For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Bad, The Good, and The Growing

Yesterday I posted about the lady at our church who talked to the kids about Groundhog's Day, and I told you what I thought was wrong with it. I also want to tell you what was right with it.

As I mentioned briefly in my second post, she called and apologized for offending me, and she explained her intentions in bringing up the topic with the kids. What was right with that? Several things.

First, she followed biblical principles in calling me to talk to me about the issue. I don't know how she even know about the blog post because we aren't Facebook friends and she isn't a typical blog reader. I don't know if she even knew who I was before this morning, which speaks even more to her character, in my opinion. She could have blown me off. She really had nothing to lose if she did. I certainly am not leaving my church because someone talked about Groundhog's Day. Honestly, she had nothing to lose if she didn't say a thing. She could have taken the coward's way out, but she didn't. She took the road of character instead. She called this person she didn't know to apologize for something she never thought would mean anything. Gives me a good idea of why she is one of the leaders. Leaders are more interested in creating unity than defending their rights. She could have told me all the reasons she had every right to say what she did. Instead, she told me how sorry she was I was offended. That is godly character.

Whichever leader read the blog could have blown me off and not told her about. I mean really. How many people read this blog anyway, and how significant am I in the big scheme of things? She's a leader in the church, and I'm...not. Could have been really easy to ignore the blog, say nothing, and let it go away, but someone didn't. Someone felt it was important to value this lady, who deserved the right to give her side, and me. I think this person also values the church. After all the church isn't a building, it's the people in it. Seems to me someone values unity among the body enough to address the issues with honor and dignity so family stays family.

Third, the lady explained to me why she brought up Groundhog's Day. She was trying to make conversation. The kids are in public school, and the topic would come up during the week (today as it turns out), and it was something to talk about. Now, the hardcore religious side of me wants to rise up and ask, "Really? And that is the best you had?" But let me give you reality of this. At least she tried. I sat in my chair listening to someone else's conversations and didn't engage anyone. She looked at this population of people that goes unnoticed and unaddressed by adults until they do something wrong and get in trouble, and she was earnestly interested. SHE TRIED. It's easy for me to find fault with her effort from my place in the cheap seats, but let me tell you something. If you asked God today which one of us looked more like Jesus, I have a feeling He'd say it was the one who went after the sheep, and that wasn't me.

I still have issues with the church's acceptance of pagan and humanistic holidays, philosophies, and beliefs, but I also have issue with someone who sits on her butt on a padded chair in "the safe zone" and finds fault with someone's efforts to love people and risks getting it wrong. Some days I make myself sick.

And all of this has left me challenged.

I could have written that first blog better. It came out sounding like an attack on her, and that really isn't what I intended. It was badly done, but I'm leaving it up there so people can see I really don't have it all together and am in desperate need of grace and forgiveness all the time, and if God can use this muddy mess, He can use anyone.

I'm also challenged to listen carefully to the Spirit concerning anything I say that gives glory or power to anyone or anything besides God. I prayed that prayer in earnest, not just because I like to sound profound and eloquent. No point praying if I am not going to listen to Him answer.

Also, the Bible says to be prepared in season and out. I don't remember the rest of the verse, but right now, that seems pertinent enough. At church this morning I wasn't prepared to engage the kids. I've never been prepared to engage the kids. This week I need to be in prayer concerning things to talk with them about. But even beyond them, what about the people in line at the grocery store? Standing in the elevator? On the other side of the gas pump? In a world where people are so detached and feel so isolated, could I really make a difference by simply starting a conversation, asking about their day, be interested in who they are? Seems too simple. Okay, it already feels awkward, but Jesus talked to a tax collector in a tree...and the town trash at the well...and...It worked for Him. This conversation starting simply because He was there and the other person was there and after all, they were divine appointments, weren't they? Maybe some of these people I watch pass by in silence are souls wanting to be found? Maybe they don't know how to reach God, so God wants to reach them through me. I guess I'll open up a conversation and see.

Finally, in the midst of writing this, I've called the lady back (nope, still not giving her name) and talked some more. It was a good talk, and we're fine. Actually, it was good because I understand her heart, and maybe she understands mine, and while we came at this issue from two different perspectives and with different passions, we agree that both are important. What Satan meant for destruction God is using for growth in both of us, and you know what happens when children of God talk through their differences (real or perceived) and grow? He gets glorified. And that is always good stuff.

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