In Others’ Words: The Right Place

Stand Firm Lincoln quote

 

In high school, I was involved in drama — both acting and directing. When I earned a role in a play, I had to learn both my lines and the stage directions — specifically, entrances, exits, and where I stood onstage. My spot on stage was called my mark. Sometimes my mark — as well as other actors’ marks — was designated with an “x” made out of criss-crossed pieces of duct tape. In acting lingo, I was supposed to “hit my mark.” No looking down and searching for the duct tape “x” — that would ruin the scene.

How often in real life have I wandered here and there, unsure of where I want to stand?

  • Do I want to stand up and defend myself in this moment, this argument? Or do I want to let the moment pass by?
  • Do I want to stand up and ask forgiveness when I know what I just said wounded someone … or do I step back and let silence engulf the opportunity?
  • Do I want to stand up and wade into a controversial topic? Or do I sit down and stay quiet because I think stifling what I believe is somehow better than having an honest, albeit at times tense, relationship with a friend or family member?

In the scenes of my life, how do I determine where my mark is … and then stand firm?

In Your Words: What do you do when you are unsure of where you want to stand? Where have you made definite choices on “right places” where you are determined to stand firm?

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21 Comments

  1. March 19, 2014, 7:20 am   /  Reply

    I think the hardest is when we just aren’t sure where that mark is. When I know where it is, even if I’m hesitant to go stand on it, eventually I tend to get nudged (or guilt-tripped by my own conscience) into going and standing. That’d be the result of growing up as a goody-two-shoes. Haha! But when I’m honestly not sure where the mark even is, that’s when life gets confusing. And it’s also when I end up more thankful than ever for parents and wise friends who generally steer me correctly. 🙂

    • March 19, 2014, 7:31 pm   /  Reply

      Yes! Melissa — I agree with you. Sometimes I’ve had to ask other people where my mark is. And I’ve also learned not to move when I’m unsure … and wait for directions from God.

  2. March 19, 2014, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    Isn’t this especially difficult today, Beth? With the political correctness thing, we’re told we’re not allowed to feel or say something that may be contrary to popular opinion. It seems we’re often being discouraged against expressing our true beliefs.

    Your high school drama example is a great example… and it reminds me that many of us also participated in “debate club.” Maybe we should relearn those skills too.

    • March 19, 2014, 7:31 pm   /  Reply

      Love your insights, Kathy — and how you apply it to high school debate!

  3. March 19, 2014, 8:05 am   /  Reply

    The defining question is this, I think –

    Am I standing firm for my own sense of pride or self, or will this make a difference outside of ‘me’?

    There’s also the way one chooses to stand – a simple “I do not agree” registers the point, and avoids the downside of a drawn-out argument. Arguments in families or friendships rarely change minds; and they have no impact on the overall issue. (Think of how many political arguments have soured friendships…and they had absolutely no effect on anything else. What a waste.)

    When action is needed, then one simply has to do the job and take the consequences, as I did in 1998 when I liberated a Pit Bull from the custody of the ‘authorities’ and hid him in a box, wheeling him around a college campus of a hand-truck. My colleagues and supervisors thought I was quite mad.

    • March 19, 2014, 7:33 pm   /  Reply

      Great insight, Andrew … because pride and self don’t bring anything to the table except more friction.
      And oh, I would have loved to have been there when you put that Pit Bull in that box!

      • March 19, 2014, 9:27 pm   /  Reply

        It was fun for him, I think. There was a hand-hold in the side, and he kept one yellow eye on me through the day as he was wheeled from place to place.

        His name was Jolly Tulip, and he had a very long and happy life, marred only by an unfortunate inclination toward urinating on my leg.

        He was also a participant in the Great Canine Wine-Tasting Party, and it’s quite instructive to observe the behaviour of an inebriated Pit Bull. He jumped onto the dining-room table, cleared it, and went to sleep with a happy smile.

  4. March 19, 2014, 10:21 am   /  Reply

    I didn’t know this about you but should have guessed. You write good dramatic scenes that are on the mark. Me? I often hang near the back to observe, acclimate, but God keeps moving my mark closer to the front. It’s fun, and I’m okay w/ that.

    • March 19, 2014, 7:33 pm   /  Reply

      Take your mark, Dee.
      Take your mark.

  5. March 19, 2014, 10:21 am   /  Reply

    I never knew you were involved in drama, Beth. I love learning these new tidbits about you that lend insight into the person God made you. I’ve missed the mark so many times that it’s disheartening. I’m just so thankful that God keeps putting them out there to train us in the way we should go.

    • March 19, 2014, 7:35 pm   /  Reply

      Donna:
      I loved being involved in drama so much that I considered minoring in it in college. I loved both acting and directing … and there are so many life lessons to learn from being on the stage and behind the scenes.
      And yes, God’s grace is there when we miss the mark or forget our lines …

  6. March 19, 2014, 11:05 am   /  Reply

    Even as I grow older, sometimes I find it difficult to speak up when I’m with a group. Part of it is me wanting to please everyone, but sadly part of it is because I want to fit in. I’ve discovered that desire doesn’t go away just because I age. Great reminder of what I’m supposed to do, Beth!

    • March 19, 2014, 7:35 pm   /  Reply

      I understand exactly what you’re saying, Pat.
      That whole wrestling with “am I seeking to please God or men?”

  7. March 19, 2014, 1:13 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, great example and point. We need to stand firm in our faith, no matter what.

    That’s right. No matter what.

    It’s tough sometimes, when we’re faced with incredible peer pressure or the fact that we’ll be disappointing someone we love and trust. Or when you’re surrounded by people who all believe differently than you. It’s impossibly difficult.

    That’s why I’m thankful for a God who specializes in the impossible. With Him carrying me through, those impossible moments don’t seem so big. Plus, to borrow a line from one of my new favorite movies, We Bought a Zoo: All it takes is 20 seconds of sheer courage.

    That and thee faith of a mustard seed. 🙂

    Blessings!
    Andrea

    Proofreader/Writer
    writingtoinspire.blogspot.com

    • March 19, 2014, 7:37 pm   /  Reply

      “God specializes in the impossible.” Love the way you put that, Andrea.

      • March 19, 2014, 9:55 pm   /  Reply

        When I was typing that part, I figured you’d like it. 🙂

  8. March 19, 2014, 1:13 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, great example and point. We need to stand firm in our faith, no matter what.

    That’s right. No matter what.

    It’s tough sometimes, when we’re faced with incredible peer pressure or the fact that we’ll be disappointing someone we love and trust. Or when you’re surrounded by people who all believe differently than you. It’s impossibly difficult.

    That’s why I’m thankful for a God who specializes in the impossible. With Him carrying me through, those impossible moments don’t seem so big. Plus, to borrow a line from one of my new favorite movies, We Bought a Zoo: All it takes is 20 seconds of sheer courage.

    That and the faith of a mustard seed. 🙂

    Blessings!
    Andrea

    Proofreader/Writer
    writingtoinspire.blogspot.com

  9. March 19, 2014, 1:14 pm   /  Reply

    Sorry for the double post! My computer was going a bit slow and I didn’t realize it was still working on posting it.

  10. March 19, 2014, 8:10 pm   /  Reply

    Loved this post, Beth.I spent the day on a field trip with a boy, then battling homework with a boy. Finally, I get a sweet taste of gentle truth from you. Thank you.

    Sometimes I struggle (though less than I used to) with standing for what is right when I’m with a group. It just seems easier to keep quiet. I’ve learned that may be easier, but it’s not always best. I’ve made my stand as far as Jesus. And as a mom in some of the decisions we’ve made on the boys’ behalf. We know these choices are for their long-term best even though they fight us on it now. And I’ve made the decision NOT to pull out my hair, no matter how challenging they can be regarding these decisions. 🙂

  11. March 20, 2014, 3:59 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, one thing I’ve learned the rather hard way is that God is much better at taking up for me than I am myself. It is often best for me to keep quiet. It is so tough though.

    Blessed by you,
    shelli

    • March 21, 2014, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      Good insight, Shelli — and yes, it’s tough.

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