I sincerely wish I could teach my dog this. She does ok at “sit” but she stinks at “stay.”
I think I stink at both.
The sitting means rest, necessary rest. I sit anxiously, resenting the need for it, frustrated. My goals are not met, which equals failure, and the inactivity means I’m lazy.
Stay is even harder, especially if I’m choosing to sit in something that stinks! That’s right, I said choosing. Fear smells awful and assaults me til I am blind to anything except the desire (and maybe panic!) to get out of the stink. The fear and panic do not lead to very good outcomes – I may THINK I have discovered my purpose but all I’ve really discovered is how to escape and get on with my life.
Why am I sitting in that stink? I listen to the voice of my “inner critic,” the one who tells me I’m a failure and that I’m lazy. That voice stinks something awful. And I am blinded to the truth of who I am and deaf to the voice of love.
Well, that begs the question “So who am I?
I am chosen. I am wonderfully made. I am someone with a purpose.
This requires me to consider the implication that if I believe I have “been made” wonderfully, if I believe that I am “chosen” for a purpose, it follows that there must be a Creator.
I cannot make myself, wonderfully or otherwise. That’s crazy talk. I also cannot live and love freely if I don’t know what I’m chosen for, what my purpose is. If I don’t believe I’m chosen, then I’m left to my own devices to figure out the point of me. But what if I’m wrong? Failure. Frustration.
If I’m right, that answers the question. Believing I’ve been chosen for a purpose lets me relax and lessens my anxiety. Who I am is who I was made to be.
When I choose to fight against sitting, and also when I refuse to stay, I must believe that who I am is a lazy failure as I try and fail repeatedly to meet my goals. As my expectations for myself seem to float beyond my reach, I feel like an imposter. In other words, who I am is just who I am. I can’t helped it and I’m doomed to be this way forever.
When I choose to sit and stay, I choose faith over fear and truth over lies. If I’m waiting in anticipation (rather than waiting in anxiety) I can stay. I can listen. And I can hear the voice of God, the voice of love – the one who made me, the one who determined my purpose before I was born. Only then will it be time to move, and not a second before, into that purpose.
Which voice will I listen to? It IS a choice, as it turns out. I choose faith and hope over failure and fear. I choose to reject the voice of my inner critic and listen instead to the Voice of love.
And now I can sit. And I can stay.