I love it when you read something that kind of stops you dead in your tracks. It happens a lot. How often do you see a meme or a quote come across your Instagram or Facebook feeds and you have that impression.
As far as social media goes, it happens to me more via Instagram than Facebook. I’m present on FB but it’s not my go-to… Today though, I was stopped up from someplace else, but first… let me recap the week, which had some pretty cool moments.
Paris for Sophie…
During my time in school, I was on a lot of field trips. What kid didn’t like field trip day? It meant a break from math, social studies, gym, etc. Outdoor trips were nice but even a museum was better than the classroom. For all those trips though, Sophie’s field trip this week beat them all…
She’d been studying a play by Victor Hugo, so why not go see it…. in Paris…. at la Comédie Française!? Her French class, along with the theatre students, bussed up to Paris Monday morning, visited the Louvre (where she got her photo taken with Miss France), went to see the play that night. The following morning, they did a Victor Hugo tour to several sights within walking distance and then made their way home that evening.
Aside from the educational aspect, the trip was also a good opportunity for Soph to further deepen friendships with some of her classmates.
Tea for Two
On Tuesday, while Soph was in Paris and the boys in school, Liz accompanied me to Poitiers. I taught for an hour and then we went downtown for lunch… just the two of us. Honestly, it’d been a while since we’d done that here in France.
We went to a lovely little tea house, Jasmin & Citronelle. What a lovely, lovely spot. I may just have to do a separate post on it sometime, it was so unique. Suffice it to say that it was overdue.
On one hand, seen from the outside, you wouldn’t think that our schedule is overly taxing… not like couples where both people are working full time. On the other hand though, we experience very little down time. Things that should be quick & easy here seem to require a lot more ‘steps’ or mental energy – likely because things are done differently here on so many levels.
Tea for two was just what the doctor ordered.
McDonalds for two
On Thursday I had a surprise visit from one of my former students. Following class, he was waiting for me outside the classroom. It was honestly pretty cool because we’d had a couple of good discussions last year and while he’s not a student at the university this year, he took the time to stop by and look me up. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at McDonalds and spent the next couple of hours talking.
One of my prayers, in taking this opportunity to work at the university, was that the Lord would be able to use the contact there for his purposes and that I could be a witness. Perhaps this is an open door for the Lord to touch the life of a really cool young person who’s had some really tough experiences.
So this is where the Lord nudged me in the right direction this morning.
There have been many, many times when I’ve asked the Lord to speak to me through his word and that He’s directed me to Mark chapter four. There was a time when it had come to the point where I’d feel Him direct me to that passage and would almost do a virtual eye-roll, as if to say…. “Again Lord… but we’ve been through that already!”
I’ve been around long enough to know that you can read the same scripture time and again and, depending on where you’re at in life… it can speak to you in different ways. So read on I would.
Today, God sent me back there again… and the words “Fear not” were the ones to speak to me.
I say “speak to me” but it was really a bit more like “smack me square between the eyes.”
I don’t know about you, but I deal with fear a lot.
- fear of failing
- fear of making a mistake
- fear of letting someone down
- fear of not being up to the task
- fear of moving forward…. balanced with a fear of going back as well.
- fear of not knowing & fear of coming off as someone who thinks they know too much
- fear of not being a good dad or a good provider
- fear of an unknown future
- … I could go on and on … and on.
Towards the end of Mark 4, Jesus invited the disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. A storm arises and water is already starting to collect in the bottom of the boat yet all the while it’s not enough to keep Jesus awake and he’s asleep in the back of the boat. The disciples woke him, with just a hint of impatience and Jesus responded:
Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Boom! … Did you see what he just did there? He linked fear and faith (or rather lack thereof) in the same breath.
How is it possible, you may ask, for a missionary… a pastor… to experience fear or (say it isn’t so)…. a lack of faith? It’s simple….. it’s a acute case of prolonged HUMANITY.
The cure: increased faith.
Administered: in daily doses. When you feel the onset of symptoms… step back toward & talk (honestly & humbly) with the one that slept, during the storm, in the back of the boat.
All for today…
I think I’ll leave it there for today. Thank you for your prayers… as you can tell, some good things came out of them this week.
God bless you
may your scale tip more on the side of Faith than Fear!