Saturday, July 26, 2014
Proverbs 3:5 (MSG) Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
I remember in my sophomore year at Marion High School, coming into class for a small group English session. I had Mr. Menges on my schedule, and as I entered I noticed his glasses, perched part way down his nose, as he greeted us.
Right away, he began telling us that we would never know what was going to happen in his class. To emphasize this point, he whipped out different colored paisley blindfolds.
“Ta daa!” he grinned.
Hmmmm. Weird...I thought. Now what?
First, we introduced ourselves by answering a few questions about ourselves.
“Hi, I am Chris. I am a sophomore. I am in choir. I am taking French and Spanish and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, but I love to travel, read, ride bikes and play tennis.” The rest of the students followed suit.
“Next,” he explained, “we are going to work together in pairs or in groups and share some experiences. The first one will begin today.”
The next thing I know, I am walking around being led by a girl I’ve never set eyes on before, while I sport a red bandana covering my forehead and eyes.
Now this is just the way I wanted to make an impression, if anyone saw me, right? Wrong!
High self esteem was not something that I “suffered” from. I was well aware that I ranked low on the status bar. In my freshman year, I turned down pledge invitations from two sororities, and at this high school, that was my one chance to be part of the “in crowd”.
So, going around looking goofy and having this blindfold mash my mascara into my face, make a crease in my long straight auburn hair, and probably pull my hair up in the back into a crazy poof, did nothing to make me feel any better.
What were we doing this crazy thing for in English class, anyway? All I ever experienced in English class was to open a book and do grammar exercises, listen to boring lectures, or read literature and answer questions. This was off the wall!
After ascending stairs and roaming outside along walkways, my pilot led me through the parking lot. Next, I was steered through the gym. We stopped beside the pool, then past the music hall until we all met outside of the library.
Now it was my turn to lead her around. I chose a different route and tried to be creative. After about a ten minute walk, we met back in the classroom for our debriefing.
To begin with, this was only a trust exercise, but now Mr. Menges told us to write down anything we remembered about our experience.
Seemingly a little eccentric at first, this teacher became one of my favorite teachers. Not only did I learn to trust a fellow student while blindfolded, but I found that all his activities that at first seemed zany, actually were meant to trigger my thinking.
Pleasantly surprised, I found myself examining ideas that never would have crossed my mind before.
Fifth period stretched and challenged me. I know this class helped to influence my techniques for mothering and teaching as well as in writing.
Then, I remember a time when I held my oldest son, Nathan, in front of me as he stood and leaned out to look over the edge of a drop of several hundred feet. He didn’t hesitate for a moment and seemed content in knowing that there was no way that I would let go of my hold on him, or ever harm him by pushing him off the ledge.
He completely trusted me and this belief enabled him to glimpse views from vantage points that I still do not dare to look from myself.
An adult now, he thrills at climbing fourteeners in Colorado. He goes after some extreme challenges and enjoys looking down from peaks to view his progress up the mountain.
Here I am still learning to trust God. These days, I find that there are new tasks that He invites me to face which appear insurmountable.
“Why did you pick me for this? How can I go so far?” I wonder aloud.
I have elderly parents that are nearing an era when they may need more from me than just an email or a phone call to stay in touch and six beloved children with spouses. I have two daughters of Jerry’s and their hubbies that I am still getting to know better each visit.
Then there are our eleven grandchildren who want to hop on Grandpa Jerry and gobble Nana’s cookies and snacks in between play that I dearly love to observe and converse with.
Lord, my youngest son is still in high school. He is just a sophomore and he needs me and my youngest daughter is in the middle of her studies toward nursing. I want her to know how proud I am of her for persevering to pursue her education even with obstacles and limitations.
Is there ever a convenient time to answer a call to the mission field?
During that blindfolded walk in tenth grade, I learned as I listened along the way. No one could tell me ahead of time what to expect. I just had to go in order to find out.
Now, my walk in God is changing my view of where life will lead me. My husband and I are in Costa Rica, on a vision quest, to hear God affirm and prod us forward. Our vehicle is here from Texas. We have signed our applications for temporary residency and are fingerprinted. Pinch me. This is real.
“Trust me,” he urges. “I am always with you. I will be with your loved ones as well. Come with Me to Central America.”
Like my toddler who hung over the precipice in total abandon and trust, I thrust myself forward, to embrace this new culture, language, and mission; here I am Costa Rica.