Tonight I recalibrated life over the phone with my sister, as she fought the crazy traffic in Austin. Blowing her horn at someone who turned right from the left lane in front of her, she passionately delivered words to me—words I tried to embrace after my own long and frustrating day. Laying her own struggles aside, she began encouraging me and telling me she loves that the circumstantial evidence in my life does not dictate whether or not I have joy or a spirit of adventure.
“You find joy and adventure regardless of who you are with or where you are,” she said. “From the Waffle House to breakfast at your neighbor’s mansion. From lawn darts at the vineyard to ax throwing with the ranch hands in a rain-starved pasture. Your joy is genuine, and that intangible joy-filled substance you have spills over onto me! So, thank you!”
Her words blessed and humbled me. Yet, I let the words temporarily roll off my back.
Here I sit on a Friday night, waiting for the fourth time in 24 hours for an air conditioning company to show up and fix my air conditioner. I have been without air conditioning for two days in 100-plus degree Texas heat. Also, my weed eater broke this morning; I lost the keys to my tractor; the fence is tattered at the barn because the horses can’t stay away from my neighbor’s stallion…and the list goes on.
But sitting there, feeling discouraged, I saw the sunset outside my kitchen window and couldn’t resist. I started my evening routine—checking on the animals and putting a little “Pavlov feed” out for the horses while I lock them up for the night.
As I turned to come back to the house, a small sparrow hopped across the pasture almost as though she was dancing in the sunset rays. Then she stopped, took a breath, walked up to the feed bucket that my horse (Duke) was eating out of, and started eating with him. Duke didn’t even look up, and the little bird made herself at home. After filling her belly and grabbing a few morsels to take with her, she looked up at Duke and me, and I swear I saw a smile. Then she walked about 2 feet and took flight. I didn’t get a picture of her, but I did stop and give Duke a kiss for welcoming her to his dinner without incident.
God showed me something about confidence in that sparrow. Confidence is not about being the biggest or strongest person in the room. It’s not about being the prettiest, most noticeable, most well-spoken, or most powerful.
Confidence is about having rhema (a living knowledge) of who you are and, without incident, walking in it.
Real confidence comes from within and does not need to be influenced by our circumstances. My preacher man (my son) taught on Sunday that this is the season to redefine ourselves. It’s time to drop old labels. Let go of the past. It’s time to get a new wineskin for our new wine. Old labels, old mindsets, and old wineskins can’t hold what God has prepared for us—His kids.
So, I guess my sister was right. The darker the world gets, the more effective we can be. Darkness is just circumstantial; circumstances are subject to change, but our inner joy and confidence, rooted in our Father, is unshakable.