Doubt, that slimy, second-guessing lizard, slithers up near your ear and hisses are you sure? Are you sure that's what he said? Are you sure this is what you should be doing? Are you sure this is the most secure way? Are you sure you are content? Are you sure? Are you sure?
Shake him off. Remember what was promised to you. If you are troubled, if you are doubting, if you are second-guessing this decision or this path or this career or this marriage or this relationship or this calling, pause. Reflect. What brought you to this moment? What has changed that permitted this lizard on your shoulder?
When this happens to me (and it does, often), I have to ask myself a few questions:
- What is causing this uncertainty?
- Am I worried over what-if's?
- Is there a present danger to my contentment?
- What are the temptations to change course, and what lies underneath those temptations?
And if I am still uncertain, if the road still looks rocky and dark and lonely, if there are now two or more ways I could go and I don't know whether to turn to the left or the right, then I run to a friend or mentor whose shoulder isn't occupied by the second-guessing lizard, who can remind me, through the fog of uncertainty, what has been promised, what is the way of truth, so that I can walk in it again.
I feel like that is what is happening in today's verses about Mary and Elizabeth. Mary is a first-time mom, a virgin mother of the Son of the Most High. Do you think she faced her changing body with peace and calm at every turn? No! Of course she's terrified! Of course she needs encouragement! In the days and weeks and months before I first felt that flicker of movement inside my womb, I worried daily I would miscarry, worried constantly something would happen. I think Mary goes to her relative seeking comfort and encouragement from another woman who would understand, extend mercy and compassion, and embrace her - blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.
Advent Activity: Buckeye Express Diner Night
Last year, we took the kids to this place and they loved it. We haven't been back since, so I think they'll be pretty excited to go and dine again in the railroad car.