I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit;
for apart from Me you can do nothing
John 15:5 NASB
Give it up. Those were the words I read on a sign that I regularly pass on my drive to walk at the mall. Lately I had not been walking much because of a very full schedule. In my quest for education and experience in the theatre, I had agreed this semester to be stage manager for the spring play at the college. Most people know that I am fairly organized, and I can think on my feet. I went in with great confidence in my skills, and humble dependence upon God, mostly. This week the show opens and my humble dependence upon God has been greatly challenged. Meaning my eyes were more widely opened to my need to depend.
The past few years I have been more in tune with the church calendar, and I like to observe Advent and Lent. Last week I was so busy, I didn’t really think to much about Ash Wednesday, but I was musing about what people give up for Lent. In my inner dialogue, I was thinking I wouldn’t give up chocolate because stressed people need chocolate. Maybe I could give up watching TV, but it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice, because I hardly have time to watch anything. Then the a radical idea crossed my mind, what about giving up certain negative attitudes, like complaining or worrying. Those thoughts meandered for awhile, and then I got back to the task at hand, mentally keeping track of all the details for the play. (And also learning Algebra formulas at the same time, yikes!)
In a gentle and firm way, God began to show me what he wanted me to “give up” for lent, while I was in the middle of my stage manager training. I had graduated from giving lines to the actors, the prop tables were ready and it was time for me to enter the BOOTH. The booth is where the stage manager gets to run the show. Supposedly a control freak’s haven, but this frightened me greatly. I had never done this before. The cues are like a foreign language, and if something doesn’t happen most likely it falls back on me. Great potential for failure and looking foolish. Two of my lifelong fears. Fortunately, I have experienced people training me, and to make sure I was under the right amount of pressure they both sat over my shoulders prodding me to call my cues correctly. I was definitely humbled. I came home, and thought of all kinds of ways to avoid having to go into the booth again.
The next morning, I got up to drive to the mall for my walk and there was the sign: “Give It Up”. I immediately knew God was “talking” to me. He wanted me to give IT up. “IT” being everything that I foolishly think I can control, my reputation as an organized, sharp person, my inability to control others, etc. So I laughed and cried and praised God for being so kind and thoughtful to remind me that He alone is the one who can manage my life or anyone’s life for that matter.
So as they say, “Let’s give it up for God!”. (Loud applause)
Have a great Lent! Love-Kel