I recently purchased the mug in the photo. Saw it and had to have it. Fitting reminder for my life each morning.
It is fitting because some days anxiety mounts up and rides in on me like a herd of wild horses. On those days I remind myself that the best path forward is faith and action.
In other words Shane, “Keep Calm and Carry On”.
As a husband and father with three boys still at home there are multiple avenues for anxiety in my life. Unexpected bills. Deals that suddenly start to fall apart (I’m a Realtor). Life pulling me in literally every different direction. Even in the sharing of my faith in God. Yes, there is even anxiety there at times. What will people think?! Let’s focus on that one……
As Christians we are all given different talents by our creator and called to share our faith in Him by putting those talents too work in this world. It is through that work that God often shows up to work in the lives of those we come in contact with. Our “audience”, for lack of a better analogy.
My goal, the “thing” I am led to do these days, is grow my audience. Growing the audience to God’s work in my life very often requires leaving my comfort zone. This often invites anxiety!
On these occasions “Keep Calm” becomes very applicable.
For example.…. About a year ago I took a deep breath and emailed an unsolicited blog post I wrote to about 70 men from my church here in Mobile, AL. I serve some Sundays as an usher and the usher group is kept abreast of the schedule via an email list. I took the liberty of adding these men to my distribution list.
Only one person asked to be removed. So, I continued to send the group other posts as I wrote them. Since sending that first post almost a year ago no one else has opted out. Better yet, several men have reached out to me in support.
Time went by and I learned that some men were forwarding the stories to their wives and even friends that did not attend our church. A larger audience had been approved. That’s nice but more importantly seeds of the gospel weren’t just being scattered, they were being multiplied! I take no credit for that but the message was clear to me……
Fast forward to this past fall. I volunteered to serve as a reader in our church, which adds me to another large group of people. This past week while attending a Sunday service I had the thought that perhaps I should add this group to my distribution list? Seemed like a reasonable idea based on the response from the usher group.
Almost instantaneously a thought hit me with remarkable clarity……. “who do you think you are”?! This is not “your” church, you are just a member. Anxiety rode in and the thought process quickly gained steam……
Is John our Rector on my email list? What about Ben our Curate? Do my pastors even know that I write a blog? I sometimes write about their sermons, based on what I hear, then send scatter it t the masses. Would they approve? Have I over stepped?!
Inside I was suddenly “Not Calm”.
The service ended and as is customary John and Ben both stood at the door to shake hands and speak to the parishioners as they “go forth in the world, rejoicing in the power of the spirit”. The standard Episcopalian dismissal. I spoke to them both, but it was what happened next that took me by surprise and was so very encouraging.
As I was walking off John called to me, “Shane”. As I turned around he said, “I enjoy your blog”. Just like that, with four spoken words, God destroyed the inadequacy and anxiety planted in me before I took it home to bloom. Coincidence? No Sir. Brother that’s how it works!
Translation? “Keep Calm & Carry On”!
When anxiety shows up in your life, and it will, recognize that it is not from God. Anxiety, along with fear, inadequacy, etc is the work of satan on your life. His goal is to talk you out of doing any and everything that God calls you to do on this earth.
In response to the question that was so loudly posed to me that Sunday morning, “who do you think you are”?
I am the son of a King, anointed with His Holy Spirit, heir to His kingdom, carrying out the work He has given me to perform. THAT is who I am.
Get in the boat. Do your part.
Shane / #16
Encourage Others – Share This and Tag a Friend!