Yes, I’m titling this one “Shut (the Hell) Up”. But I’m not talking about you and I don’t mean it in that way. 😉
As I was driving to my hotel Friday afternoon for a women’s conference, this thought popped into my head. Yes, I kept thinking “shut the hell up”. And I laughed. It sounded so rude.
Then God showed me the big truth of that outrageous statement. I need to shut hell up.
I need to stop listening to the “voices” telling me to be mad, dramatic, loud, demanding, obnoxious, rude, and sharp. I need to stop allowing my emotions to control, force, and dominate (bully) me to walk down the wrong path. I need to pause more and react less. I need to praise more and think (reason) less. I need less emotion and more Jesus in my thinking, feeling, acting, reacting, talking, and being.
And when I forget any of these things, God is quick to remind me. Like this past Tuesday.
It was after working hours and I was still working. I was two days and about 20 hours into my week and still far behind. I was reasoning through and rationalizing my desperation and panic when my emotions charged in and choked me – and my boss. Stress strangled my sanity, and I had a meltdown. I was emotionally unstable, unfocused, and unreasonable. And when I think about it, I should have seen the warning signs and really should have shut hell up.
I should have shut down my emotions. I should have taken a couple of deep breaths. I should have prayed. I should have focused on Jesus instead of the chaos of my work space. I should have considered my words before I spewed them.
But I didn’t. I ranted, I raved, and I roared. I was a lunatic with no sense of control.
And we as Christ followers are called to be above such nonsense. We’re to fly like the eagle; I thudded hard upon the earth. We’re to let go and let God; I let loose and let it out. I verbally exploded to no one’s benefit and everyone’s amazement.
Yep, that was me. So loud and so proud in the moment as I had my say. And now as I look back I am embarrassed and slightly ashamed. But with God there is always a lesson.
Genesis 4:7 says sin is waiting to pounce on us and dominate us “at the door”. And God reminded (corrected) me that we don’t have to answer that doorbell. We don’t have to entertain or even acknowledge the presence of sin. If we are tuned into God, then we will know to flee that moment or at least take a step back. We will take time to pause and pray.
But in that moment I let sin win. I didn’t pause. I didn’t consider. I didn’t pray. I looked at the storm raging around me instead of my Jesus with His hand outstretched to me. I looked at all that was undone instead of looking at all I had accomplished. I looked at myself and my limited abilities instead of at my limitless God.
And so God had yet another teachable moment in my life. There’s always a choice. And we get to choose.
We can be a (people) lover or a lunatic.
We can be peaceful or panicked.
We can be encouraged or engrossed (by our problem).
We can be surrendered or stupid (senseless).
We can be cautious or careless.
We can be for God or for ourselves.
So maybe next time – and there is always a next time – I will remember this day and this lesson. There is hope in tomorrow. There is beauty in the possibilities of a new day. There is miraculous power and potential through God. So anything can happen. And maybe I will pause. Maybe I will look hell’s minion in the eyes and say “shut up and leave me alone!” as I consider my options. Ephesians 3:20 promises me it is possible.
So I choose to believe that next time hell comes knocking at the door of my heart that I will pause and turn the other way. I believe that I will hold my tongue. I believe I will put my emotions in check. I believe I will find the good and the God in the moment. I believe I will surrender to the right (righteous) way instead of the right now.
And I hope that I will remember this crazy phrase and work toward that goal. I’m a work in progress, walking with God one decision, one victory, and one mistake at a time. Want to walk with me?
Marie Fremin, 8/28-8/29/15