“Don’t talk to me right now. I’m feeling very punchy and I might say something I will regret”. This was how I greeted my husband recently when he arrived home from work. Nice, huh?
Have you ever been in a place where you were constantly waiting or looking for the “next thing”? Maybe you’re travelling along on Hwy “OK” but you are longing to be on what looks like “Better Boulevard”. At least from a distance.
That’s where I got recently. I became so focused on finding the exit ramp that would bridge me over to what I could see in the distance that I lost my peace. I became very frustrated and dissatisfied with my present circumstances (in just a few areas).
I found myself with a stick in the yard whacking on whatever innocent tree was standing nearby. I will admit, it felt good, blowing off steam without giving anyone a tongue lashing. It was dark outside. Most of our neighbors sit off of the road. Except one. And dangit, he was standing in his driveway watching my outburst! He doesn’t know me very well…wonder what he thinks now?
I realized then that I should have never let myself get to that point.
Sweet conviction. God’s grace lovingly swept me back inside where my husband gave me a kiss and told me he was taking me out to get a good piece of red meat!
“Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
This scripture is something I use regularly in my prayer life. I’m good at letting God know what I desire (as if He doesn’t already know). I know from experience that if I am delighting in the Lord-as a lifestyle, a natural reaction to my love for Him-that He places desires in my heart purposely. The more I invest in my relationship with Him, the more I sense Him preparing me for that “next thing” He has coming for me.
Sometimes I think that we can begin to settle our gaze on those desires. We don’t just glance at them, we camp out on those things over on Better Boulevard and start clamoring our way over, barreling down shrubs, looking for a way around those lane guards that are SET UP FOR OUR PROTECTION!!
Just like a distracted driver, if we stay focused on those things way out in the distance, we will eventually run over something, or someone, in our path. We will hit mail boxes, run over nails or even worse, eventually winding up with a virtual concussion and thus forget where we were heading in the first place.
It’s OK to have dreams. To set goals. In fact, it’s healthy. And if we are delighting in the Lord, we can be assured that He probably placed those dreams in our hearts.
But, if we can rely on knowing He put those things there, deep into our soul, we’ve got to trust that WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, He will reveal the exit ramp to us and move us onto the next lane. And I would much rather look back and know that HE put me onto those goals and that it was not of myself.
What are you setting your gaze on? What is it that is distracting you from focusing on the Lord? From focusing on what is right in front of you right now. From focusing on WHO is right in front of you.
**A husband that hasn’t walked into your life just yet
**A pregnancy you’ve longed for
**An adoption opportunity
**A new job or promotion
**That next stage your kids will enter soon
**Getting that baby to sleep through the night
**Your ministry to expand by number…more followers…more likes…more attendees
**A bigger house
**A new car
What is it?
Now, turn your neck from the right or left and look straight ahead. Where are you right now that you can honor God? What has He placed in your hand? Who has he put in your life right now?
“ Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”
I have some dreams for down the road. Big dreams. Financial goals, ministry ideas, trips to be taken…there is more, but for now, my focus needs to be on what is right in front of me. The people in my life right now, not the ones that are coming. The finances I have right now, not the future budget. The little town I’m in, my circles, my friendships and family members right now, not the ones that will cause my heart to expand down the road.
I have some dreams for down the road. Big dreams. But it’s a dangerous thing to get so caught up in what they may look like when they come to fruition. It is a PEACE STEALER when I start trying to figure out how to get out of my current lane over to where I think the “bigger” stuff might be.
It breeds discontent. Turmoil. Dissatisfaction. It makes me punchy.
It minimizes the precious souls that are in my life right now. And I believe it’s offensive to God when I begin to pay less attention to my present and more attention to my future.
This life is fleeting. I feel that fact more and more each day. Let’s get a little perspective here and bring things back into focus. God’s perspective is the proper perspective. When I realized my punchiness was of my own doing, I had some confessing to do. I had some scripture to start rolling over in my head like the verses above.
The dreams we have over there in “Better Boulevard”…if God planted them in us, they aren’t going anywhere. In fact, I believe He’s still putting them together which should motivate us to WAIT so that we get the WHOLE blessing and not just a portion.
Let’s agree to stay focused on where we are right now. To enjoy whatever stages our children are in. To work our hardest at the job we have even if we know it’s temporary. To use our stories to shine a light on Jesus to the one or two or four that He has put in our path for such a time as this.
This is where pleasant peace abides. Right here on the “OK Highway”.
Reflect and Respond:
What is it that you need to re-focus on and pour yourself in to? Who is that precious soul you need to call for coffee this week?
Confess that you have been distracted and get back on track. Thank God for the life that you have. Write your blessings down today so you can see them in black and white.
Praying for pleasant peace for us all,