Sunday, November 25, 2018

What? Go Where? Now?

Ever feel like a stranger some place you are not all that familiar with? I know when I travel to another state, the highways and even how the streets are laid out are different from the ones around home, so I feel a little like a duck out of water. When I must drive those roadways, I rely a lot on my co-pilot and navigator - my BFF. She tells me to turn, merge, and where to get off (in a nice way!). We have missed exits, gone out of our way, and even been lost a few times, but we eventually get situated again. She is generous with me - giving me a little grief for missing the turn-off, but then nudging me with a little giggle that tells me it will be okay - she will help me find my way back onto the right course. I am so grateful I have someone in my life to help nudge me back on course when I get a little wayward, but I am most grateful for God's continual direction and oversight in my life. Not for one minute does he take his eyes off my course - and not one minute does he fail to keep me safe!

Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road. Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders. I’m a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions. My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!— insatiable for your nourishing commands. And those who think they know so much, ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it! Don’t let them mock and humiliate me; I’ve been careful to do just what you said. While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me, I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel. Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight; I listen to them as to good neighbors! Psalm 119:18 MSG

While I'd like to say I have never taken my eyes off the road I am traveling with him, it would be unfair of me to say something so far from the truth. The times I have taken wrong turns are innumerable, and the times he has had to 're-navigate' my path so I'd get back on course with him have been numerous. Thank goodness his love never gives up and never runs out! I am one 'needy' gal when it comes to grace, but he is one faithful grace-extender! When we recognize we need a navigator to keep us on course, that is the moment we begin to listen a little closer to the directions given and we pay a little more attention to those instructions. We are 'on alert' because we don't want to take another wrong turn!

Being on alert is not a totally bad thing - but we all know it can be a little exhausting at times. The more we have to 'pay attention', the more we find ourselves 'using up' energy reserves we have stored up by 'intake' at some point in the past. We need renewal of those energy reserves - time alone with God to renew and regenerate. We need time in his Word. We also need the submission of our will to just rest once in a while when we think we should be 'doing', 'doing', 'doing'. The rest we take actually allows us to re-center. Yesterday, I was faced with a challenge in some data that was not doing what it was supposed to do when I put it into the report format I wanted it to be in. You know what helped me? A bit of lunch with my BFF, a few laughs, and a short walk to re-energize my body!

The times we think we have it all under control are probably the times we most need to relinquish control! The moment I stepped away from the problem at hand, there was a 'clearing of the mind' that occurred. This is sometimes the very thing we need to be open to see the problem from a different vantage point. To see things differently, we often need to stop seeing them as we have always seen them! The simple fix to the problem at hand was really not all that hard once I could re-focus on what was causing the problem. The course we take sometimes isn't all that complex - it just requires us to be opened up to see it from the perspective God has of that course!

When we choose to listen, believe, and really begin to take action in a different direction, the solutions to whatever has been problematic in our lives can often be 'fixed' quite quickly. As with my BFF's urging to take the next exit, make a u-turn and re-enter the highway to return to the exit I missed previously is quite clear. The choice to act upon that voice is another matter. I can just stubbornly go on in the wrong direction, or I can merge over, take the next exit and find the new course she is setting out. Life is full of choices - maybe the hardest is just to listen and rest in the answers we are receiving. Just sayin!