The older I get the more confidence I think I should have. The reality is that I seem to question myself all the more as time goes on. Questions about life, my plans, my world view, myself....
So many things can make us question: why? when? where? what? how?
It can be as simple as an off-handed remark in a passing conversation or understanding a different way of life; realizing something you've never seen clearly before; a caring question or friendly chat; for the first time understanding something you've heard all your life; any kind of change....
The list is endless.
Life it just full of questions that need answers and often there are more of the former than the later. That is a confidence killer: not knowing the answer. If I dwell on what I don't know I start getting a bit panic-y. It's hard making decisions in this state and there are decisions to be made every day.
I'm not talking about the "big" decisions so much as the "small" ones. Those that shape character: the good fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When I am focusing on questions without answers my fruit is "stunted" in a way. For example, think about how hard it is to be joyful when you're worried....
This line of thought brought to mind the song Maria sings in "The Sound of Music":
"What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
...Oh I must stop these doubts all these worries!
If I don't I just know I'll turn back.
I must dream of the things I am seeking -
I am seeking the courage I lack.
The courage to serve them with reliance.
Face my mistakes without defiance.
Show them I'm worthy and while I show them, I'll show me..."
The song shows that a change came when Maria stopped mulling over what she
didn't know and began stating what she did:
"I have confidence in sunshine,
I have confidence in rain,
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!"
Confidence means to be "self-assured, to feel or show certainty about something, secure, positive, safe." So what is it I am confident in?
"I am CONVINCED [to be completely certain about something] that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from GOD'S LOVE. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS REVEALED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD."
(Romans 8:38-39 NLT)
The best picture of confidence I can think of is a child that runs and jumps off a platform into your arms. They didn't stop to wonder IF, HOW, WHEN, WHERE ... With complete joy they are living life, confident.
"He is jealous for me. If love's like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
All of a sudden I am UNAWARE of these AFFLICTIONS
ECLIPSED BY GLORY and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how GREAT Your affections are for me
Oh How He Loves Us!
We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
Then heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
AND I DON'T HAVE TIME TO MAINTAIN THESE REGRETS
WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE WAY
That He Loves ME!"
("How He Loves" by: David Crowder)