Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some questions of my own...

When you are single it is so much easier to say: “Lord, have your way in me!” When it is just you, you don’t have to explain to anyone else, and not many other lives are touched in too much detail, so if you’re just following your heart in obedience, not really having a clue what you’re doing, it’s ok, as long as it’s ok with you.

When the going gets tough, it is your tough. You get to stand on the convictions of your own heart for your own life. And if someone gives you too much grief about the situation, then you just remind them how it isn’t really that much of their business (or their problem) and you can run to God reminding Him of what He said or promised to do based on what you believe He spoke to your heart. It is very much between you and the Lord.

But how does this change when people enter into a more intimate space of your life...? When that which God does in your heart starts affecting them in ways that they don’t like, and don’t understand. They might look to you for explanations or answers; ones that you don’t even have for yourself, let alone for them. It can start creating all kinds of pressure on the relationships. Now it is not just about you anymore.

Just how do you handle a situation like this?

You believe that time will tell – God will reveal His plan – but you have no clue when. All you have to go on is that He is never too early and never too late.

Ok, so now that we have the timing factor out of the way (yeah right!), we just need to figure out the “why”, right? Unfortunately for us, this is often something that is only revealed to us in hindsight. It is not an easy journey to travel...

I guess in the end the only way is to surrender the situation to Him; “raise your hands and step away from the vehicle...” After all, He is the only One who knows the details of how it is going to work out. It is just not always that easy when it is about releasing something to Him that you value that much.

I know that He is a good and loving God, and yet I found myself not wanting to give Him my ‘prize possession’. What if He takes it away from me? What if He chooses to work it out differently to what I desire? I know that He knows best and that His plans are always good and that He wants me to be happy and fulfilled, but sometimes it is hard to accept if His plans are different to ours.

Sometimes we hold on so tightly that we struggle to allow ourselves to believe that His plan might be a better one. And yet we won’t know unless we trust Him enough to show us, by allowing Him to work everything out for good.

In many ways it is indeed easier to be alone. Give me “alone”. I’m good at “alone”; well qualified, with years of experience. However, “alone” is not very fulfilling...

I still desire to share my life with someone instead...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bike ride with God (someone sent me on Skype - author unknown)

When I first met Christ It seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. I don't know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable... It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places, at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal". I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I'd say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed. Gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy. He said, "Give the gifts away; They're extra baggage, too much weight."

So I did. I gave them to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it; but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore, He just smiles and says... "Pedal."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Whatever you do... DON'T LET GO, LAZARUS!

I went for a job interview yesterday – quite the experience. I was telling about my having had some time to step back from the rat race; how it gave me an opportunity for introspection and re-evaluating where I’m at in my life, and also as a person.

After this time of being aside for a while I find myself excited about getting involved with something new. I’m looking forward to trying different things and exploring new dimensions of myself, my abilities and my future. I’m ready for a new beginning.

Someone in the interview nailed it: LASARUS

I did not even consider this until that moment, but this is truly a new time of awakening in my life. What an amazing way of looking at it!

New beginnings aren’t always rising from the dead per se, but even just getting up from a horrific dragging in the mud. New beginnings are exciting. Thank God for new beginnings. Where would I be without it?

How many times have you begun again? What did you learn about yourself through the experience of falling down, as well as rising up again? Each of these has their own lessons to teach.

Falling down is hard – no, let me rephrase: Falling down is easy. It is being down and getting up again that is challenging; That moment when you realize that you’re lying naked in the valley below, the mountain top seeming an unattainable figment of your imagination. Failure is not easy to deal with, but it is the stronger one who rises up, dusts off and begins again.

I often have the imagery in my mind of the man pushing the plow in the field behind the oxen. The Bible says that once you’ve put your hand to the plough you should not turn back. Come to think of it, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back. Looking back… turning back… doesn’t sound like a good idea to me… God does not strike me as a God of the past… except when He wants to remind us of all the goodness that He’s shown to us over time and how He’s faithfully proven His love time and again. We need to be reminded from time to time, especially when you’re lying face down in the mud.

Let’s get back to the plow, shall we? In life we’re daily plowing fields; the plow behind the oxen. Sometimes it happens that we stumble and fall down. Here’s my take on this:

Whatever you do, DON’T LET GO!!

I just imagine dragging behind the plow; the oxen has not stopped – just like life doesn’t stop when we face difficulty. The question, however, is what you’re doing; the one dragging behind, face in the mud?

It usually is not a pretty sight; frankly, I think it stinks! Do you let go? Oh HEAVENS NO! If you do, you undeniably stay behind; you’re dead; another one bites the dust. Later, when things change, you are not there for it. You’re lying face down, covered in dirt, way back where… BUT if you hold on,…

Boy, if you hold on even while dragging face down in the mud, barely able to breath, BUT YOU’RE HOLDING ON…. Then it doesn’t matter what you look like (or smell like) - - - you’re undeniably MOVING FORWARD!!!! You may look the same than the guy who is lying way back where in the mud, but you are NOT the same. You’ve traveled the distance!

Then, when you manage to fight your way back up on your feet, slowly but surely cleaning the mud from your eyes and nostrils, you realize that the scenery has changed – you start seeing the light and smelling the roses again - and you’re relieved that you held on for dear life; mud and all.

Once you’ve tapped into that place of “I CAN”, getting back up is a great place to be; rising up from the dead; LASARUS

The only reason why you should be looking back is to see how far you’ve come, and to revel in the awesome grace of new beginnings.

When you’re dusting off and cleaning out your pockets, keep in your little backpack: the gems you’ve gained in relationships, the pearls of wisdom that you’ve learnt and the diamonds of experiences that you’ve held against the light and found worthy of taking on the journey with you.

Throw out the rocks and dirt of guilt, regret, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. that only weighs you down, stealing your joy and peace and tripping you up.

Travel lighter and be sure to hold on to what really matters.