Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Alright Now

Late night drives are one of my favorite things.

I love them more in the summer, but I'll take the winter ones too.

Tonight Bruno Merz (not to be confused with Bruno Mars) serenaded my 12:23 a.m. drive. The planes lined the skies over DFW and I listened as he asked, "As a child, is this how you saw yourself all grown up?"

No. Not really. But as a kid I also imagined that I'd have long and silky black hair and speak French fluently. I would "backpack" into woods with loaves of bread, slices of cheese and lots of unrealistic dreams. As a child I had no idea what growing up would look like.

(Side note: I never realized my physical traits would follow me into adulthood. Mousy brown curly hair does not equal silky black hair.)

The past couple of years have been a mixed bag of childhood wishing-well whispers. Things I wanted, things I never expected. Choices I made, choices that affected me. Backpacks of loaves and cheese, wandering and whimsical songs. These things all line up in the sky; many, many night drives processing and praying.

Tonight though, I'm not looking back. I'm look ahead.

And I'm asking, is it possible to make the wrong choice?

I'm not talking about sin.

I'm talking about good and good.

Paul's words in Philippians 1:9-11 hit me the other morning, and I've been thinking about them ever since:

"....And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."

And I'm thinking about what my sister-in-law told me last Thanksgiving, as we tucked our feet under a blanket next to the fire. She cradled her newest in her arms, and I pulled in close to her legs and the warm flames. She asked, "So what are you thinking about the next step?"

The next step (meaning)... after all this, the pages turning, chapters closing, the unwritten blank spaces that splay all around me.

I rambled some answer. (It wasn't important whatever I said.) What was stick-worthy was what she said.

"The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord," she said as her chubby baby cooed against her.

My first thought? Great. I'm far from righteous.

(Which of course... is the whole point of the Gospel.)

Then she continued, "And remember, Christ is your righteousness. So... your steps are ordered by the Lord. When you respond in faith to Him, you really can't screw it up."

As the road passes beneath my tires, I feel my heart trying to deceive me. Lie to me. Emotionally move me in different directions. Fear. Anxiety. Pride.

So on this drive as Bruno Merz fills the air with "Everything will be alright now," and as the planes start landing one by one, I find that place where my heart can rest.

Because my steps are ordered.
Because my righteousness is rubbish.
And (by grace) my success is not based on that.
Because someone is praying, interceding for me
by name,
that I will discern
the good
from the
That even if I can't discern,
my steps are still
covered by grace.
And if I don't feel covered,
mercies are still

So tonight? Tonight I just listen. And follow the lights. And drive.

(linking up today with this awesome girls)


  1. So I just clicked on Bruno Merz (because I only know Bruno Mars!), and wow, good stuff. Such a soothing voice.

    ps I think your hair looks silky black. I always thought I'd have green eyes, random.

  2. I love that thought that everything will be alright. Soothing. Thanks.

  3. "When you respond in faith to Him, you really can't screw it up." -- that. Right there. I needed that right this moment.

  4. Amy - soothing is the right word for his voice. i love it!! and green eyes! isn't it funny how we thought things would suddenly change?

    Rachy - Glad you could be soothed by that too. I guess we all need to hear it now and then.

    Jen - **hugging you**

  5. when you write...you write to my heart...really

  6. tiffini - i think we were exchanging blog comments at precisely the same moment. :) i needed your words today too. so grateful for this community.

  7. I like all the ways you are listening . . . through driving, through music, through your sis.in law.


  8. Those last thoughts are beautiful and settled into my heart for a good ponder... I need to realize the choices I make can be good and good and that my steps are ordered and grace covered...and it will be okay. Really. It will. Fear makes me hesitate and wait until I drive myself batty ;)

  9. This is beautiful. We all face times where we just don't know what to do. We don't "know" the next step. But we pray, seek God, and then we step. It is clear that you are on the right path.

  10. Jen - :)
    Glenda - thanks for stopping by! i'm learning more and more the best thing i can do sometimes is just listen.
    Critty - fear always makes me hesitate. what a beautiful thing grace is that we can rest when fear wants us to run.
    Courtney - so glad you stopped by! i'm trying to trust that even if i'm not on the right path, that somehow i'll end up there :)

  11. This leaves me with a sense of peace and hope and quiet trust, and I hope you can lean into that as well as you've written it.

  12. kim - i'm so glad it left you with that feeling! it's precisely what i needed when i wrote this, and here and there, i still have it :)