Waking up to a screaming smoke detector is never a pleasant experience.
Here I am at 3:32AM writing a blog post because my sleep was robbed by a (probably) faulty smoke alarm. Brandon, my roommate, and I fumbled around for a solid minute or so trying to determine the source of the horrible sound. When we finally stopped the alarm, both of us were on edge. There was no smoke, so we immediately wondered if it could be carbon monoxide or something like that. We spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out what we should do. This included calling Brandon’s mom in Kentucky for advice, almost calling 911, and waking up Kevin to get his advice. Although we still don’t know why our alarm was going off, we are confident it isn’t carbon monoxide because the CO detector in our living room was silent.
I guess I’m writing this to confess that I have been a victim of fear. Jesus tells me that I don’t need to fear anything, yet my mind raced through hundreds of awful possibilities. Seriously, when I finish this post, I’m going to sleep on our couch, right next to the CO alarm. Yes, I know that looking after my safety is wise. Flight or fight is normal. It’s physiological. However, I can’t help but relate this lack of confidence and fear to other parts of my life. The truth is that I believe that the Creator of the universe has made his home in me. What do I mean? Well, basically Paul tells us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Actually though. Understanding that allows no room for fear. Fear becomes illogical.
Practically speaking, I often find myself self-concious about how I carry myself. The way I talk. The way I lift my hands or not in worship. The way I talk about Jesus. Honestly, I want everyone to know Jesus, but I also don’t want people to feel awkward around me. Translation: I often care about what people think of me. Well, in the context of who I am as a son of Father God and who lives inside of me, that fear is really quite ridiculous. Nothing matters except worshiping Jesus in Spirit and in Truth. God calls us to live authentic lives. I’m tired of compartmentalizing even the smallest part of my Christianity. I confess to Jesus and all of you that I still hold onto part of my own life. The part that says I’m the popular kid. The part that likes having a lot of friends. The part that likes being liked. Now, I would be dishonest if I just pointed all of this out without giving God credit for what He has and is doing with me, especially since college began two years ago. But the point still stands, everyday, I must die to myself so that I can live in Him. I must remember my identity. I must not care about anyone’s opinion of me. I must worship Jesus like he calls me to worship him. I will not freak out when smoke detectors frighten me. I will not prove myself to others. I will not follow this culture and all it’s many individualistic norms. I will love people without a thought to what it will cost me.
It’s now 4:01AM and I’m going to sleep now. For real this time. No alarms. No CO poisoning. No guilt in life, no fear in death.