For those of you who have never heard this story, family legend has it that my paternal grandmother, Mary Sloan was chosen for the 1920 United States Olympic Track and Field team, she chose instead to get married (different times). I have never done any fact checking, so I don't know whether there is truth to it or not. Regardless of the "truth" of the story, the gene is there, I am quite quick on my feet as a sprinter. Some of my cousins were also. I have always been proud of this little part of my genetic heritage, and even today at my age, I can run faster than many 10-15 years younger and still jump and touch a basketball rim.
All that speed is useless in the end, because the one thing everyone wants to run from cannot be ... your past. I'm not shy about my past, I'll talk. Not everyone can handle my story, wants to listen, is able to consider the consequences of it, or forgive ... and that had been a tough, hard lesson for me to learn. Suffice it to say that some of my teenage years were probably as bad as it gets for some, and much of my adult life has been full of questionable decision making.
I recently got an e-mail from a friend questioning my character. Although some of the examples given were from my past, it wasn't the far past. I really have no problem with having my character questioned, I do it myself.
I have recently volunteered and begun trying to be a Bible Study leader with Great Adventures. I am scared to death of this. When I was originally approached, I veered away from it, I believe the words that I used to describe myself were "leadership poison". I am just so afraid of bringing discredit on something that others, like Chad, have poured their life into. I am certain that I would just rather avoid ever being put in a place where I had to answer, as a leader, for the stupid decisions I have made. I am not so sure God is going to allow me to avoid being uncomfortable, or avoid having public character.
I have character all right, more to the point I am a character. I am stubborn, flirtatious, irresponsible, lazy, vain, cocky, and a little too in love with my discernment. I make my decisions more often than not with my heart, with little consideration for reason or prayer. I can be me-centered, harsh, vulgar, egotistical, inappropriately funny, gossipy, and worst of all, unkempt. Trouble waiting to happen, a real piece of work...
...but, it's a work in progress. I guess I am realizing as I am writing, I don't need anyones help to keep me a slave to my past, I can do that all on my own.
I doubt very much that God is going to leave me in a state of uncompletedness, He will keep me moving, growing, and providing new challenges for me, just as He has done since I came back to Him, and it looks like leadership and character issues are on the horizon. Pray with me that I be taught what I am supposed to know, that I am faithfully able to do what He places in front of me, and that when I want to run from my past, I instead make it available to Him so that He can use it for His will.