I nervously walked unto the stage and headed towards the mounted microphone. It was patiently waiting for me to speak into it for it to do what it does best: Project my voice out to the audience waiting to watch my performance.
I looked calm and composed on the outside but secretly it was just myself and the microphone if it were human, would have felt the slight tremble in my grasp and my sweaty palms. I unconsciously held on to the microphone like my life depended on it. What if the microphone was not on stage where would I have skillfully hidden my nervousness and anxiety? My pockets I guess but gosh! I was wearing a dress. I guess I would have been forced to swallow my anxiety with a big gulp down my throat and braced myself in one way or the other to get on with my performance.
Where was I? Yes I was about to perform. Would the audience like my performance? Would they boo or give me a resounding round of applause? I guess I just had to find out. I blurted out words which sounded senseless in my ears and immediately stopped myself. At that moment, I remembered the words of my mother, “The secret to managing anxiety in a situation like this is to focus on yourself and not the audience.” A confident performer friend of mine when I asked for advice one time told me to always look above the heads of the audience and forget about their existence in the moment.
I forgot about my audience in the dark auditorium and got my performance done with. Once I started. I started to feel comfortable like I felt when I looked at myself performing in front of the wooden full length mirror in my room. I was enjoying myself and when it ended I heard a loud roar of applause! For a second I was startled! Oh yes I remembered! I was not alone . I curtsied and with my head held high walked off the stage to the sound of the never ending applause.
Lovely story right? But this made up story is a representation of the decisions we take in life. We wait for people to validate our existence and dreams before we take the next step. I am still a learner on this path called life but one thing I know for sure and from experience is that all the answers we need, we can find it deep within ourselves. Before you can reach that level you have to assess if you have a real relationship with God or a relationship with benefits. “Oh God! I will pray everyday and go to church, in exchange give me what I need.” That is a biased and one-way relationship, however, you can build on your relationship with God through consciously studying his Word daily.
One thing I have observed is that whatever you do, the audience will talk. Before you even utter a word or take a step there will first be the mental judgement; secondly, when you take the step in line with what the audience expects there will be applause but a slight falter will find you on a lonely journey with no supporters and finally, go against the audience, they will talk and shun you but when you hit gold they will come around once again to applaud you.
All I am driving at is this, where does your strength lie? Does it lie with what your friends, partners or the society think or say is best for you all the time? Don’t get me wrong there might be times when God can send you a prompt through them but please don’t stop working on yourself and your relationship with God just because you have a pastor praying for you or a friend providing good advice to you.
I can boldly say that my strength lies in the God who made heaven and earth. Where does yours lie?
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