Tag Archives: Success

He Had A Great Army, Like The Army of God.

So David had his mighty men. Then he got even more. While waiting to become king a force was gathering behind him. One great thing about being a warrior for God is that if your motives are pure and true and if your strength is found in the original warrior, others will see it and gather around you.

David now has an army.

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A Road Rage Story To Inspire

This guy, he had no idea how close he was to getting the front of a Pontiac up under the bumper of his Jeep and run off the road. He had no idea how close he was to seeing a spectacle of maroon fury as this travel weary chica was about to pass someone by use of the ditch. He had no idea how lucky he was that our pastor had used the example of road rage in a sermon a couple of weeks ago and so I was trying to tame the beast. One of my biggest displays of the anger problem that lurks beneath my friendly surface, road rage.

Road Rage

It is the worst in the summer as that is when the “c” word starts coming out. You know what I mean. The shudder you feel when you see that orange sign with those black letters, “Construction Ahead”. I try to be a pretty courteous and smart driver, unfortunately that makes me very upset at those that I do not believe are behaving likewise.

I always thought that that was the worst feeling in the world was being the car stuck in the right lane as those in the left lane fly by, only to merge over a foot before their lane closed. I was wrong, there is a worse feeling. I was on my way home from my road trip, having already driven somewhere around 24 hours, and I had about 20 more to go. Grand Rapids, MI my point A and Pella, IA my point B, for this eight hour leg of the journey at least. I was only a half hour out of the city when I hit dreaded stop and go traffic. There was not even a construction sign in sight, I knew this was going to take a while.

I was in the left lane, and both of the lanes were going slow, the right lane only slightly more so. A half hour passed, I was only inching forward. Then, I finally saw it “Left Lane Closed 2 Miles Ahead”. I hate being the jerk that waits in the left lane until the end, but I had two miles to go and I was barely passing anyone in the right lane anyway. I told myself that I would wait a mile and then try to merge over.

Plus, I like to do this rolling thing. Whenever I get the chance, and the other drivers cooperate, I break free of the “stop and go” headache and I just roll at about 10 mph. I would catch up to the car ahead of me while they were stopped and then they would rush forward at 30 mph or more leaving a nice gap for me to keep rolling in. I hadn’t touched a pedal in about 10 minutes. The right lane, knowing that the left was going to close, wasn’t pulling in to take advantage of the space like they do when I try this around larger cities.

I was a little way past the 2 mile ’til sign when a right lane car finally took advantage of the space left in front of me. I waited for him to dash forward and be the driver who is just trying to gain as much distance as possible, but he didn’t. I soon realized that he was sick of the left lane slowly passing the cars in the right, stopping the left lane from passing anymore. He matched the right lane gas for gas and break for break. I watched as the space between him and the other cars in the left lane increased, 100 yards, 200 yards, 300 yards, and finally the road became too curvy and I could no longer see the other cars in the left lane.

I was furious. I possibly started foaming at the mouth. How dare he! Doesn’t he know that I have eight more hours to go before I can stop for the day? Who does he think he is? The savior of the right lane? I contemplated the shoulder, but my hubby’s Pontiac was too wide, I would have to put the left side in the ditch and his low clearance scared me. If I was only in my Jeep, I muttered to myself, I would pass him in the ditch. Instead I settled for almost kissing his back bumper with my front every time he stopped alongside the right lane. I made sure he could see me in his side mirror, and I glared.

When we finally got through the construction and where set free on both lanes I caught up to this self-righteous Jeep driver and contemplated boxing him in for the next hundred or so miles. Playing some cat and mouse, or whatever else it took to ruin his day as well. Unfortunately, he was driving too slow and I had many miles to make up.

I have this road rage feeling during everyday life as well. If someone’s life seems to be going better, the journey smoother, the destination reached faster, then I feel that it somehow belittle’s my life and my journey. I am just stuck in the right lane. I am worth less.

Sometimes I am the jerk who pulls over only to slow every one else down. Instead of being happy at a friend’s wedding, I refuse to give any compliments as my wedding was better and everyone should be aware of that. For some reason I believe that the beauty of this wedding somehow diminishes mine.

When someone finds their dream job, I only talk about the negative aspects it brings. For some reason I fear that their joy and success will crowd out mine and somehow make it less.

If they are beautiful, it means that I am not. If they have an amazing vacation, it means that mine was less special. If they completed a marathon it means that my 10k is pathetic. If someone mentions that so-and-so is such an expiring Christian, I soon believe that I am only at pathetic pagan level.

Somehow, I started believing this idea that there can only be one winner, in everything. I started to believe that someone else’s successes can only mean that I can not succeed.

I need to start seeing as God sees. Their beauty does not mean that I am flawed. Their inspiring Christian life does not mean that I am living a lesser journey. Joy is not a contest. I can have joy in my experiences while others have joy in theirs, and we should have joy in each other.

The race of life. I have to stop trying to beat others, and just focus on my own personal best.

I Would Like To Tell You A Story of God’s Victory. Part Two.

“I would like to tell you a story of my victory. Unfortunately, that seems to be a story of another day.” Oh how wrong I was . . .

The first post I put up on July 4th was on my other blog, ended with the quotation, and my second post ended with the full quote above. I had suffered a lot of pain that day, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That first post was written while my pain was still fresh and the day was still young and the second was written as a new day had dawned.

When the tears had subsided and when I had unloaded my heaviness, telling James all of the lies that I had been hearing and had been believing and might still believe, we took a nap. I woke up a couple of hours later not knowing what I would do with the rest of this painful day.

I went on my computer. Wasted some time on iwastesomuch.com and read some blogs. One of the blogs I followed had posted about a failure they were struggling with and trying to learn from, so I thought I would take my fresh pain and turn it into some prose as well. Writing “I Would Love To Tell You A Story of My Victory” on my Ripples in Culture blog.

I then moped around for a bit. Slightly uplifted from the blogs I had read and some inspirational images I had stumbled across. I asked James to make me some home-made mac n’ cheese and I started my bubble bath. This combination may sound strange to you, but James will easily tell you that this is my routine when my body and my mind need some healing.

I was in a half daze. Trying to pull myself out of this funk and yet the old me enjoying it. Like a pig wallowing in the mud, welcoming this gunk and enjoying the feeling of it covering me up so I can hide.

I hunkered down on the couch to watch James play some video games, Dragon Age 2 to be exact. On the coffee table were  the two books that I had been given by one of the members of our congregation. This lady is a wonderful and lovely woman, but I fear very misunderstood, even by me. She makes me feel uncomfortable. She likes to hug people, especially those that she knows who are hurting. And she likes to linger. She is a little socially awkward wonderfully sprinkled with lacking personal space.

She is one of the most amazing children of God I have ever met. When it comes to giving and sharing she is beautiful at it. She was there when I shared my testimony and has been reigning hugs down on me ever since. She shared with me part of her story and showed me the scar that was left from her own self-mutilation. I was then handed a card with a poem she wrote for me, a gift of a glass crystal that makes rainbows in the sunlight (I had shared how I used to love colorful gifts as a child, but had lost some of that to my dark depression), and two books called Walking With God and Waking the Dead, both by John Eldredge. She told me that they had helped her and some of what I said in my testimony had reminded her of those books and she hoped that they would help.

So I picked up Walking With God and started to read. It only took one page and I wanted to cry . . . and to laugh.  I also wanted to chuck the book across the room and forget it existed. The words hit too close to home. I had been opening myself up, or trying to at least, to the Spirit. I had been pouring out concerns and hopes to our mentors trying to figure out why God still has us living in Fargo. We have been here for two years now, and I had only been thinking we would be here for one. I wanted to move to Chicago, but every year when our lease is up for renewal we find a good reason to stay. We renew again next week.

I mentioned during my last post that I had been seeking, but had not been finding. It was my fault. I was not really opening up. The part inside of me that likes to do things on my own was taking over. I should be able to fix myself. So with that and the lies of the demons I was made deaf.

This book was all about how to seek intimacy with God, how he craves that from us, and how we should seek to hear him, and how we should crave that as well. Darnit, my crappy day was bound to get better.

I read and read and read. Stopping only for a moment as we got ready to drive out to a campground to visit our friends, our mentors, and their family for some campfire, somes s’mores, and some games. I read in the car down there. We hung out, and I was okay. I actually smiled and felt happy. There was very little time for serious talk, so I was not able to discuss in length the problems I had been having that day, too many other people around. But I was still doing alright. We played some pinochle, and of course girls rule and boys drool, we crushed them.

I read on the way home. I was hooked. I was mesmerized. My eyes and ears were starting to be opened. During the car rides that day, while I was reading, my ears would perk up to a song here and there. We had our radio tuned to the Air One station, it plays some awesome Christian music. And every time my ears would perk up for a song, it was one that was a song that my soul longed to sing. Music can be such a counselor and such a healer sometimes.

By the time I laid my head down that night I was a new person. I no longer wanted to recede back into the old me. I no longer believed Satan’s whispered lies. I wanted to run the race set out before me, full sprint.

And tomorrow would be a new and wonderful day, with a new gift from God. . .