June 21, 2011

#Trust30 Prompt 21 - You Know

The Prompt:

You Know by Jen Louden

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

(Author: Jen Louden)

The Post:
I've sort of fallen off the #Trust30 bandwagon, in part because several of the questions and prompts, I didn't feel I could answer well in a public space like this blog, and in part because I simply haven't taken the time to write. But I was especially interested by this one, because I received it via e-mail, right next to another e-mail (Ginghamsburg Church's daily Transformation Journal) that hit right on the same theme.

The Transformation Journal devotional piece for the day was the Scripture reading from 1 Samuel 17:12-58, the story of David defeating Goliath. Rather than focusing on the conflict at the end, I found myself paying attention to the arc leading up to it: a culture paralyzed by fear; David being dismissed and mocked by his brothers; a King without vision or insight into the problem; an attempt to put David into King Saul's armor to fight this battle. How often does our story parallel David's, speaks to that quote above from Emerson, and the question Jen Louden raises? How often do we already have the skills we already need, that will translate into new situations even when no one else believes us (and sometimes we don't trust them ourselves)? How often will we face questions by those who can't or won't see the possibilities before us? Are we ready and willing to challenge the old paradigms or do we just silently submit to the status quo?

Too often my attention is on the skills I lack; attempts to put on another's ill-fitting armor that hinders movement and holds me back, instead of trusting the gifts and talents most natural to me. Too often I fail to consider the "small victories" against lions and bears, that prepare me for the giants in my midst.

May we let go of the fears and unhelpful comparisons, and trust in the Spirit already at work within us to accomplish the task before us.

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