Friday when I arrived in Houston from Oregon, I could not find my car in the airport parking lot. Luckily, it was only 93 degrees with 100% humidity. I would have hated to walk 4 miles in a fresh, cool breeze. Seeing as how I had been up since 3 am, traveling 1600 miles, sitting next to an enormous man who was breathing steamy morning breath on me, it was good to stretch my legs and breath in stagnant car exhaust. If I had had more than a piece of gum and coffee on my stomach the hike and heat probably wouldn’t have been so treacherous.
I knew I had parked in C Blue Parking, 5th level.
I knew I had parked in the far east corner near a yellow barricade.
I just knew. It had been three days since I had left, but I had been completely cognizant of my parking location.
I kept hiking, moving my briefcase from my aching shoulder to rest on top of my suitcase made the search somewhat easier. But my foot, which I injured two years ago in a kickboxing class, was screaming in protest at the search for my Buick… and my choice of shoe.
I stopped to take a break.
I pushed the car alarm button on my key chain.
I was nowhere near my car.
And that’s when the voice starts.
“You are so stupid.”
“So, jet-setting around the country talking about your manuscript? WOW. When can I read these great wisdoms?”
“Is your book about how to spend your time most effectively?”
“No, it’s about…”
“I don’t really care. I was being facetious.”
“Please shut up.”
“I would be happy to shut up if you hadn’t lost your car, again.”
Sheer determination is usually the catalyst for me vs. the mean voice so I started my hike again. And that is when I realize, I am in C BROWN, not C BLUE.
“Ah, you’re so wise… and color blind.”
“I was on the blue elevator; I don’t know how I ended up in brown.”
“I do, you’re stupid.”
“YES! There is my car.”
“You’re still stupid.”
“Yeah, I know.”
As I drug my weary self into my parents’ house I was met with hugs and congratulatory cheers and babies squealing with joy to see me. Yet, I was downcast.
I felt ridiculous for wasted time in the parking garage. I hardly felt the need to discuss the details of my trip when I knew I was not even competent enough to find my own car. I was mostly quiet. The presence of the hateful voice echoed in my brain. For every positive I had to report the voice chimed, “but you lost your car, again…”
That night as I climbed into the guest bed in my parents’ home I continued the conversation.
“They sure are proud of you, I wonder what will happen when you are fully exposed as a fool.”
And really – that was my last straw. So I opened my phone to my devotional, I hadn’t had time to read it yet.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
And in this moment, doesn’t the enemy seem pathetic and senseless? I could argue with myself about how stupid I am for falling for his taunting, but that would only further encourage him. I slid into cool sheets and shut off the light. I will lose my car again; it is pretty much a given. But to allow earthly mistakes and crazed bantering in my head to silence PRAISE, WORSHIP, AND GLORY???
That my friends, would be the epitome of foolishness.
So, I will write about JESUS. I will proclaim HIS goodness. I will confess my folly. And the nasty voice in my head, the one that makes me second guess myself and that which I have been called? He can wander aimlessly in the Houston International Airport Parking Garage C – blue or brown – I really don’t care. But I refuse to let him stop me.
Don’t let him stop you either.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8.