Since I was a kid, I've been told that I go at everything I do just like a biting sow. I've never really been around a biting sow, so I don't really know what one looks like, but I can imagine it's not a critter you'd want to tangle with. I've also heard it said that some folks go at the things they do just like they're killing snakes. That one I can understand. I don't like it, because I quit killing snakes when I was doing my undergrad work, but I understand it.
Whenever I hear someone say either of those things about someone else, it's almost as if it's a put down. But I'm not so sure anymore. What folks are saying about these other folks is that they go at whatever they are doing wide open...no reservations...pedal to the metal...and you can toss in your own colorful euphamism here. My dad had lots of them, but I won't repeat them here.
I've never really been one to overthink a decision before I made it. I guess you could say that when I get a notion to do something, I do go at it like a biting sow. But I think that can be a good thing. There have been times it has bitten me in the tail, but more times than not, overthinking and holding back would have given me an opportunity to talk myself out of a lot of great blessings.
This morning Paul is talking about that. He wasn't using the biting sow metaphor, but as he gives instruction to Timothy, he tells him to give everything he has to everything he does. Here's what he says:
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress."
My dad did have one saying, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." So, if I'm going to do something, I'm going to give myself wholly to it, and if I look like a biting sow, that's ok. I prefer to think that it's not impatience on my part, but that when I do something I give it all of myself.
And that is where I'm at now. I'm trying to find some way to give all of myself to this new task God has called me to while also giving all of myself to my family and my churches. It will be difficult, no doubt. I may need to restructure my time a little. But...I cannot stand before God one day and confess that when I felt called to go, I only went part of the way out of fear, because of difficulties, or some reservation I, or those around me, had.
So, my God and my King, speak, for your servant is listening and is ready to give it all I have.