Saturday, September 21, 2013

Awkward Moments

How many of you have ever suffered through a really awkward situation?  Uggh.  Awkward moments.  They happen despite our cool, collected, and preparedness efforts.  They catch us by surprise.  How many of you know, some of us are a little more awkward than others?  You know what I am talking about.  In fact, when you read that, someone's name and face probably popped into your head.  

Take this picture for example.  Awkward, right?  This is just not something you see and experience everyday.  Socks with flip flops, come on, it's a little weird.   And yes, those are my feet.  And no, I did not create the picture specifically for the purpose of this blog post.  That picture really happened.  I actually walked out the door like this and caught myself after the fact.  Even more awkward.  

This picture is a perfect illustration of what it can be like to go out into the world with our faith.  Let's face it.  It can feel a little weird.  As believers, we face some awkward situations.  Strong, clear, everyday faith is just not the obvious norm once we leave the safety of our homes and the regularity of our churches.  In the here and now, we are taught to keep our faith to ourselves.  We are urged by our culture to remain "politically correct", and we are careful in our words and actions because we don't want to offend anyone.   And so, for many of us, or at least for me, I let my faith slip into cautious mode.  I catch myself compartmentalizing my faith, containing it within my comfort zones.  I confess that I am hesitant and even afraid, at times, to say and do what I know to be true and perfectly good in the moment.  

This was the topic of conversation in our Sunday school class the other day, and it's an awkwardness I fight more and more as I continue to strengthen my relationship with God.  Let me give you a few examples, and I'd love for you to share a few of your own in the 
comment section too.

  • You go out to socialize with friends, maybe lunch.  The food comes.  You need to bless the food before you eat.  What do you do?  
  • A doctor is about to operate on a patient.  The patient is your loved one.  Doctors, nurses, and friends are coming and going.  A prayer is the best medicine.  What do you do?  
  • Your child is playing organized sports.  He wants to pray before the game.  The coach doesn't do it.  What do you do?   
  • You are on vacation and out of your normal routine.  You have additional people with you morning, noon, and night.  There's lots to see and do.  You always start your day with God in your own home.  What do you do?  

Every single one of these situations has happened to me.  They were awkward faith moments.  And, I knew what I should do in every single situation.  I could hear God encouraging me.  I say I have faith.  I know I do.  So, why do I run from it in very simple situations like these?  When I do this, the guilt comes immediately, and that feels much worse than the short-lived awkwardness I was trying to avoid.

So, what does God think about all this?  God already knew we would face some awkward faith moments.  He sent His Son to be our example.  Jesus says,

14 “You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

What do these words mean for us as we try to live out everyday faith?  God calls us to shine His light in the world.  It's awkward sometimes because we try to hide our light.  We are often walking and fumbling in the dark.  So here I am confronting my awkwardness.  It's nothing but my own fear getting in the way.  What am I afraid of anyway?  I can tell you.  I am scared to death of rejection, others thinking I am weird, offending someone, and making people uncomfortable.  And my worst case scenario, I am afraid that something I do or say, in faith, will send those around me running from the one and only mighty, loving God I know we all need so much.  My own fear is at the root of every single one of my awkward faith moments.  

Awkward faith moments are something I have to pray through, talking and listening to God.  We do not have to be afraid of anything we face when we let God hold our hands in this life (check out God's words on overcoming fear).   Awkward faith moments are a call from Our Creator to be more like Jesus.  Awkward faith moments are a chance to inspire others with our own faith.  Awkward faith moments are an invitation to let go and let Our Sovereign Lord in.  Awkward faith moments are an occasion to grow closer to our Father in Heaven.  Awkward faith moments are opportunities to shine Our Savior's light into the world.  Awkward faith moments are God moments, times to let Our Redeemer do His thing in us.

Thank goodness if we will take even the smallest steps in our faith, our light shines far beyond it's source.  You never know exactly  where or how far it will reach.  Miracles happen.  A friend pointed out to me the other day, faith is not really a noun.  It has to be a verb, characterized by action.  Faith is not a thing we have to "sell" to others in hopes they will buy into it.  Everyday faith is not pushy, rude, insensitive, or inconsiderate.  Jesus was and is the epitome of perfect faith.  When I go out into the world, others should be able to sense my faith based on how I handle myself and love others.  My faith is who I am.  That's the light Jesus is talking about in the scripture for today.  It's the light He gives us for finding our way in the world, day to day.  The light is perfect; we are not.  That's how and why God uses us for His glory.  And boy do I have stories about that...I will share in future posts!

A prayer for today-

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for the gift of today and the light You bring to the world.  I pray for Your light in my life.  I pray Your unconditional and perfect love will fill me and make me more like Your Son, my Savior, Jesus.  Forgive me for being afraid to act in faith.  God, transform my fear into courage for Your glory.  I love You, Lord, with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.

In the name of Jesus, I pray,

Thanks so much for reading.  In follow-up to this post, check out "More Than Enough." 

May God fill you with His light and may this post inspire you to let it light shine in new ways,

1 comment:

  1. I love this Lindsay. So true, so very true. I'm reading this with my cup of coffee right now, shaking my head in agreement, line by line!