“Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.” Romans 14:22
I will never understand how rain has so much to say. All it does is fall, and yet it affects me in so many different ways, as if it has a mind of its own. It cleanses. It clarifies. It comforts… In ways that no sunny day can.
Today marked the first day of the Spring 2013 Semester here at Southern Miss, and some might say the weather is a fitting symbol for the beginning of the routine again, the start of homework, jobs, life… And while I have dreaded this beginning, I find there’s something bigger in the rain today. It washed so much away– good and bad things, wrong situations, happy memories. It takes no inventory of what it cleans.. it just does. And I’m so thankful for the unstoppable intention that it has on my life.
On a different note, I was driving today through the constant downpour of rain, and I realized that my windshield wouldn’t stop fogging up… which is pretty annoying/dangerous when you look up and realize that the car in front of you is at a halt. Luckily, no wreck resulted, and I finally realized I didn’t have the defrost on in my car… hence the fog. And boom. Something about that resonated with me.
I have enjoyed my Christmas break so much… I mean, I wish that sentence could explain how grateful I truly am for the time-out I received from reality. I have never needed it more. I’ve spent so much time isolated, so much time only with people I love and that love me back, that I’ve gotten too accustomed to comfort, too used to warmth and good surroundings. Spiritual attacks and controversy among people have been void in my life, which is a huge blessing– don’t misunderstand me. But the absence of adversity has simultaneously lowered the walls of my spirit, and created in me a susceptibility to weakness, petty distraction, and those that don’t harness a spirit of love. And considering the broken world we live in… I’d say that’s a problem. Without the breath of the Holy Spirit inside me, without a shield of faith in Christ, and without the consistent seeking of God’s face… My windshield will only keep getting foggier.
The verse at the top of this post… is so powerful. It’s a banner that we as followers of Christ get to cling to and broadcast. When we act in accordance with what we know is right, guilt is unnecessary and uncalled for. The Message says it this way:
“If you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe–some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them–then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.”
Decisions… they make up most of our memories. They make up a lot of good…and a lot of bad. They are life. They are what have gotten us to this moment. I’m on the brink of making “big” decisions that have the potential for laying the foundation for the future. Second-guessing these decisions, constructively questioning each decision is not only needed, but commanded by Christ. And when He gives us the precious gift of decision, we have no reason to think anything other than the choice He has produced in His marvelous provision.
This writing out of these words is more for me than anyone reading it. I needed to remind myself, to express what God is doing and has already done in my life. The truth is, the world is not a place full of love. It is not overflowing with pleased people. As God’s followers, we were never promised that our decisions would be honored and graciously accepted by the world… in fact we were promised the exact opposite. But a pleasing eye does not carry enough weight to justify the choices life throws at us. Let’s be real… the discernment of the Holy Spirit? Orrrrr the approval of others? Why on earth is this even a debate in our heads.
Rainy days have always been my favorite. But something about today provided one more dimension that the rain relates…and it all started with that stupid fogged up windshield. You see, without the presence, the breath, and the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me… I have no hope for getting to where I need to be. His discernment and HELP are the only reason I’ve gotten to where I am. And it is through His guidance that I’ve made important decisions in my life… and as I approach more and more of those decisions, I have complete faith He will faithfully provide. Piss people off. Throw your secular reputation out the window. Endure mistreatment… Whatever may come as a result, do what the Spirit’s discernment is telling you to do… Because a pat on the back by the Creator of the Universe feels a little bit better than anything this world can conjure up.
So the Rainy Season is upon us… but man it’s good to be in the Airstream again. I feel… clean. Tires rotated. Oil changed. And a pretty clear windshield. I’m ready to move forward because I know the strength of where I’ve been, and this beautiful gift of the present is a byproduct of that journey. I don’t have a destination in mind quite yet, but I know the next turn. And my knowing that is plenty sufficient.
Turning on the defrost,