I came across the first piece I wrote on NecessaryChats called Old Habits, an old friend. Read it here via this link: https://necessarychats.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/old-habits-an-old-friend/
I read the piece to see what of my thinking had changed between January of 2012 and April of 2011 and the revelation was amazing. I’d like to share it with you.
Now as I read the work, I was surprised when I got to this part:
“Habits are stagnant. I hear you are silent my voice. Were you ever my voice? Did you speak for me or against me…against what I could be, live and breathe and dream. Do I feel lost without you my voice? Or was I simply listening to a voice, one that I gave power to over the years, and a name, Caution – Trusted Friend.” It appears I had actually named the old friend. You see, I’d forgotten about this poem and generally thought of it as something that related to all my old bad habits; smoking, excessive drinking, and procrastination amongst others. So it was interesting to me to see that it speaks of only one old habit turned old friend, which is a play on the idea of defence mechanisms.”
Caution is my old friend? Huh?
Then I thought… well, what else would you call that thing that makes us prepare ourselves for the worst and close off communication with people, because we barely have enough energy to take care of ourselves and our needs?
In further pondering, I admit that some of us come from a background of wanting to be careful not to repeat mistakes because they previously cost us too much; we can’t afford to let ourselves down again. No one understands our individual situations, but that’s because it’s not something that’s worn on the face. Even so, it becomes easier to block people while we attempt to re-invent ourselves.
In that spirit of walking through pain and attempting to balance faith, we tell God our plans and pray that He blesses them, and opens up ways for the achievement of our dreams. We tell ourselves every day that we can make it, that even though things are not looking up, that we can make it if we persist. We can’t afford to fail because we have been there before, and we aren’t trying to go back. No, really. If we must fail, then we must fail, maybe that’s how life is; some make it, and some die trying. Well, we’ll die trying anyway.
We figure that this is what faith in God is about; being faithful to Him regardless of the situation (Rom 5:3). He said that He’s going to bail us out and prosper us (Jer 33:3). We understand this at the visceral level, but at some point in our lives we aren’t quite sure what it means, because there are more failed attempts than we care to count.
So based on previous failings, we’re not exactly sure what this means–that God is present and right on time (Psa 46:1). Our clocks, having run out of battery a while ago, died, and we’re now trying to preserve our peace by working hard in our way, to protect (we gave up defending) our current reality, while we strive for one we’d prefer.
Along the same thinking lines, we also understand that we can make all the plans that we want, but if God doesn’t mean for something to happen, then it won’t, and in all things we’re taught to praise Him, and so we do. But at these times, we’re not sure if the grand prize is just having the greatest faith and praise on the planet—we do it anyway.
This type of caution based approach to our faith is limiting. We are rendered helpless where we shouldn’t be.
God tells us to place our faith in him because misplaced caution is an unseen enemy. In a sense, God asks: How can you, my child, hope to win a fight against something that can’t be seen and plays unfair by preying on your worst fears?
It’s important to consider that caution operates against worst fears because in preparing to defend against anything, well, we come up with our worst possible scenarios and give up our chance to live as we were intended. Once we conquer our fears we discover that there was nothing there to be afraid of.
Fears disappear the minute we realize that we’re afraid of no thing. Nothing plays on fear and threatens itself as the ultimate destruction knowing that we can’t see it to see the lie. It then teaches us how to protect ourselves from leaving the safe box by forcing the only thing we can trust in, and that thing is then called—Caution.
Caution is a beautiful and silent word and spirit. When applied in truth, it assists us to make prudent and life-worthy choices. Its character is silence and this is sold to us by the loudest noise (nothing) as fear, danger, enemies and avoidance. Everything out there is dangerous and one must stay in his/her comfort zone. Trust no one, especially those closest to us, for they are our worst enemies. Do everything in Caution.
Let’s turn pages here, and for the purposes of our discussion, I’ll engage your imagination a bit. Stay with me, there’s a point to all this.
Imagine having one beloved child and willingly let him/her go to a dangerous war zone to rescue, bandage and feed as many afflicted people as possible. This child is exceptionally skilled and called to the hardest hit place, areas where well-intentioned people won’t go because the enemy has too much control. A lot of good people in bad places die needlessly because no one can save them. With the silence of no one caring, they succumb to their injuries thinking themselves better off dead. To lose hope is to lose life.
To allow our only child to go into such a zone we’d have to have some serious love for the lost and forgotten, especially knowing what the enemy will do to our child in order to set an example to any other out-of-the-box thinkers. Our child would be killed because his/her helping presence in the war zone would disrupt fear. Others watching would start to courageously come in to assist, and before long, the enemy would start to lose control. People would get healed and others would gain hope for a better future, and many more would put up a passionate fight against the enemy. To have hope is to gain life. Life is living for something.
Still stay with me, I’m about to wrap this up by saying that likewise, God sent His one and only Beloved Son down from Heaven to live and die like us, regular people trying to live the best of our lives, and falling short of our ideal in everything.
So, as the price to save the lost is steep, He has a vested interest in our success. The origin of fears may not be physically seen or touched, but our God belongs to the Spirit realm which means that He sees what holds us back while we project our fears onto each other. We’re only trying to be cautious after all. This is why only God can fight our battles.
Jesus Christ frees us from no thing. What doesn’t build seeks to destroy, and this is what Nothing’s version of Caution has purchased us; a lifetime of destroyed homes, dreams, plans and relationships. With each destruction, Nothing has told us that we need to better protect ourselves to avoid another outcome like the last. More Caution required.
Christ said, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10)”. We place human faces to the thief because we can’t prepare for nothing, and so we place those we love the most at the front of the line.
You know why?
It’s because we love them so much that if they let us down, it would steal from, kill or destroy us. This also applies to all the plans, dreams and wishes we hold dearest to our hearts.
Was Caution then, ever deserving of what we gave of our lives to it? Instead of throwing our lives at Caution, throw Caution to the wind. God reveals all truth and this includes what we’ve allowed ourselves to believe.
In the spirit of throwing caution to the wind, this includes the voice in your head debating the merits of keeping some caution in your life. What do you have to be cautious about right now? Is it still worth it to live in your box waiting on something good to drop on your lap, in exchange for the chance to get up and run straight into your life?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts, and also, share the article!