Nothing to Prove and Nothing to Hide

I went to South Carolina this weekend, to a reunion of a youth choir I was a part of 40 years ago. I have never been very good at reunions. There is usually too much trying to impress, trying to look good, trying to put on a show. And that’s all from me. But this was different. It was great to see old friends, some I hadn’t seen for more than 3 decades. Kids I hung out with, leaders I looked up to, and men and women that spoke God into my life in a way that I will never forget.
They asked me to sing a song that I sang way back then. When it was over, TW, one of those great men said, “I remember when you sang that song 40 years ago. It was better then.” He was right but it was really fun anyway. We sang. We laughed. We told old stories. And we remembered.
There is a saying in the 12 Steps meeting that I go to a lot. The way to real peace is to have nothing to prove and nothing to hide. Can I brag for just a minute? I think the reason this visit was so good was that I am finally learning to live that way. And it feels good.
To live life in the moment, not focusing on the past or the future but trusting God for the here and now is joyful and the source of peace. It takes away the insane need to be something I am not for people I don’t even know, or for those I do. Some days I do that well. Other days, not so much. But I keep trying. I think it’s what Paul had in mind when he says, “Forgetting those things which are behind…I press on.”
Now don’t get me wrong. There are deep regrets from my past. When I am with old friends I can’t help but think about those people that I hurt, that I let down in my many failures. But putting my trust in God keeps me from dwelling on those things or taking on the shame of the past. When I know that I am lost in His love and covered by His blood, well, that’s enough in any group.
So I am suggesting for you that you quit worrying so much about what others think and start reminding yourself of how He feels about you. He loves you “with an everlasting love.” “He will never leave you or forsake you.” “He delights in you and rejoices over you with singing.” Keep all of that in mind and go visit some old friends. Be yourself and let them love you.
As for me, I plan to keep on living one day at a time. I’m not going to spend my energy trying to impress other people. Except I need to lose a little weight, maybe get my hair colored just a little, I wonder if I could get a tuck under my chin. Be blessed. Mike

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