As I sit here contemplating which of my fifty stories I need to finish, I realize none of them may ever be brought to life. The year 2020 silenced both my time and creativity. I guess you could say I got caught up in the politics and social media events that 2020 presented to us.
I’m acknowledging this as I sit peacefully on my front porch, facing the most beautiful lake in the world. I’m pondering what to write. It’s so quiet this time of year, and the raindrops are hitting the ground slowly and making fun in the water. The wind is nowhere to be found, and the temperature is close to sixty-five degrees—mind you, this is January 2021.
Peace instills my soul, and a story is developing in my mind about learning to tie my shoes. What is this story that looms in the distant fog that covers the lake? It’s a simple story but applicable to us all.
Let’s unpack this from my thought barn. At some point, someone had to teach us how to tie our shoelaces. I have a faint memory of someone teaching me how to tie mine.
There was a repeated step-by-step process instructing me how to tie a complicated knot to keep my shoes firmly in place on the soles of my feet. Each day I would say, “Can you help me tie my shoes?” Each day I would hear the same response, “I will be right there.” Then an individual would enter my room, bend down in front of me, and go through the same process as the previous day. Cross the laces, make a bow, then make another bow, circle the lace, and then pull tight.
Day after day, I received the same directions, but I never fully understood the process. The instructions were clear, but my brain could not grasp the simple technique. Then one day when I called for help, a lady came in, sat behind me, and reached her arms around me as to give me a big hug. She grabbed my hands and my shoelaces and said, “Cross the laces, make a bow, then make another bow, wrap, and then pull tight.” There it was, as plain as day; I tied my shoes. I never had to ask for help again.
There is something fascinating about the way we are taught and how our brain sees things. As I mentioned early on, 2020 was a year to remember. I don’t believe it matters to what extent we learned things. We all grew in some way. Fact or fiction, the stories kept coming last year.
Learning from the Spirit of God is about Him reaching around to embrace me, teaching me His way of doing things, and showing me it’s going to be okay. It’s not what’s in front of me but who has me in His arms. So, for 2021, lean more into God’s arms, trust His hugs and His Word, not what’s in front of you (e.g., television, social media, friends, or even family).