So, here I am. I have arrived early to the writers’ conference. Hot coffee in hand, I take my pick of seats scattered around the room. Dark tendrils of fear pluck at my heart. Once again, I am that frightened kid from South Mississippi that has changed schools and the overwhelming sense that I am alone in the universe invades my mind. I take several deep breathes to calm my nerves. It does nothing to help ease the ungrounded fear that I am feeling at this moment. Words form in my mind trying to find some way to put this fear into being. The old Russ Taff song, “Winds of Change” starts playing in my mind. My fear has nothing to do with the writers’ conference, it is something deeper in my heart that is causing me to feel that I am lost in the inky darkness once again.
The boom, boom, boom of my heart causes my chest to hurt. The rhythm of Bohemian Rhapsody kicks Winds of Change to the curb. “Is it a heart attack or is it just fantasy, stepping on land mines blowing apart reality…” It’s no heart attack, it is nothing but a direct assault on my spiritual man by none other than Satan. Fear does not come from God. This vile emotion is the antithesis of faith. Stress, worry, self-doubt, these emotions are offshoots of fear. “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.” The enemy of my soul would like nothing more than to spread tares among the seed that God has planted in my heart. That is his job. My job as a Christian is to pray, to seek the will of God Almighty for my life. It is my duty to keep my heart and thoughts upon Him.
Yes, I used the word duty to illustrate my sentence. Duty is deeper than a job, career or any other word that can be used to paint a picture. Duty is a commitment; it is a calling. In an address to cadets at West Point, General Douglas MacArthur stated, “Duty, Honor, Country, these three hallowed words should compose who we are.” I am no longer a United States soldier, but I feel as strongly about duty as I have always felt. To be a successful Christian, it requires the same dogged attitude that soldiers exhibit on the battlefield. The commitment to the will of God has to be deeper than just hollow locution. Duty will help us stay on track when nothing else will. If there is no commitment, there is only broken promises and emptiness. There are only empty words that are hurled into the abyss of nothingness. A deeper walk with God only comes from a wholehearted commitment to accept His will for our lives. When we attempt to insert our will, and our desires into the will of God, He will not fight us on it. We can’t serve God and our flesh. At some point, we must choose to sell out to Him.