WARNING: This blog is morbid and totally out of character for me. For those of you who read the first paragraph and decide whether to continue, I’m starting right where my thoughts begin. As I was flipping the channels I came across one of the “Housewives” shows and decided to linger awhile. A couple was talking with a counselor about saving their marriage, and I found it to be quite interesting. During the session the counselor asked each spouse to write their own eulogy and have the other person read it. Not only did they have to read it, but the opposite spouse had to lie on the floor as though they were dead while the other one read their eulogy. There was even a fake headstone with the writing, “Here lies …” Although I would never consider writing my own eulogy, I have given serious thought to writing the program for my home going service. And this week I thought about it more than I have in the past.
As I watched a video that was posted on Facebook this week about detoxing your body, I was moved by the additional statements about toxic relationships and prioritizing the people in your life. Then there was the horrible massacre at the church in Charleston, SC, where I live, and three days later I just happened to flip to this program where a husband and wife pretended to be dead, while the other read their eulogy. The combination of these events in one week just took me to a place of heaviness that I didn’t know I had until I walked into my church service on Sunday morning. I’m beginning to take a serious evaluation of what really matters in the end.
I remember being poor and wondered what people meant when they said, “You pay for atmosphere.” My thought was you pay for food, so why spend extra money for something called “atmosphere?” Well, needless to say, my thoughts have changed. Not that I’m rich, but I’m no longer poor, and I know the value of atmosphere. When you look at these two pictures, which view would you prefer?
I won’t give details and hope no one recognizes the two restaurants. Recently I had to make a decision. Either I remain at a place that met none of my expectations, based on my internet research and recommendations from friends, or I could go to another place that I knew would give a better vibe. Sometimes we make choices and think that we are stuck in them. You can always change your mind. Even though I was dissatisfied with the atmosphere, not to mention the heat, and the fact that the complimentary items were already on the table, I did not just walk out. I made a small purchase and left a fairly decent tip. But my heart so welcomed my second choice. I spent two hours looking out on the water and enjoyed every moment. Now I know you can’t put a price on “atmosphere!”
We all have days and sometimes weeks when it seems like a huge animal called fear is chasing us around. No matter how fast you run it keeps gaining on you. As soon as you get up the nerve to tackle one thing another thing pops up. You find yourself back on that treadmill with fear chasing you again. You look at your goals that you wrote down and realize that you haven’t even come close to starting some of them, much less completing them. And then there are things that you want to do simply because you have never done them before. Either you keep telling yourself, or someone else keeps telling you, that it can’t be done. In the back of your mind you still want to at least make an effort. But, once again, that huge animal called fear is on your trail.
Recently I faced a fear that I have had for four years. When I moved to Charleston, South Carolina the only time I would travel to Virginia was with family members. I had always told myself that I am not able to drive that distance because of pain and discomfort from a surgery many years ago. As my financial situation changed and I started to desire more control of my traveling situation, God changed the way I looked at that fear. I started to see myself enjoying the ride rather than dreading it. Needless to say, once I visualized it in my mind, I was able to do it. So I finally traveled to Virginia to be with my children and grandchildren for a week. I was able to do this because I looked fear in the face and said, “No, you will not sabotage my desire to see my children. Yes, I can drive to Virginia and I will!” I split the trip in half and spent a night in a hotel going and coming. God took me safely all the way to Virginia and back to South Carolina. I enjoyed the views along the way. I took myself shopping and out to dinner. It was nice to be in control of my time. I was able to visit whomever I wanted to when it was convenient for me, rather than have someone take me to see people. It was such a joy and a blessed trip that I am looking forward to doing it again next year. When I arrived at my daughter’s house, I was so filled with the spirit that I almost danced a hole in her grass. I praised the Lord so much that her neighbors started coming to their doors to see what was going on. I told my daughter, “That’s okay. They don’t know how far the Lord has brought me. They will understand when they see the tags on my car.” She said, “Mama you scaring my neighbors. But that’s alright. Do you!”
So in closing I say, “Do you!” Don’t let fear keep you from trying something that you may be telling yourself that you cannot do. With God all things are possible.