Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting in the Way

How much do we stand in our own way? We let fear take hold of us or pride? Or anything else that stops you from doing something, pursuing something, anything really. Sure there are many times that others block our paths but how much is it really ourselves?

I’ve stood in my own way a million times. I fear others reactions, I fear my own. I ask myself questions on whether it’s really worth it to do something? Will it cause problems, will it change me? Will it change how things are?

I remember being about nine or ten and I was in gymnastics. I wasn’t great at it but I was ok. I could do most things fairly well but the thought of a doing a back handspring could make me nauseous. I had mastered the back walkover, the front walkover, the front handspring and even a back walkover switch (in which you switch your legs mid back walkover) but I had so much fear in hurting myself that I could not do a back handspring. It wasn’t something that was impossible; I could do it if someone was standing right next to me “spotting” me, giving me confidence that I wouldn’t fall on my head. I would end up in that instance doing the back handspring without fear but the moment they would step away my mind would race to the possibilities of what could go wrong and I couldn’t do it anymore.

I think that we’ve all these moments in life. There are so many times that we get in our own way. We don’t make the choices that will lead us in directions to take us where we want to go because we’re afraid, or we let our minds wander to the worst case scenario leaving us missing out on the wonderful things that life has in it.

This was the same for the Israelites. They liked to stand in their own way and let fear take over. In Exodus 14 it talks about how they had just been released by Pharaoh through the help of Moses by God’s hand. But Pharaoh, being the kind of man he was changed his mind about setting his slaves free and decided to go after them. When the Israelites saw that they were being pursued they said “Why did you do drag us out here if we’re just going to die anyway?” The Israelites grumbled the whole time about Moses taking them out of Egypt. They didn’t want to take a risk. They would’ve rather served the Egyptians for all time than move forward. But then Moses tells them in Exodus 14:13-14:

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see
the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today
you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

After this Moses parted the Red Sea. Through God’s hand, His people were delivered. They were not only in their own way but in God’s way too. If they had not stepped out in faith and let God be God and do what he had planned for them they would’ve never made it to the promise land.

I still feel like I get in my own way. I know that there are times that I feel like I get in God’s way in my life. I feel like not taking risks or trying new things will keep me safe, but I miss out on so many of the good things that God brings to us. I know that times things are hard and sometimes I’m fighting a never ending battle with my own head but I just remember now “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” I need to be still in my mind. I need to be still in my spirit. I need to be still and wait for God to show me how to move so I don’t get in the way.

I eventually was able to do the feared back handspring and did them all the way through high school but it took a long time to get out of my own head. I do not want to stand in my own way anymore from the things that make life worth living; or things that can make me happy if only I gave it chance. I need to let go of myself and be still.