*Edit: For some reason, none of my links are working. I'll try again tomorrow.
It's 4:05 a.m.
I woke up a while ago and tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't, so I prayed (for Nate--I'm wondering, "Could he be waking up now?")
I also prayed for other people and about my upcoming talk on November 30.
Once my talk sprang to mind, there was no going back (to sleep).
Yikes. What have I gotten myself into?
Actually, I have been very excited about this, but when I hit my personal deadline (yesterday) to seriously get started on it, suddenly, fear set in.
For example, one of my tasks for Nov. 1st was to start making calls to people. When I sat down in the afternoon to start, I had to pray for courage--to call people who are NOT strangers, who are NICE people, whom I had no reason to fear. (Wow. How did I manage to write a sentence with two who's and a whom? I don't know if my grammar's correct, but give me a break, it's ... 4:13 a.m.)
Well, I did make a lot of calls, and being the nice women that they are, no one made me feel bad in any way. What was I scared of?
Wait a minute--"What Was I Scared Of" is a Seuss book I just read Wednesday night in our sanctuary to kids who were gathered around me. The pictures were on PowerPoint for the adults to read along. Our church is in a "Gospel According to Dr. Seuss" series, so before the pastors launch into spiritual applications, the adults have to know about the Seuss story, so that's why I'm reading in front of everyone. I cannot express how much I enjoy reading out loud. It's a strange predilection that I share with my good friend, Madelyn. She and I are always saying, "Is there a college major in this, because had I known about it, I would've been all over that!" (Geeks!)
Anyway. The whole point of the story and of our pastor's application is that you have to face your fears if you really want to live a full life. We hold onto the hope spoken of in Romans 5. Like Peter, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and if Jesus is calling us out of the boat, get out.
Interestingly, yesterday I purchased the book we're currently reading in our Women of Influence group (a book or two a month + food + discussion, in a home) and it's entitled, "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get out of the Boat," by John Ortberg.
He begins with Peter, who responded to Jesus' invitation to get out of the boat and walk to him, and Peter's confirmation of that call and then his brave step out in the middle of a raging storm in which the boat appeared to be the only safe place to be.
Hmmm. Am I detecting a theme? Is it a coincidence that the first encouragement happened the night before my deadline and the second happened the day of?
Anyway, I am afraid. I'm afraid I've bitten off more than I could chew, that I will let the organizers down, the attendees down, that PowerPoint will fail that night, that I will go too long and bore people, that I won't get enough material, that I won't be able to piece it together coherently, that some won't see it's relevance, that if I fail, I'm going to do it in front of a lot of people ....
So I'm asking God to help me face my fears. It's not a life or death situation; I know that. All the same, public speaking is a little scary, even for people who enjoy it.
I've stepped out of the boat, and now I need to stay above water by keeping my eyes focused on Jesus and not the waves around me. I just think the timing of encouragement could not have been better for me.
PS: If for some reason you want to hear me read "What Was I Scared Of?" the audio portion is posted here. The only Seuss story there I haven't read is "Oh the Places You'll Go," because friend and co-worker Christy filled in when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. Notes for the congregation are also posted there.