Monday, September 04, 2006

wanted: lessons in how to change locks

Insecurity is a thief.

It steals trust from relationships, nabs sweet encouragement before we ever get to taste it, and cheats us out of enjoying the talents and personalities God has given us. It robs us of the courage to embrace risky opportunities and to love with abandon. God offers us an abundant inner life; Somehow we allow insecurity to pick the lock, and we suddenly find that the home that is our heart has been stripped bare. We work hard, begin to fill the rooms again, feel like we're getting somewhere...but before we know it, treasures are taken from us, whether in the darkness or in broad daylight.

Over the last year or so (and especially the last couple weeks), I have become painfully aware of one particular element of insecurity's thievery in my own life: it robs me of my memories. I have been rendered almost completely unable to enjoy my memories. Why? Because all I can ever see are the things that I may have done wrong (the majority of which are totally ridiculous, and which probably no one but me remembers). Nonetheless, those imperfections are all I see, tainting everything else with shame. So when I remember missions in Vietnam and Mexico? I must have failed as a leader or teammate. Outings with friends? I must have said something wrong, failed to percieve some need. Achievements? Well, you know, I did make that one mistake when I was learning.

This is insane, but I can't seem to kick it. I am being cheated out of my own life story! So I am thinking- it is good to work on the struggle, to try and fill the rooms again, but at some point we have to do more than recover from losses- we have to keep the thief from getting in again. We have to change the locks, bar the door, hire a security guard, build a fence...something.

This is not how I was meant to live- not how any of us were meant to live. We are followers of a Good Shepherd, one who came to overcome the thief who steals, kills, and destroys. Yet I am being robbed. I'm working away at the rooms, but what I really need is to secure my home. That picture is clear. And I know that it has something to do with trading lie for truth. Beyond that, I am feeling pretty helpless. From where I stand right now, the journey seems a little less than well-marked, and the landscape looks a lot like sheer frustration.

"Who has bewitched you?...It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 3:1, 5:1). What does it look like to stand firm, to secure the homes of our hearts against break-ins and devastation, rather than just trying to recover from the losses? What does it look like to prevent the sweet freedom of life with Jesus from being robbed by the slavery of insecurity?

Not too many answers here... so I welcome your thoughts.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I too have been robbed in many ways, so no easy answers here, but appreciate your thougts. I can help be a security guard. And remind us of verses like those in Matthew 16 (MSG):
"Now I'm going to tell you who you are, really will have complete and free access to God's kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers."
I pray for glorious freedom.