Monday, March 22, 2010

Clearing off the sand.

I just traveled back from visiting North Texas again, only this time I made the trip in absolute silence. No radio, no cd's, just silence. And I thought.
And I thought.
And I thought.

It's normally a 5.5 hour drive (though I guess my thoughtful concentration helped move me along because I made it in 4.75), so I had a lot of time to think.

Several things swam in and out, problems with my tenant, problems with my parents, and challenges with growing.
One thing that gripped me though was how I tensed up as I crossed over every single bridge. And that lesson kept me occupied for the entire trip.

You see, it had snowed the night before, so sand trucks had lumbered down the highways dumping sand on the bridges to clear the patches of ice. By the time I began heading home the highways and bridges were long since cleared and perfectly safe. I knew that.

I knew it with everything that was in me.

I didn't for a moment think that there was ice on the bridge.

But every time I reached a bridge and saw that sand I instantly tensed, straightened up in my chair and watched the road more carefully. The sand is to protect from ice... is there ice??? Watch out for ice!

So I did.

I've got at least one relationship in my life that if you asked me if it was a good relationship or not, a Christ-centered one that helps me become a better person - I'd tell you yes. Just like I'd tell you the roads were not icy.

But the minute I am physically in their presence, I find that the relationship is covered with cautionary sand. Sand that prevents sin from overtaking either of us.
The relationship is clear from sin, I'd tell you there is no sin at all, no reason to be afraid, but when I see the protective sand covering the relationship, instantly I tense up and I tread with care. So much that I wish I could apologize, yet I have no words to explain the apology.

You see, later on, there are great big sweeper trucks that get the sand off the roads. They do that because if the sand is left on the roads then it will begin to degrade the road, and the road will deteriorate and crack and develop pot holes and weak spots.

There was a point where I should have swept the sand out of my relationship and not proceeded with the fearful caution - and I just don't know how to.

Instead, the sand just sits there and every single time I'm in the presence of my friend the foolish fears begin to grind that sand into the relationship.
I worry that my friend hurts with guilt and shame because I am cautiously treading over my sand.
I worry that my friend lives with fear just as I do and has tossed their own sand out for protection.
I worry sometimes, that I'll never figure out how to just be, and love without fear of consequence.

But even as those worries cross my mind, I know - I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God has worked some amazing changes in me and my fears, and how I deal with the past. And the Bible reminds me that "...that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"

If you need to dump sand on some relationships to make sure no one slips into sin or temptation; by all means DO IT. But once the ice has melted, once it is no longer a danger make sure you clean the sand up so it can't deteriorate your relationship. Fear, and doubt concerning one another has harmful side effects on friendship.

May this be my anthem till the day I die. God Is Good. I can trust Him with my life, with my changes, with my fears, with my failures. I trust Him to hold onto me when I make a mess of everything and find myself facing piles of sand on my friendships. I trust Him to help me figure out how to live a life without that sand. Without that fearful protection.

You can too.


Lloyd said...

Thank you for such an uplifting post. God bless, Lloyd

flyawaynet said...

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