One day, while I was surfing the internet at my old job (they didn’t mind, when we didn’t have anything else to do), I came across a random blog post that touched my heart. I long ago lost the original post, but its message has stayed with me: Be BOLD! It stayed with me because I wrote “BOLD!” on a little yellow post-it note and stuck it on my computer.
I didn’t know it then, but I’d started something that really works for me. As it turns out, when I look at something every day, even when I only glance at it from time to time, it sticks with me. I remember it and mull on it and find myself pulling it out in situations away from my desk where I need it. It’s like my own special form of meditation.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten quite a collection of these little posties around my computer screen. The original “BOLD!” is still there (well, it isn’t the original…that postie lost its stick a long time ago). It reminds me that there are little ways to be bold everyday, that these matter to me and in my heart and who knows what they’re doing for the people around me. As I’ve tumbled the concept of boldness around in my head, I’ve realized that fear is only the beginning of the journey. It’s never the end. So fear is the beginning of boldness, in Christ, in life, in everything.
Next to that, I have a couple of scripture references that have meant a lot to me. One is, “The Lord will fight for you; you have only to be still,” which is what God says to Moses right before the parting of the Red Sea. Can you imagine that? I’d be hopping up and down saying, “Still!!! You want me to be still??!!? If I stay still, WE’LL ALL DIE!!” And yet, that’s what Moses does, and they walk across on dry land. Methinks there’s something to it.
The other scripture-postie says “Rise, and have no fear,” which is what Jesus says to the disciples who see the Transfiguration, right after Moses and Elijah have risen back up into the sky. Um…yeah. Right. “Jesus, pardon this fear, but I just saw FLYING PEOPLE. And you were talking to them.” And yet, they stand, dust themselves off, look around, and realize he’s telling the truth. Some days, when I struggle to feel like I’m standing at all, I look at this and have courage, because he is there and he is inviting me on.
More recently, I’ve started making more of these little notes, to the point that I’m retiring some of them today (not tossing them, just putting them somewhere else), because, for some reason, they want me to be able to see my computer screen at work. One of these recent ones says, “Beloved,” which is a concept I (and the rest of Christendom) picked up from Brennan Manning. Some days, it takes more than I have to believe this is true, so it’s nice when I read it from outside. That little note is like someone else’s voice reminding me that, no matter how I feel, I am his Beloved. Another more recent note says, “Let it Be,” from this video that Di posted a while back. Sometimes, it’s time to just stop churning inside and leave things alone for a while. And other times, there’s nothing more I can do. I’ve said my say, done what was mine to do, and I have to leave things in someone else’s hands. It’s part of being human and living this life that things aren’t always ideal, or even ok, and I can either worry about them anyway or let them be.
I have another Manning quote (and my longest postie ever!) that says, “Trust yourself as one entrusted by God with everything you need to live life to the full.” When I first read that in…Ruthless Trust, I think…it blew my mind. Really? In him I have everything I need? To live life to the full? What? But it’s true…so true. And so I keep it there, to remind myself that it’s true but also to remind myself of my own marvel that it’s true. God’s gifts are so good, and when he’s in me I can truly live as I was meant to.
My silliest postie says, “Nourish the world with your words, yo,” from Ariel Gore’s book on writing. I think most of you know that writing is one of the things I’m about, and nourishing the world is what I’d love for my words to do. The postie reminds me of my dreams, that they’re not too far off, and that I’m working towards them every day, whether I know it or not. God is taking me somewhere, and that place has to do with my words. Yo.
I’ve added two more posties just this morning. That’s unusual. If you do the math, I’ve had the posties for roughly two years and I have nine of them, which comes to a postie every 2 2/3 months. One of this morning’s posties I’ve been meaning to make for while, and when I had the pen out it seemed as good a time as any. It says, “Strength will rise…we will wait.” It’s from that worship song, and it feels so close to where I am right now. There are so many things that I want, things that I feel like God is offering me, but the accepting of them feels like it takes more strength than I have. So I’ll accept what I can, wait, and accept more when he gives the strength. This reminds me that life with God is a combination of activity and passivity, that we wait, move, wait, move, etc., until, together with him, we walk into life everlasting.
My last postie, also made this morning, says, “Follow the wild goose.” Christianne mentioned to me that, in Celtic Christian thought, the Holy Spirit is like a wild goose. He goes wherever he wants, and you never know where he’s going to show up next. You chase, or wait, and eventually find him in new and surprising ways. I like this because life so often feels like a wild goose chase. I wonder if I’m really going somewhere, or simply running hither and thither. According to this image, a wild goose chase isn’t something pointless, silly, and painful, but something real. I’m chasing after the Holy Spirit, wherever he may go!
May you all chase after him today, and may you find him! Walk on.