It’s a Secret

I was going to do something this week that people would recognize and appreciate. It was a good thing. At the last minute, I changed tactics and did it anonymously. Then I heard the sermon today. It was about secret living with God. It kills pride. Snuffs it right out, as Pastor Jordan says. YES. I did the right thing. I hate it when I hear a sermon confirming that I did the wrong thing. Of course now, I can’t tell anyone how much I really connected with the sermon because it would ruin the whole secret theme. Drat. But (at perhaps the cost of half the reward), I can say it was a good thing. And it’s a secret. Bet you’re curious. Tooooo bad.

Jordan went on to talk about fear of man as the instigator for our actions and also the cause for most of our anxiety. For me, this is half true. I qualify extreme anxiety as the times that I cannot eat. Because usually I can. A lot.

The Times I Cannot Eat:
1. When I was in junior high/high school/college and convinced I was missing out on some extremely important, identity-shaping social event. Or, conversely, I was present at this identity-shaping event and couldn’t eat a bite for fear of spilling, choking, or green-thing-in-teeth.

2. When contemplating the boy I liked (or ‘like’, let’s get real, no past tense usually needed there) and his level of awareness of my existence and proximity to me.

3. When my family members are not safe and sound under one roof or otherwise accounted for.

4. When I am in fear for my life. You know, on turbulent commercial airliners, standing on hotel balconies above four stories, and walking in dark parking lots (the only legitimately scary place also doesn’t usually have a large selection of food).

These things cause anxiety and half of them are caused by the fear of man. Now here is my deal: I lead a public life. This does not mean I am a celebrity. Even in the small-town sense. It means that I am impulsive, have poor boundaries, and talk too much. I wear my sins on my shoulder so people are offended way more easily than if I kept my gnarly side hidden and if no one hears what I say the first time, I put it in my blog. But there are good sides of my out-loudness. Sins get confessed jonny-on-the-spot, accountability is something I crave, I quickly tell people how great they are and I am an easy read. No complicated interpretation required! But doing good deeds in secret? This is very hard. I love feeling appreciated. Who doesn’t? But I really REALLY do.

My best friend Lindsey is the Queen of Secret Good Deeds. She would buy groceries and hide them in my refrigerator and I wouldn’t realize I had them until halfway through eating peaches I never purchased. If I buy groceries, I arrange them in a display on the counter so everyone sees before I put them away. Lindsey vacuums living rooms and fills up gas tanks without a word and always when no one is looking. I want to be like this but I love getting those darn accolades. Love it.

So, I will work on the good kind of secret living. Let’s all try to do something anonymously wonderful this week and then post a comment about what it was. Perfect.

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5 thoughts on “It’s a Secret

  1. Nicole says:

    I can so relate! I wear my heart on my sleeve and use up more than my word quota most days which can get me into trouble. I can never keep gift surprises for long either, the suspense kills me.
    Thanks for suggesting this challenge! I let you know how it goes.

  2. eb does life says:

    Well…don’t give me specifics….you know, it’s a secret!

  3. Adrienne says:

    “But encourage one another, even as you see the day drawing near…” somewhere in the New Testament

  4. Deitra Shoemaker says:

    Love this Erin. I too struggle with loving affirmation for what I’ve done. It’s the 2 in me (enneagram personality type). I wonder if you are a 2 too? Thanks for the reminder and challenge about doing good deeds in secret. Can’t wait to try it out!

  5. Katie Metcalf Oelschlager says:

    Alright Erin I am up for the challenge:) Have LOVED reading your blog! Will give no specifics…but will start planning for this week:)

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