It's dark. I'm tooling along the path. Got a later start on my walk than I'd planned, and I'm totally zoned into my iPod music when, from out of nowhere, this HUGE boxer is charging straight for me. Six feet away at best. I have no idea how loud I screamed because my earbuds were in and all I could hear was Mandisa belting out "What if we were real..." And I'm thinkin' real nothin', I'm about to die!
Look at this ferocious creature! Just look at him!
Well okay, that's not really him but mine was much meaner looking. And bigger. Much bigger. And his jowls were flapping and he was barking and–– Well, it was scary. Thankfully, the lit end of a cigarette butt appeared close behind him (attached to the beast's owner) and all turned out well. "Oh he's really friendly," the guy said. Uh-huh... He looked really friendly as he was eying my jugular.
But that's the night last week that Mandisa nearly got me killed...
God's been introducing––and reintroducing––a theme in my life over the past few months, one that I didn't notice at first. Not even when writing A Lasting Impression. The true theme of that book wasn't truly clear to me until after the first draft. Then God revealed it. And He's had my attention ever since.
One of the songs I was listening to repeatedly that night is from Mandisa's newest album and is entitled The Truth About Me. Here are some of the lyrics...
You say lovely, I say broken
I say guilty, you say forgiven
I feel lonely, you say you're with me
We both know it would change everything
If only I believed the truth about me.
I would sleep better at night, wake up with hope for another day
I would love...even if it costs me
Take a chance and know I'm gonna be okay
I would dare to give my life away...
Give my life away. That's the theme God's been repeating to me recently.
On another walk this week (in broad daylight, thank you very much!), Kathryn Scott joined me (in my earbuds) with her song You Gave Your Life Away, and in listening to her words about how Christ gave His life away, I was struck again by how little of my own I've really given away thus far. And how much I want to change that.
Then as I read a couple of days ago, Paul "whisper shouted" these words into my heart,
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Oh to be able to say that. "I am already being poured out..." To live with that kind of conviction. That kind of surrender. And it makes me question, Where am I being poured out like that in my own life? What parts of my life––and heart––are still tightly corked and hidden away, kept greedily on the shelf?
It's a theme God keeps "whisper shouting" into my heart, and I'm listening. I've got such a long way to go, but I'm listening. He's shaping me, slowly but surely.
Where are you being poured out today? And into whose life or lives? If you hear a "whisper shout" too, share if you'd like and we'll encourage each other in this journey.
Blessings on your day, friends!
Blessings on your day, friends!
P.S. Have you ever googled images of adult white boxers? Well, suffice it to say, don't forget to put the word "dog" in there when you do, k?