We live in a country where opportunity and dreams are possible. Our senses are inundated with excess. While we may not have everything that we want, we have more than someone. And, if we are honest, we are rich in comparison to some of the beautiful souls that live in Third World countries. I think that we have been blinded by the span of our reach that we often times forget when we didn’t know what was possible…times when a gift from a friend meant everything, a call from someone for no other reason than to pray with you mattered, and a need being met was a miracle.
I don’t know, but I’ve been looking at my life through a microscope and what I’ve seen at times is offensive. Under the microscope you don’t just the see a hand, but you can see the pores, blemishes and hair follicles. You get the picture. It allows you see what the naked eye wouldn’t notice or categorize as simply a whole when there are in fact many moving parts. Yep, it’s been that kind of year for me already.
I’ve had to ask myself some hard questions this year. Have I become blind-sighted by my quest to obtain more? Do I feel like something is owed to me? Am I so focused on my future, that I don’t place value on the present? In my attempt to invest in myself, have I ignored the health of the relationships around me? (Balance is key). Am I holding myself to a standard that is self-imposed, people-imposed or God inspired? Have I secretly coveted another person’s call? Am I listening to the trusted voices around me? Am I listening to God? So many questions. These questions began to reveal some of the moving parts in my heart that if not dealt with would lead me far away from what I want and really need.
Here are a few things that have helped me to find clarity in a very confusing time.
- Reflection is good thing. Whenever I feel this kind of internal tugging, I know that it’s time to pull back for a moment to reflect. My reflection provokes gratitude for the grace of God that has carried me and the people around me that refused to leave their post in my life. It’s an immediate grounder for me. Sometimes, it’s just good to remember the time when you didn’t know what you know right now. I can recall with all of my senses when I had to file for bankruptcy while serving in full-time ministry. I remember the disappointment I felt. I was disappointed in myself because I had worked so hard to get to this place in my life and felt like perhaps stepping into full-time ministry was a horrible decision….so I was disappointed in God because I worked for Him. I also remember, how the Lord gave me a plan and a promise and I see it unfolding right now.
- Prayer + People = Wisdom Prayer is a direct channel to heaven. When in doubt start to pray. I coupled prayer with people because sometimes when you are “under the microscope” you need someone else to tell you what they see and sense. Doing life alone is always a bad idea. I gain so much wisdom and clarity when I start to share with Maceo what’s been brewing on my heart. He’s not attached to my thoughts and feelings the way that I am, so when I began to share he can give wisdom without any emotion. He is such a gift to me.
- Embrace now. So many messages around this time of year are colored with good intentions. They speak to reaching, dreaming, believing and achieving. All of this is good and necessary in some ways to help us focus and move toward the target, but here’s a reality… everyone will NOT buy a new house this year, some people will work to pay off debt. Everyone will not open a business this year, some people will go back to school to earn their MBA. It’s important to embrace where you are now with great intention and passion for where you’re going. Our hearts can only process so much; make sure that you don’t cause your heart to suffer a trauma because you’re hoping for something out of season.
Remember that life doesn’t always happen in a straight line, but it’s important to trust God to connect the dots for you. He knows the picture that he intended for your life to create. He saw the finished masterpiece.
Be truly grateful for the ground you’ve gained and the growth that you’ve experienced over the years. Thank God for everything, because life for all of us could be very different. And, if you’re under the microscope allow God to reveal to you what’s really there so that you can deal with the moving parts and live forward.
Photo Credit: faizscientific.com