04 February 2010

Meditation: "Confidence Boost"

God said, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”   --Jeremiah 1:4-10

We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, talented or fabulous?” Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. --Marianne Williamson
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Dear Friends,

Last Sunday in worship, we heard read the words above from Jeremiah. They are among the most personally meaningful verses to me in the whole of the Bible. Perhaps like me you've found yourself in a situation in which you feel completely and utterly inadequate. You just don't know how to do what you are being asked to do. Or you don't think you can do it. Sometimes we find ourselves in these positions because we sign-up for something and then discover we are in way over our head. Other times, we find ourselves thrust into a position (perhaps by God) when we're being asked to do something or to speak or to act--and we are at a loss about how to proceed.

This is a bit how I felt when I became a parent. Despite all the preparation--parenting classes, books, the works--when the day finally arrived and I actually was a parent, I found myself in new and unfamiliar territory (and, as my kids grow older, I still frequently do!). It took more than head knowledge for me to fulfill this new role of parent. It took heart knowledge and intuition and trust that the God who called me to parenthood would provide a way for me to live that calling out.

This may come as a surprise to some of you who join me in worship most weeks, but I have never really viewed myself as a "preacher." Getting up in front of people and speaking was way outside my comfort zone. I would get terribly nervous--dry mouth and trembling hands. Now, over time I've gotten a handle on it--mostly. But it was a bit rocky at the outset.

Which is why these words from Jeremiah are so meaningful to me. They are a reminder that when I stand up to speak (whatever the situation) and I am speaking from my most authentic self, God will provide--words, if necessary, as well as the confidence I need. The Bible in my office is always open to the first chapter of Jeremiah so that, when I walk into our sanctuary to lead worship and preach, I can read these empowering and confidence boosting words from God.

When you find yourself in a situation when you are called upon by God to do something new or different or outside of your comfort zone, remember Jeremiah. Recall God's promise "to be with you to deliver you."

Blessings on your week,

Jeremy

Prayer: Gracious God, when I doubt my abilities and gifts, remind me of your empowering Spirit that will guide and direct me. Amen.

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