Yesterday was Mu, my best friend's, birthday. I wanted to post it yesterday but had to consider if she thought I might be publicizing her too much. She is rather demure about me proclaiming her value to the blogging world.
"But, Mu, you're the sage of the universe! You're the Unpaid Life Coach all should be calling!" I told her in between mouthfuls of egg and strawberry crepes at IHOP yesterday morning. Okay, the truth is, I didn't exactly say that- but you would think I did the way she rejects my tiny, teeny compliments and honest appraisals of her abilities and strengths.
"Lu, please," she always tells me, rolling her eyes, because I am exaggerating and "selling" her good points as though I was a hyper car dealer in a parking lot with the camera on him.
Now, she can always admonish me if I am not recounting enough of my accomplishments and abilities, but I am not allowed to do too much of that with her. I would say that we are unequally yoked, in that matter- but yoked we are, nonetheless. Best friends. Bosom buddies.
And speaking of bosom buddies, I was chatting with an acquaintance yesterday, and she reminded me of a couple times we had gotten together, long ago, when our kids were little ones running around outside. I could not remember. It's not that I didn't value our time together, but my memory is getting worse and worse as I age...I mean...progress in maturity.
My husband says I could remember things if I really tried, if I was more conscious about moments spent with people. But when you've been a pastor's wife (for ten years approximately) you learn to be so conscious of maintaining confidences and delicate prayer requests, that you block out almost everything people tell you- confidences and public knowledge- so that you won't slip and repeat something you shouldn't. So that you don't remember something you shouldn't. At least that's what was instilled in me from those years.
But now, there's a lot for me to remember- if I'm going to be like David in the Bible, and recount victories so that I rise up in faith and slay the giant when I need to. I am supposed to remember the times when I prevailed, by God's strength, the times when I tackled something head on- trembling but determined not to shrink back.
Is that called boasting? Is that too much confidence? There's a story told about a pianist at church, a devout pious woman who was complimented on her piano playing.
"Oh, that's not me- that's Jesus playing through me," she murmured. Really.
How do we "go from strength to strength (till) each of us appears before God in Zion" (Psalm 84:7) if we can't remember our last strength- our last moment of triumph in Him- from the moment before? How do we acknowledge the strength we have grown in, by His grace, if we can't identify the strengths and the talents He has given us?
I'm just asking these questions because one strength I want to grow in is the strength of conviction. The kind of strength that makes someone say, "...I KNOW Whom I have believed in and am persuaded that HE is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day." (2 Timothy 1:12)
And so, when you run into me (for those of you that are in my neighborhood) please remind me of the times when I rose up in strength- His strength- and prevailed against the enemy. Remind me- understanding the fact that I do forget so many of the things that I should remember- and I remember too much the things I should forget.
As Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Forgetting the things of my previous lost condition, and remembering and reaching for those things which are before me- the high calling from a Most High God to go on....higher...in His strength.
Times of strength and victory and triumph. A time when I rose up and rose to the occasion- not because I'm great but because of His great strength in me to overcome. His calling on me to overcome.
I want to remember that.