June 24, 2004

hear it in the stairwell:U2- Joshua Tree

I use exaggerated hand gestures when I talk on the phone.

And I always burn my tongue on my first sip of tea.

I smile when I catch the clock hands on 10 and 2.

And on clear summer evenings I still go out to catch fire flies.

I take every chance I get to use sidewalk chalk.

I’m afraid of birds flying into my car.

I bend the page corners to mark my spot in a book.

I sprint the last two blocks of a long run even if I know it will kill me.

I often honk and wave at people on the sidewalk.

I think every sunset is the most amazing I’ve seen.

I have my clocks set 10 minutes fastand I’m still habitually running late.

I’m overly sentimental with songs.

And I adjust the water temperature at least three times before I step into the shower.

But I always, always look both ways then I cross a one way street…

And that bothers me.

As if the large black and white arrow sign isn’t enough to reassure me that a car won’t come barreling down the road, blatantly contradicting the sign and demolish my jeep with me in it. But my neighborhood is full of narrow one way streets and I can’t seem to break the daily temptation to be annoyingly overly cautious about an unfounded fear.

And then I ran across this verse in Isaiah the other day…

“Free yourself from the chains on your neck…for the Lord will go before you and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”(52)

And I realized that it’s not only in my everyday run-ins with traffic signs that I have a sense of fear, it’s something I struggle with in my spiritual and relational life. What is it that I’m so worried about? I mean it’s one thing to look both ways when crossing the busy two lane road we call life, afterall, God does call us to be “wise as serpants” (Matt.10). But it seems that even within the perameters of having an omnipotent personal Savior I lose my willpower to trust that God truly does “got my back”. I’d rather look keep a lookout on my own, hoping to convince myself that I’m “safe” as long as I can see everything that’s going on around me. When in reality, as long as I stay focused down that freeing, one-way road to God, there’s no need to look back.

Now if only I didn’t eat my ice cream directly from the carton…


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