A Flash of Light or a Burning Ember
Some people are the spark, the flash of light that makes people notice, that interests and excites; others are the burning embers designed to provide long term warmth and comfort to those in need.
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I lay in bed this morning praying about a speaking engagement at an upcoming women’s retreat. Worry came before the prayer, but I try always to curtail the worry and instead focus on my conversations with God. I’m not always successful.
For some reason, I love to speak in front of people. Who knows why? Problem is, I get so nervous my stomach flutters and rolls and my hands shake uncontrollably.
Years ago, I asked my Dad, who was an active public speaker in several areas, how he ever managed to stop being nervous. His answer wasn’t what I expected. “Julie,” he told me, “I’m sorry to tell you the ‘nervous’ never goes away. You just learn to manage it and talk through it. It’s possible if you truly believe in what you’re speaking about.”
If I truly believe in what I’m speaking about… I think of my love for God and the peace He brings to me. I think of His love for me, that I am His child always and forever. We all are. His love is that big. Yes, I truly believe in that and am compelled to share that message with anyone and everyone who will listen.
So I have the message; that part’s easy to me. No longer do I need to worry about that. Next on the list, though…message delivery.
Here’s what I’m afraid of:
- What if I don’t sound good enough?
- What if I’m uninteresting?
- What if my listeners say ‘so what?’
- What if I stutter?
These ‘what-ifs’ can keep me down. I’m not dynamic. I’m not exciting. I’m not really that funny. Speakers who are those things get people to sit up and notice. They motivate and drive others into action. I’ve wished to be that way, sometimes trying to force it. It only comes across as scripted and false.
I think often about a Friend of mine. One who died young, younger than I felt he should have. He was those things I mentioned – dynamic, funny, passionate, exciting. He lived a life of love for God and spread that message in a way people noticed.
Why can’t I be like that? I wonder. And why would someone like him who had so much to offer die so soon? He was like this brilliant flash of light and energy, and then he was gone.
Then there’s me, still here, understanding that my purpose is to share Jesus Christ with others but not knowing for sure the best way to do that. I’m no brilliant flash of light and energy. No, instead I’m more like a burning ember. Not too exciting but steady. Providing (I hope) warmth and comfort for all the days I remain.
Flash of light or burning ember? Both are necessary. Which one are you? Comment below and let me know.