Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Movement for 2012

Have you ever been in a public washroom stall, and an invisible hand flushed your toilet before you were... umm...err... done?  Yeow!  Can there be any more annoying and startling experience than this?  Just when you're in the middle of *something*, "FLUSSSHHH!" and you're prompted to remove yourself from the bathroom stall entirely.  You gotta love those modern motion-sensor-activated flushing toilets.

Sometimes life is like that.  You are wallowing in your situation, taking your precious time as you deal with your crap (pardon my language, but it clearly demonstrates my point).  Suddenly, the rug is pulled from under you and you are forced to move on!  I think sometimes God is prompting us to move away from our little piles of hurts and sorrows.  He nudges us away, or sometimes even finds a way to give us a swift kick that is lovingly meant to prod us to better living.

It would be something if the Bible said: "Even though I wallow through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me" but it doesn't.  It clearly indicates movement... walking through the dark places, with God at your right hand (and sometimes even carrying you through it all!).

I am feeling an unction, if you will, to encourage my readers (and remind myself) of God's desire for forward movement.  I understand grief.  There are times (and have been times in my own life) where the sadness weighed so heavily on me that I could barely get dressed and feed myself.  But even grief is a process, something to move on through.  I'm not specifically pointing my finger at these sorts of trials, rather I want to shine a spotlight on the lingering doubts, issues of self-pity and other on-going baggage that weigh you down in what should be a progressive, forward-moving life.

There comes a time when enough is enough.  A time where you need to call it what it is - or as my friend and fellow minister likes to say "Put on your big-girl panties!" (If you are male and reading this... well, put on your big-boy pants!) 

Let's make 2012 a year where we don't cling to our former habits, destructive thought patterns and debilitating ways of thinking.  I think many of us can identify the sludge in our lives which cause us to settle in one place, and sink down in the muck and trials of this life. 

I know it's all fine and dandy for me to simply say: "Stop it!" but it's another thing altogether to actually accomplish what I've been talking about.  This month at my church, I am participating in what we call "Spiritual Growth Month", which for me has meant getting up early every weekday morning and spending time in prayer and quiet meditation.  I found that the first couple of days, I felt quite frustrated, and brought my list of all my atrocious behaviors that I can't change before God in prayer.  And the more I thought about the things that I don't do and should do or the things that I do and wish I wouldn't, the more depressed I felt. 

As I humbled myself before God and made a commitment to wait on Him,  He answered me. 
"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)
What I felt fairly strongly, was not that He was asking me to shape up to my detailed list of all the things that I should be and do, or that I should hurry up and ignore the pains and sorrows in my life, but that He wanted me to have a focus on spending time with Him.  All my problems will be resolved in the presence of the Lord, as I bask in His glory and experience His love.  You see, it is never about all that we can do for Him, but rather about what He wants to do in us and through us.  The more I know Him, the more I will be able to act like Him.  But I can't set up for myself a set of rules and regulations... I need to really know Him and spend time with Him.

Well, now I've really gone off topic, but I believe this all ties in to the idea of letting go of the junk in our lives.  The best place to bring your worries and problems and pain is to the feet of Jesus.  WALK with Him through the valley, and move forward into what He's promised.  Life... abundant and full of His grace.

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