Author Baxter Kruger tells a story of once when he was a student at Old Miss, he ran into Miss Mississippi. He knew her from several previous conversations, so when he literally bumped into her, he greeted her. It was around Homecoming, which was a big deal with an even bigger dance after the football game. After he bumped into her he decided to ask her if she had a date for the dance.
“Baxter, I don’t have a date. In fact, no one ever asks me out.”
Kruger explains he thought that was odd. “How could you NOT have a date? I would have thought your phone never stops ringing.”
She replied, “I don’t know. No one calls me.”
He went on to explain that it took him awhile to realize why no one asked her out. It was because they were afraid. Afraid of rejection! She was so beautiful, smart, all the things most would look for in a significant other, most went ahead and concluded they would not be “enough.” They never took a chance to even see.
Isn’t that sort of what we are all afraid of?
It won’t work out?
We will get hurt when we love someone and they don’t love us back?
What if we take a chance on a new job and it turns out to be a bust?
What if we aren’t good enough to live into that dream?
What if we find a closed door at the end of our longings?
Maybe it is better to not try to love. Maybe it is better to put the phone down and not take a risk.
Maybe it is better if we just bury our dreams.
Sometimes we miss out on the beauty God has to offer us because we tell ourselves, “Grow up! Put such silliness aside, and just get on with it.”
We become content with living a half-life than to risk the prospect of bitter disappointments.
In The Shack, when Mack encounters Sarayu, he can barely keep her in his line of vision because she is somewhat “floating.” Yet he hears a haunting tune, which symbolizes her presence to him. He finds that that tune is always there.
What a beautiful picture of God is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit, a presence that is always there. That presence of God is that which brings us peace when we experience rejection, brings us persevereance when we experience an ended dream, and brings us hope when it seems like we are deep in the worst things.
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left-feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.