What does it really mean to be “straight up” about something?
I took the liberty of checking out some definitions we mere mortals have assigned to this little saying…….
- Like the straight arrow, flying towards its target….
- Straight up gets right to the point…..
- Tellin’ it straight up, means saying exactly what you mean – tellin’ it like it is….
- Imminency – right away (“we are going to the movie straight up, yo”)…….
- To be right or for real, man (“dude, straight up, let’s do this thing!”)…..
- A way to emphasize the truth of something someone just said (“Dude, we should do this”, and then the reply, “”straight up.”)……
- Absolutely, Totally……..
I don’t know about you, but for me, all of this resonates, but it is important to remember the ultimate truth in what “straight up” really means – and that means to view it from a biblical perspective.
For me, friends, it comes down to two things:
- Look straight up to Jesus for truth – then let Him fill you with it and carry it around with you always. Keep looking up (Straight up)!
- Walk straight with Jesus – and do it absolutely and totally.
Sometimes, we feel like we are in the wilderness in a particular area of our lives. And God has His reasons for that. Yet more often than not, I find that in reality, I am never really alone – what I am going through may simply seem unknown. Walking by faith, not by sight doesn’t fit the “absolutely” or “totally” criteria of this crazy world.
Yet living out our faith, true and real faith in Christ is really not so unknown as we at times tend to try to make it. I mean, we can still always look up and then move straight ahead – with Jesus right by our side – down the path He intends for us. And nothing can take that from us – not ever! How real and unchanging is that? Even when we feel alone, or uncertain about what may lurk ahead – even when the world tries to make us think there is too much we are in the dark about – He is there – always right there with us. Absolutely and totally.
I can get ahead of myself at times (surprised?) – it is actually a blessing and a major area in which I can cross the line into disobedience. Discerning the difference is not usually too difficult, but I admit, it does get muddy at times – sometimes I am ironically “behind” in realizing it when I have started to run ahead when I shouldn’t have.
I have to always look up, literally, moment by moment, or I can risk getting too far ahead – too focused on the “destination” in an area of life, rather than the peace that comes in the journey. I know this about myself, yet I still fall into it. It happens.
At other times, the Lord has used that desire to forge ahead at a rapid speed to bring about more glory to Himself, His kingdom, and help me to spread the gospel to others.
So, it’s not all good and it’s not all bad.
The important thing though, is to embrace the Lord and His will for us in all that we do, isn’t it? If He says to slow down and walk alone a while, we do so. If He says to run the race faster, harder, or reach a specific finish line in one certain area, we do so. And if we mess up and get too far ahead, we trust in Him that He will show that to us and help us to slow down, change, or press into Him instead of getting our game on.
One thing that has been hard for me to accept and surrender is the true, utter and complete realization that we are truly never finished while we walk this earth. Never finished. But the Lord, in His grace and mercy, gives us certain things in life that we can finish with. He enables us to move on to new things. We just have to remember the entire journey will not end until He comes back for us.
And yes, this whole thing can be confusing – “Straight Up, Dude!” That is exactly why, as much as I understand it, I still fall prey to not walking it sometimes. Proof again, that understanding (the human kind) is totally limited, man.
If you find yourself in the midst of something similar right now, call upon the Lord. What I am finding in my particular area that seems to teeter totter between “ok, run now,” and “be still now,” is that the Lord is using that roller coaster to draw me closer and closer to Him. He is reminding me that we will not ever get into a groove and just stay there forever if we are truly seeking to be more like Jesus. Sometimes, He gives us that groove, that awesome “in the zone” feeling that one gets when they have hit their stride and just are enjoying the run, the walk, the process, but are meeting benchmarks (small, little goals) along the way to the “finish line”. Other times, it is just a struggle of a journey….filled with stops and starts, confusing, and full of mixed up signals.
We can thank the Lord for those times in which the signals are getting all mixed up, just as we can be grateful to Him for the “in the zone” moments in life. When it’s in the mixed up mode, just like emotions, those crossed signals or distractions in life can serve as indicators and markers that send up the red flag to tell us that something is wrong, off, or needs some serious adjustment.
Typically, for me at least, it means I am getting ahead of myself. Ug.
And if you’re feel unsettled and all windy and curvy – if something inside of you is screaming, “stop,” you’d better believe that voice is there for a reason.
Like me, I encourage you to remember that it’s okay to slow down. He will let us know when it’s time to run again. And no matter what, we will one day – when this earthly life passes away – reach the finish line of all finish lines, friends. And then, this “race” will be over – this muddy, messed up, and illogical-at-times race.
But in the most divine way that defies the irony of all ironies that we could ever conjure up or liken it to here on earth….. that glorious finish line will not be an ending – rather the beginning of an eternal life with Him – and as children of God, our “ultimate” destination. Straight up with Jesus. Party time, friends!
Friends, let’s look straight up today as we walk with Him and let our steps go straight ahead – one foot after the other. And while we do that, with our heads held high, let’s bask in the beauty that as Jesus’ children, we have the most glorious privilege of doing so.