Today was a mixture of many, many feelings for my husband and myself. As you know, last night was my last shift at my night job I have had for ten years. We found ourselves talking a lot today about how thankful we are that I will now be home at night with the family and we will have more together time. We talked about how the job I had was also a blessing and a gift that served a wonderful purpose too, but that time is over now and we are looking forward to what God has planned.
We also pondered the many lessons we continue to learn as to stepping out in faith, while also remaining wise and trying to find the balance God would have for us in life.
Where is that, friends? The secret to being faithful yet being wise and practical too? Do the two things co-exist? Anyone? Anyone?
Sometimes I think it doesn’t exist. And I am pretty much feeling okay about that for the first time in my life. Honestly, I don’t really think Jesus and the disciples practiced “balance” all that much in how they approached life. However, I need to study that more, because I could be wrong about that. I am interested to get into that in the Word.
A part of me kind of doesn’t really want to embrace the idea of balance anymore anyway. At least, not the kind that I have always sought after until these last couple of years. It has always been pretty elusive anyway – kind of like the definition of insanity: Trying for something over and over again, to only end up achieving (or not) the same result. I’m ready to throw that to the wind unless the Lord changes my mind. It’s too much work to strive for “balance”.
More importantly, it’s not the kind of “work” that yields a whole lot of fruit, is it? At least, not the way I was going about it all.
So I found myself feeling a bit strange again today. Strange is becoming more the norm for me now. Discomfort? Not always. Just….strange. Different.
- Unusual or surprising in a way that can be unsettling or difficult to understand
- Not previously visited, seen, or encountered
- Unfamiliar or unseen; alien
- Peculiar, outlandish, odd, foreign, unfamiliar
See, today I feel like the plug has been pulled out from under me. That brings a lot of relief, yet it’s odd. I am used to operating under pressure, and thriving upon using that momentum to continue to propel forward. At the same time, I have realized for quite some time that the Lord would have us be still at times, right? (VERY, very difficult for me, which is probably why He is bringing it into my life)
Discerning when to push and when to stall is always a struggle for me. It’s strange. It’s foreign. But I am certainly not alone.
So we are embracing all that the Lord has in store. He will set the timing for everything, not us. And although that can feel weird, it’s also very, very good. Sigh. (Good things can make you sigh and smile all at the same time, haven’t you noticed that?)
Another aspect to all of this that is a “weird-ness” of its own, is that I have a TON to do! So the fact I feel like the plug has been pulled is kind of ironic. It’s not like I am just going to be sitting around with a whole bunch of time on my hands. I have college plans to lay out for my daughter, financial aid to tackle, mission trips to prepare for for the kids, fundraising to learn about and get done for that, monthly budgeting to do and revamp, about a million, billion, trillion errands to run, house organizing and cleaning to do, tax appointment to make and prepare for, insurance decisions to research and make, blog administration to take care of, church volunteering, bill paying, household duties, and the list goes on and on and on….Then, I need to make sure to share all my findings with my husband so we can make decisons together. AND, there’s lots of stuff that involves deadlines. You can’t be organized enough to pull these things off without some divine help, yo. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about right now.
Did I mention that time with God and time spent loving family and people is going to come first?
So, what’s up with that feeling? I just don’t really get it yet. And maybe I am not supposed to fully get it anyway. Isn’t that what it means not to “lean upon our own understanding?”
I have always been someone that has felt the desire to work hard and maximize the use of my time. Although at times that has been something that became a false idol of sorts, many times, it has been something I can use to be a light to others. So, I trust that. I trust that the Lord would have me use that as a gift He has given to me. I just have to use it when and where He leads me to. And I have to continually seek Him about that and make sure to check my heart with Him all the time about it. Just like with everything else in life.
So even though I have as much or more work to do right now than I have ever had, I still feel like I was running on a treadmill and the electricity just went out. My equilibrium is off, friends. And my husband, the wise man that he is, said “give yourself some time to adjust.”
Things that make you go Hmmmmm.
Is it possible the Lord is blessing me right now by giving us the time needed for me to complete some major projects we need to have done? I need to tackle so many things, and having a week or two to do so is such a relief! So, why do I still feel so weird? I’m definitely grateful….there is no question about it!
Right now at least, I think what the Lord may be trying to tell me is that I need to look up and try to view things a little differently in regard to this weird-ness I am experiencing currently. See, I will still be running, but in a much better way now. I love running and the Lord knows it. In fact, I think He gave it to me as a gift, I really do. I am just going to be running a little bit differently than I am used to now.
I think it’s going to be something more like this……..
See, there’s no plug involved here, friends. There is fresh air, way more color to gaze upon, and a lot of beauty to soak in and enjoy along the way. There appears to be little surprises that spring up around each and every corner, and I may even encounter other runners there who have been doing this far longer than I have and can share stories with me about how much better it is to run here – in God’s country, versus on a treadmill dependent on the electricity of the world to power it.
I have good running shoes…..they can handle this change in pace and surface, for sure. They are grounded in the Word of the Lord….I stand on a strong foundation. So does my wonderful husband. So does my beautiful family. So do my fellow believers in Christ, particularly at our church.
We are not alone. The Lord is our rock. He is our solid ground. He doesn’t need to be powered by a man-made cord and electrical outlet. He is reliable. He is strong. He is joy, peace, and wisdom. He is everything the world is not. And most of all, He is love.
We have the privilege of always knowing exactly where we are ultimately headed, isn’t that wonderful? We get to gaze upon so very many things along the way and find God in those surprises, but the ultimate destination never changes. I LOVE that the Lord has given us that gift too!
My equilibrium may be a little off right now, but who says that doesn’t lend to an eventual new sense and understanding of balance? The kind of “balance” the Lord actually really always intended. The way I envision that, is that in some things, friends, we aren’t to take a “balanced” approach at all. We are to go after it with all that we have. For example, loving like God loves entails risk. There is not a lot of balance to be found in risk. Making Jesus the center of your life doesn’t often lend to balance either. Not at least the way the world has portrayed balance to be. And in other things, I think He gives us the freedom and flexibility to make judgement calls – toss that out because this other thing is more important (usually some stupid task can be tossed if a person who needs love comes along, for example).
Kind of fitting, then, to feel like the plug has been pulled – like the needle on the record has been ripped away suddenly – screech! It jars you – jars you right out of that mundane little “balance” you thought you were living out all the time that you were running and running and running. Strange how those two things went together, hand-in-hand as well.
The plug on the treadmill? It’s been pulled. But my husband, my family, and myself? We are more plugged in than we have ever been before.
We are right where God wants us to be – and it’s weird, and glorious all at the same time. We feel clear, even when we get dizzy sometimes. We can see even though we don’t necessarily know what is around each and every corner. And the only one who is pulling any strings at this point is the One who knows what’s best for us.
I’m trusting in Him today. I pray to do so every day. And instead of fighting the fact that I feel off balance, I have decided, like so many other things in life lately, just to go with it.
I think maybe it’s time to start body surfing along with running too.
Running without electricity, and going with the waves.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV