Trust

What’s wrong with my world?

We’ve just barely made it through the first month of the year, and for some of us the year might not be out to such a great start. Resolutions have been broken. Cheated on. Worked around. Forgotten. You name it and it’s probably not being done anymore by January 31.

Well I have a little confession to make – I didn’t make resolutions this year.

In fact, I’ve had a pretty tough time setting goals of any kind. There’s always the generalities of get healthy,  save money, or own less, but I’ve had a mental block as it were as to the specific direction in which I should lead my life.

So I’ve been reading a book called “What’s Wrong With the World?” by early 20th century journalist and philosopher GK Chesterton, and in it he argues that what people truly want, more than what others can give them is the ideal. Instead of a tenement, a house with a garden. Instead of work in a factory, independent work on a family farm. Instead of a having a master, a man wants to be his own master. And there was one such passage when he states that the man may not expect the ideal, but he still desires it.

I’ve long struggled with this concept of the ideal. What’s the point of going on and on about it fi nobody’s going t to get it. If it’s just a pipe dream, what’s the point?

But what I realized, what struck me tonight as I was scrubbing a stubborn stain from my favorite casserole dish is this – we need the ideal because it is our north star. It is the little way in which we must go.

What is one ideal that you have resisted letting go of, even though it feels like it’s never gonna happen?

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blue bird

Musical Mondays: “Little Bird” – Misty Edwards

I have a tendency to worry – a lot.

Last week I had a little epiphany. It was this simple little nugget of truth:

WORRY is the opposite of TRUST.

Do I really trust that God is in control, and that if I take care of His business, He’ll take care of mine?

This passage is recorded twice in the New Testament:

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt. 6:26,33

[Read the whole passage]

I hope I’m getting there. Until then, it’s little songs like this that remind me that “His eye is on the sparrow.”
 

LYRICS: “Little Bird”
Little girl, little girl with the big round eyes
Little bird, little bird, one day you’ll fly
A breathtaking flight of life you’ll fly
Then little bird, little bird, you will die

Because life, life is a vapor
But the brevity is what makes it a treasure
So feel it all like a love letter
To the One you will live with forever
His eye is on the sparrow
His eye is on you

What then, what then when it’s all over?
Little bones, little bones the dust will cover
Little spirit, little spirit you’ll live on
With the soul of the bird that goes on and on
Then little bones, little bones
You will rise and little girl, little girl
You will fly
Fly

 

Photo Credit: Virginia State Parks, Creative Commons

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/woman-hiking-in-the-rain-forest-high-res-stock-photography/540272877

Be Still: How I’m learning to hear His voice

I recently went on a retreat to a little island in the Florida Keys. My time there has had a profound effect on me, and in these next few weeks, I’d like to share a bit of what I’ve started putting in to practice as a result of my time there. 

I’ve just watched the sun kiss the edge of the sea and disappear beneath the horizon. I hear the waves crashing and bubbling agains the shore. I hear the wind brushing through the palm fronds and mangrove branches. I hear the soft chirp of crickets and the soft coo of pigeons far above me.

In this silence, that’s well, not really a external silence, but really an internal one, I feel that I can listen more clearly. Listen to hear what the Lord is saying to me.

In the Psalm 46 , the Lord tells us to be still and know that He is God. The psalmist also tells us:

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride”

There’s nothing quite like beholding the vastness, the beauty and the power of God’s creation. This is completely shifting my perspective. The majesty and awesome power of God is so palpable at this moment.

And it’s in that majesty and power, in the lush waves and the brushing leaves that I feel these words so clearly, so sweetly. “I love you.”

Even though in this moment I feel so tiny compared to the sea and the sky stretching to what seems like infinity – God. Loves. Me.

And what does He ask of me today?

To seek Him with my whole heart.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope… You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.”   Jeremiah 29:11, 13-14a

 

The good news for those of us on the daily grind is that we don’t have to find ourselves on an island to find time for stillness. One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote a very practical guide which can help each of us find time and space for stillness every day. 

 

One is the loneliest number

Being a lone wolf is hard. It’s glamourized so much in films. The lone hero comes into town, saves the day and whisks the fair maiden off into the sunset. So many times I think I have to solve problems by myself. Like it’s my responsibility to somehow have all of the answers for the challenges and the obstacles I face in my daily life. Then I get frustrated and revert deeper in to my shell, hoping no one will notice I tried and failed.

But what has taken me the better part of five years to figure out is that I don’t have to go it alone. I don’t have to have all of the answers. I don’t have to solve every problem that comes across my path.

For the last 10 years I’ve been a part of a worship band. We became a true family and would not just play together, but also had a weekly bible study night and hung out every weekend. It was a really close-knit group, and I relished being a part of it. And as all things in life, things changed. They changed for the better, but they changed, nonetheless.

And soon my little tribe moved on, and I was left standing there wondering where I fit in. One moved away to pursue her dreams. Several got married, had children, and have focused, rightly so, on raising their children. And it took me awhile to realize that I couldn’t go it alone. I needed a tribe; I needed a community to balance out my introverted self.

So last Spring, when I heard about a retreat for young adults in the Florida Keys, I decided to go.

After researching the location, a Boy Scout camp, I was a little worried about how much we’d have to rough it. (Little did I know there would be a shower house with pull chain and all, but that’s another blog post entirely!)

By the end of the retreat, I had so much fun! I’d met so many amazing people that I wondered what on earth had been keeping me from doing this sooner?

Then I realized. It was me.

It was my fear of trying new things, of meeting new people, of trusting that God was truly guiding my path.

So what did I do?

I continued to resist His leading for a while, thinking my own plans were better. Then He reminded me again that maybe this really was my tribe after all. (More on that next week!)

“The mind of a man plans his ways, but the LORD directs his steps.” Psalm 16:9

 

Photo Credit: Ayank, Creative Commons