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Palin, politics and palm reading

The Life Less Traveled

September 19, 2012
A couple of years ago Sarah Palin took heat from the media for writing notes on the palm of her hand for a Q-and-A session following a big speech.

This is what I hate about American politics. Depending on where you stand on the issues, there are plenty of reasons to either love or hate someone as outspoken as Palin. But, please don't disparage the ancient art of writing stuff on your hand just to serve your political agenda. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water. This is a time-honored tradition among middle school students, old people and national political figures that I feel has taken a bum wrap.

Can't remember your locker combination? Write it on your hand. Have to pick up some milk at the store? Write it on your hand. Have an idea for the great American novel? You guessed it. Write it on your hand. Unlike Post-It notes and cell phones, it's always around when you need it.

That's why I've taken a cue from Sarah Palin's playbook recently and have started writing on my own palm. I'm not talking about locker combinations, grocery lists or political talking points. I'm talking about writing down the one thing I truly need to remember for the day. I'm talking about simple reminders of faith.

It started a few weeks ago on a day I was wrestling with anxiety. I didn't have any legitimate reason to be worried, but I couldn't seem to shake it. That day I wrote the word "trust." Every time I was tempted to worry, I just glanced down at those five potent letters scribbled on my hand, and it reminded me that God was in control. That one, tiny word lanced my worries like a needle, draining them of all of their crippling power.

So, I continued with "hope," "surrender," "believe" and "courage." Today was "peace." I just allow myself one word, only one to remind me of whatever God knows I need to hear today.

How about you? What word would you like to carry around with you tomorrow? What spiritual signpost do you need to get you through your day? Write it down. Seriously. Do it now.

Don't worry. Unless you're giving a nationally televised speech, no one will ever see it. But you will. Just when you need it the most.

Jason Byerly, a 1990 graduate of Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, is the children's pastor at Southland Christian Church near Lexington, Ky. He and his wife have two daughters. For more, visit www.jasonbyerly.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/jasondbyerly.

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