Posted by: Jackie | July 12, 2008

A Walk in the Park: Grace in Action

 I left the house, furious, knowing if I didn’t make a hasty retreat there’d be casualties from the battle about to ensue. Over time, I’ve learned it’s better to walk away than to take hostages with my short fuse and sharp tongue.


Much better, I’ve found, is to consume that fuming energy by taking a brisk walk and hashing it out with God. He’s a big guy and doesn’t seem to take my ranting personally like family and friends often do.


As I stormed along, it went something like this:

“I’m at my limit, Lord. I’ve had enough!”


Turn right at the corner.


“Maybe I can’t do anything right now about it, but I’m going to get to where I can take care of myself. No more depending on others! This is it.”


Antagonistic bee buzzing around my head. Better cross the street.


“I know you’ve asked me to do this other thing. But it’s simply not working out. I know you’ve asked me to hang in there and you’ll take care of things, but this is too much. I’m done! Done I tell you.”


Slosh through mud puddle. Why do people have to over water their yards?


“I’m just going to have to set everything aside and focus on taking care of myself.”


To which, as I stopped long enough to take a breath, the Holy Spirit calmly replied, If that’s what YOU feel YOU need to do.


Think that stopped me? I’m much too thick headed for that. No, my tirade continued all the way to the park, with intermitted replies of, If that’s what YOU think. Yes, YOU can do that very thing….


“Nothing ever changes, Lord.” I plopped down on a shady bench at the duck pond. This is my favorite spot for two reasons. (1) Because when you’re mad, you need the shade to protect you from heat of the Texas sun burning you up more. (2) Because when ducks walk, their butts waddle and that just cracks me up.


After sitting there for a while, the Holy Spirit must have felt I’d griped myself out enough to be more pliable. He reminded me of how much had changed in my life, my family and my marriage. Then he brought back memories of all the times He’s been there for me and helped me though difficult times. With each memory, I sank lower on the bench. Finally he asked, Are you ready to discuss what I want now?


A group of ducks swim past, quacking in a way that sounds a lot like laughter. My eyes narrow on them and I resist the urge to tell them to hush, just incase anyone was near enough to hear me.


My trip back home was more subdued. Like the company of a long-time friend, I felt the Holy Spirit walking beside me, discussing how He sees my situation and how I’ve overlooked certain aspects that need consideration. He doesn’t condemn. Doesn’t should me to death. In his sweet, loving way, he calms my troubled heart and reminds me that he will never leave me to face trials alone.


The simple fact is I have no control over what others do. I only have control over my own actions and reactions. Even that control, I end up handing over to him on our trek home. His sweet fragrance of forgiveness and peace fills my spirit and by time I enter the house again, I’m ready to face the issue, knowing I’m not facing it alone.


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