight:
“… The Spirit gives to one the gift of the word of wisdom.
To another, the same Spirit gives the gift of the word of revelation knowledge.
9 And to another, the same Spirit gives the gift of faith.
And to another, the same Spirit gives gifts of healing.
10 And to another the power to work miracles.
And to another the gift of prophecy.
And to another the gift to discern what the Spirit is speaking.
And to another the gift of speaking different kinds of tongues.
And to another the gift of interpretation of tongues.”
There they are seemingly simple, but while basic by design they are so much more.
You can visit the original post for the deeper meanings of and abilities granted through each gift, so today I’ll simply share the one I described as saving the best for last.
For me that has been true. This gift is “to discern what the Spirit is speaking”.
Discernment is certainly a well desired ability that is capable of supplying aid, assisting, delivering, healing, instructing and even protecting.
That’s because discernment is the ability to judge well. It allows for us to be enlightened with the sensitivity to perceive the wisdom in or or a situation.
This is a gift I have come to know I received well before I had any real idea what it was.
It was gifted to me at a very young age. I do not use the word childhood to describe my journey, preferring to say I was short for a while and grew out of it. My initial years on this earth were anything but childlike and even in the good times I was expected to be a small adult.
I now understand I was given the gift to discern a number of things, though for many years I falsely believed I had developed a skill. I can give multitudes of examples but for today I’ll share what I call the first incarnation of my “Rule of 8”.
Growing up in an inner city urban setting you had to make many decisions, quickly, without hesitation and hope for the best. Some of these quite literally were life or death situations. I used to say if I looked into someone’s eyes for eight seconds I could tell if they were good or bad. In the mind of a minor child, not yet ever hearing the word discernment, I was granted the gift to make decisions to remain safe, to step away to run away from what can only be described as evil.
That’s why for me the gift of discernment is the best. It has guarded me, empowered me and quite literally saved me, many times. Without it, I would not be here writing this now.
Not being initiated in spiritual beliefs or practices in those years I did not know about putting on the whole armor of God or having his hedge of protection around me. I did believe in God, because somehow I knew there had to be more to life than the abuse and pain I witnessed and suffered daily.
I ‘knew’ there was. I just had to find the way to move beyond. Fortunately I was able to discern the paths leading to the one I choose to share with you today.
Another note about the gifts of the Spirit is that they are in a much more positive sense, lol, the true gifts that keep on giving.
They are available to those who believe, throughout their lives, no matter how many times you need them or are needed to help deliver them. The rewards of receiving them also are long lasting, perhaps even infinite.
By midweek, we shifted course slightly to resume our ongoing efforts to search for and rescue wisdom. I hope you didn’t miss the call. Search your Caller ID and see if you have a verified number from Wisdom calling you.
As we examined Proverbs 8, from The Passion Translation® , among the topics we discussed were how the first three verses of this chapter have me picturing Solomon, metaphorically banging his head against the wall and crying out, “Hello! Anybody listening? Can’t you see we need some more common sense around here?
As we read, “At the place where pathways merge,at the entrance of every portal,there she stands, ready to impart understanding,shouting aloud to all who enter, preaching her sermon to those who will listen”.
She is of course the reference to Wisdom, which is always available to those willing to listen to it. Here we see she is waiting, ready to share her knowledge and unlock our understanding at any moment we allow or recognize our paths are intersecting.
In verse 10, she reminds su that there is value in choosing to accept wisdom and that the search for knowledge is not a task, rather it is something we should cherish; “My wise correction is more valuable than silver or gold. The finest gold is nothing compared to the revelation-knowledge I can impart.”
And it’s value continues to increase as described in verse 11, “ Wisdom is so priceless that it exceeds the value of any jewel. Nothing you could wish for can equal her”.
We then learn in verse 12, that Wisdom wants to give us her charms so that we may use them, as she says to each of us, “I have at my disposal living-understanding to devise a plan for your life”.
Plus you can begin to see that plan become revealed when you choose “to hate every form of evil in your life”, which leads to unlimited potentials, picking up in verse 14, ““You will find true success when you find me, for I have insight into wise plans that are designed just for you. I hold in my hands living-understanding, courage, and strength”.
All are certainly very “Becoming” traits and characteristics to develop.
Thursdays have been focused on light, and as the month progresses we’ll continue to talk about some focal points. This week it was Illuminating Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is something that for many people is easier said than done. For me it was especially hard to learn how to forgive myself.
To fully forgive involves allowing ourselves to let go, To actively and consciously release the need to hold on to past baggage, old quarrels, unfinished business or the need to get even.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go.This is a vital part of “Becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.
It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and then you can get busy moving on.
To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as you practice self care and love.
Then you can say good-bye to anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.
In doing so it becomes much easier to practice gratitude.
See the good in everything and everyone. Cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy. I believe everyday should be Thanksgiving. I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes don’t want or think we need.
Being grateful puts us in a better state. One of bliss, joy and abundance. When you decide to adopt and commit to an attitude of gratitude, God listens and rewards you. Then you are free to be, in an atmosphere of abundance rather than lack and fear. Being grateful is a conscious and easily sustainable habit. Make it one of yours.
That is the clinicians word for the much easier (?) to pronounce, triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13.
Friday the 13th has come and gone and I hope none of you were forced to deal with anxiety such as fearing walking under ladders, trying to avoid cracks in the pavement to avoid sending your mother to the hospital or driving 13 miles out of the way to avoid a black cat from crossing your path.
Fears and even phobias are real, but they can be laughable if you take the steps to reject or overcome them. For some that may require professional assistance, for others it’s replacing those thoughts with something else, something better.
For me I said, I’ll smile, I’ll laugh, as it is after all the best medicine. And I did.
However we also touched upon some really fearful moments in the world, one in particular in Ukraine that after I’m sure terror subsided, still produced beauty and understanding:
“ As I witnessed through technology the scene of a senior aged woman, struggling to drag something from beyond a wall of debris. She unassisted pulled and pulled, and it was revealed it was a single strip of metal roofing, which she loaded onto a baby buggy and began pushing down her path. To where? We do not know, she doesn’t even know, but she believed it important to retain that one memory of what was once her home.
Holding onto the positive remembrances of a past that no longer exists and a future uncertain she demonstrated that putting faith over fear and believing in her strengths from within that no matter how great the odds or how prevalent the fear, she could, would and is continuing forward on her path towards ‘Becoming’.”
That’s the week that was here along our shared path.
I appreciate each of you who choose to join us and pray you have a safe, relaxing and blessed weekend. Then please make the decision to stop by again, as come Monday we’ll be here with our next edition of “Becoming Today”.