I am fairly certain I am going to get sued. I had to take a real estate class this past weekend and it completely freaked me out. Essentially, it was some great training inter-mixed with all the possible ways you could get fined or sued. I can’t believe I am still in business. There are about 101 weird rules about what you can and can’t say that might violate the Fair Housing laws, any number of which could land you in jail or with a $25,000 fine! I have a terrible tendency to speak before I think, especially if I am nervous. It’s just a matter of time before they “catch” me on something or other.
So what is my solution? Well, here’s what I started with; worry. Worry to death about it. All.Night.Long. Since I had been in class for 15 hours discussing Real Estate, I worried all night about being sued, being fined, not finding enough clients, not selling the houses I have listed, getting robbed or worse by someone at a showing or open house. I also schemed about how to find more clients, if I had covered all my bases for my closings, and finding the perfect house for the buyers that I already have. This went on all night. I even got so desperate to sleep that I put on some music. I listened to my downloaded album of Amy Grant. I used to listen to her very first album every night as I fell asleep when I was in about 6th grade. It couldn’t hurt to try it now. It was sort of working when she sang a song that said, “I go to the temple, and I just want to stay”, and you can probably guess where my mind went: “Temple=House=Real Estate=Worry.”
That was Saturday night. Sunday I woke up feeling groggy and exhausted. I really didn’t want to go to church. But then I remembered seeing an email that said this weekend they were starting a series on what else? Worry. So I went. I knew I was going to hear something that would calm my brain down and lower my heart rate. I heard some really good stuff. The best bit of it came in the form of a question: “Who (or what) do you need to turn over to God?” And that’s when it all came together for me. I clearly sensed God saying to me: “The only HOUSE/TEMPLE you need to worry about is YOU!” (I Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?) And worry might not be the right word. Maybe “focus on” might be more appropriate. THe only person I can do anything about is ME. THe only part of Real Estate I can ultimately control is how I do my job. He takes care of the results. I could believe God with my Leukemia, because I know without a shadow of doubt that I have no control there. But do I trust Him with my job? My kids? My spouse? My money? Worrying is a direct indication that I don’t.
I love what my pastor said: “‘do not worry’ is not a condemnation. It’s an invitation.” An invitation to freedom of mind, body and spirit. Worry causes more than just personality problems, it can also cause us physical problems. God wants to free us from those things by inviting us to let HIM take care of things.
Now, one more little Real Estate story. One of the things they talked about during my class was that there are apparently “testers” out there who pose as a Buyer or Seller and try to trap agents, especially new agents (i.e. Me), into violating some sort of Fair Housing Law (discriminating against pretty much any people group). In much the same way, I think there are “testers” out there trying to do the same to you and I. Whether they are people or circumstances or everyday stressors, they are trying to trap us into choosing worry over serenity and trust. Don’t fall for it! Be on your guard. Be prepared through intimate, continuous contact with God. You never know when the “testers” will show up, but trust me, they will. And in the long run, if you fail those tests, the consequences will be much more serious for your soul than a $25,000 fine.