Life is a journey. Make sure you’re listening to the right voices. Get godly counsel. Don’t only consider your own opinion, because the way of a fool is right in his own eyes. That means if you are doing something colossally foolish, it may seem perfectly logical to you. Even if you’ve invested a lot in the direction you’re going, progress might mean turning around. And if you get stuck, make sure you call someone reliable for help.
This is a good article from Thom Rainer. I hate it when personal preferences start to make Sunday School Teachers, Youth Leaders, and even the Pastor question the path God has them on.
In churches, I see pastors, again and again, yield to the pressures and criticisms of the ten percent. I get it. I’ve been there and done that. May I suggest some perspectives on this issue? Perspectives are not solutions, but they can help us persevere when the ten percent get really loud.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you – Matthew 6:33
I have been reading through a devotional book for awhile now; A devotional book that I have quoted numerous times on this blog. I haven’t been happy while reading about grace for what seems like the millionth time. Nothing wrong with reading about grace. I need grace. You need grace. Grace is good. But I feel like I have been going through the motions during my morning quiet time. Bored with the daily:
- Read – Check
- Pray – Check
- Move onto the next thing – YUP!
I often feel like I am not doing enough. As if reading a single daily entry is lacking. Distracting thoughts…
Talked with a good friend this morning. Maybe more like I dumped a load of thoughts on him (thankful for you, Travis). At one point, in my jumble of texts, he offered: Have you asked God for direction with your quiet time?
“No”, I replied.
What a question. So obvious and yet something I haven’t done.
Gotta fix that.
As Matthew 6:33 says, seek the kingdom first, and everything else will fall into place.
What do you do for a personal time with God?
What has God been teaching you?
There comes a point where we are talking past one another. More interested in communicating our points of view versus practicing active listening. Direction, or more so the lack of it, unites us towards the brink of nothing. As a truck stuck in the mud, we are spinning our tires, flapping our collective jaws. We have no power, no authority, no solid foundation. Our relationships are artificial. Welcome to an age lacking any sort of relational depth, welcome to the age of social media.
Facebook, Twitter, both are tools that provide instant connection and communication across the globe. We can use these tools to promote change, voice ideas, and escape our everyday lives. Yet, our online interactions lack the tangible, the real. Body language, fluctuations in tone/voice, growing with one another, all lost in translation. We get to where we think we know others based on how much information we have shared about ourselves. As if time and information mean something. And they do. They equal relationships bobbing on the surface of life.
- Who are you spending time with?
- Are you even leaving the house?
- When was the last time you looked away from your screen and made eye contact with another human?
Surface level relationships will never go beyond the surface. Diving equipment, time invested in person, allows us to get to know one another better. Being purposeful in our pursuit, this is key. We have to make time to have time to spend with others; We have to get over ourselves, move beyond technology.
An invitation to go for a walk, time set aside to enjoy nature and listen. Spending the lunch hour eating with a friend. Time invested. Physical time. We need more of this. We need to do this.
Be purposeful. Love people. Seek those around you who need a friend. We are all lonely. We want those around us to see us as we are. Help others get to know you. In the process, you can get to know them. Live life. Move beyond the surface and into the deeper waters.
Realize that this process takes time and that it won’t be easy. Things that matter in life never are.
We can do this.
Note: I think this is one of the first pieces I ever posted to JBG. Thought I’d share once again. – Bryan
Life is full of in-betweens, periods of time spent waiting, watching, and listening for the events that mark one transition to the next. We spend most of our lives in transit; out of our comfort zones, away from the stability that normalcy provides. I believe God uses these periods of change to remind us that there is a great need for Him.
Not knowing personal direction (job, relationship, etc.) keeps us, as humans, searching for solid ground. We find ourselves desiring black and white answers, all the while demanding that God illuminate our current life path. We are scared of the unknown; we find ourselves in need of our Creator.
In the transitory periods of life, the time spent living out of a backpack, we long for God the most. I know I do. The journey from childhood to adulthood is unmarked by any specific event. The world around might say having sex is the mark of an adult, while others might say voting in an election is. No specifics are given as to what qualifies as a transition, we live life without a hint book.
Perhaps one of the greatest errors society makes is the lack of specific transitory ceremonies. I can only imagine what such a ceremony would entail. A starry night comes to mind as a campfire burns in a forest. Communion with nature somehow mixed with pain. Pain always seems involved with transitions, whether they are physical or mental.
The notion that God is good becomes bedrock while searching because ultimately God is good. Stripped down of unneeded thought or theology, we can find ourselves resting on the firm foundation of God. Now I’ll be honest, God’s foundation is not always easy to find but is indeed there. I am not saying that God’s foundation moves but that there can be trouble areas in our lives that keep us from finding him. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I take comfort in God being good and Lord over all. During the times when you cannot fathom where life is leading, times which grip one in fear, remember the solid foundation that is Jesus Christ. Living out of a backpack isn’t all that bad when one knows that the journey has already been written and has an end. An end no movie sequel can hope to resurrect.