My Serious Problem
I have a serious problem.
It goes something like this. I walk into a coffee shop, a really cool coffee shop mind you, and I can feel the eyes of the man-bun wearing, beanie adorning cool kids bearing down on me. I order my coffee and muffin, and they see me carefully gliding to a chair trying not to spill my Guatemalan gold.
They watch me as I awkwardly eat my mocha cinnamon muffin. I mean there’s no cool way to eat a muffin. They see that my cool new sweatshirt has a stain from my 5-month-old barfing on it and I know they all think I’m super old. Like having kids is light years away for them, and if they did have one they certainly wouldn’t get barfed on as if their coolness creates some type of invisible force field.
But my problem isn’t the cool kids or my inability to cleanly consume baked goods. My problem is that I have no idea if any of that is true. I have no idea if any of that happened outside of my own brain. I have no way to know if anyone had a single thought about me today. I was too busy being trapped inside my mental cage of nervousness to notice.
What I came to learn this morning with the help of the Holy Spirit is that my problem is that I’m far too serious.
I walk into every circumstance with the expectation of perfection. I have the belief that every little thing down to the socks hidden under my cool, Chippewa boots will be Pinterest worthy. I expect every action I take to yield perfect results, and I’m surprised and embarrassed when it doesn’t.
When I look at it all this way it seems so obvious. Just stop caring what other people think! Just lighten up!
That works for a little while, but I feel myself being constantly carried by the current of life into the ocean of public opinion. The waves are getting higher and higher and I need help. I need an escape.
I need Jesus to walk on these waves and call me up out of the waters. I need him to call me to a lifestyle of faith-- faith that the only thing that truly matters is what he thinks about me. And I need to be reminded constantly that the only way to miraculously walk on these waters of the opinions of others is to keep my eyes set on my Good Shepherd. The only way to stay above is to set my eyes above the horizon onto the Son who gave himself up to public opinion that his death my set me free from it.
If you need freedom today from caring about what others think, maybe the best place to start is with asking Jesus what he thinks. Maybe rather than emptying your mind you should refill it. Maybe the powerful thoughts of your heavenly Father will fill you with the courage to let go of the weight of others’ words.
Let’s take some time today to ask God for his perspective and allow his thoughts to redefine us. There is freedom in his goodness. He’s walking on the waves to you right now calling you to follow him to rest, peace and identity. All you have to do is listen, have faith and follow him.
By Craig Denison