Friends, can I shoot straight with you? Most posts flow out of me. If I know what I want to say (like The Grove: Story), the writing isn’t painful or hard. I need to find time and get the words down on paper with enough time to have it proofread and tweaked, but it doesn’t weigh on me or freak me out.
This one, this post on warning, good night, it’s like a weight around my neck. I have a few ideas and I keep praying and asking God what he wants to say to us about “warning.” I’m getting breadcrumbs and bits of stories, not a coherent, united thought.
So, I guess, this is my gentle warning to you: proceed with caution and keep your expectations low. I’m going to keep typing and trust that God is using these breadcrumbs to lead us.
My initial reaction was: “I do not want to write about warnings because I do not like warnings.” I think this says more about me than about warnings.
Is it true? Do I dislike warnings?
My next thought was about when my oldest niece went to preschool. We are a family who loves school and learning and all that goes with it. You can picture this group of eager adults in a game of telephone ready to hear and pass on how Emily liked school! We couldn’t wait. Without fail, day-after-day, when her mom would ask her about school, Emily’s first answer was about who didn’t follow a rule.
“Today Steve opened his backpack before Miss Stacy said we could!”
She was that kid. And day-after-day her mom would try to redirect, “Emily, what about you, what was something you did or saw or learned?”
Fast forward about ten years and I was on a band trip with her. We were near the end of the outing and the older kids in the back of the bus were being so loud that the teacher had said to quiet down. They didn’t, so rule-lover that she is, she turned, and though she was much younger than them, she shushed them all with her hand.
She sighed and turned to me, “Aunt Amy, do you think it had any effect?” Um, not the one you wanted!
So I’m wondering about your reaction to the word “warning”? Did it warm your heart? Finally, we are going to talk about warnings and what people should and shouldn’t be doing!
Or did it make you shudder? Is “warning” synonymous with “scolding?” If so, who wants to be scolded?
And this is where I see, again, the need for the gospel. In our brokenness, we can go to one extreme or the other: loving warnings or hating them. Using them to manipulate or bully people, or finding ways around them to usurp God given authority in our lives. Jesus died to redeem everything. Everything, friends! Even words like “warning.”
We have gotten good words of warning this week: pay attention to the warning lights in your life (Laura), we are supposed to get broken (Eluned), and we will come to the loss of ourselves (Jenilee). Warnings from a friend are to be heeded. This is wisdom.
We have also sensed the dark side of warning: ignore the warning lights if you’ve made a commitment, you are supposed to keep yourself together, and maintain control of your life. Warnings from enemies are to be ignored. This is wisdom.
Wherever you fall on the warning continuum realize, like me, it says more about you (both your wiring and your broken sin nature) than about God. God wants us to be wise women and not to follow every warning or to react with distain. Instead, the Holy Spirit is at work within you, providing true wisdom and insight as you hear warnings when it comes to:
- Team life,
- Your host culture,
- What God wants from you,
- How you could be using your time, effort, and finances
May you know which are to be heeded and which are to be ignored. Amen and amen.
This is one of the warnings I wish I could give to everyone that interacts with me:
This is what we call The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.