But I don’t Wanna!

obstacle

Ever face an obstacle in life that you just didn’t want to go through?   Where you felt absolutely paralyzed to move in any direction, let alone forward?    I had one of those days this week.    So what did I do to escape?   I hoped on a bike at the gym and just rode miles.   And miles… and miles (kind of like Forrest Gump!)  There was a time when biking wouldn’t necessarily have been my first choice…. And there are still many of  things that I do to escape…  like just crawling into myself and just playing the piano, or working on some sort of Craigs’ List project – or something that I don’t have to put actual thought into, but can do relatively mindlessly while I wallow in self-pity.   It is good to have ways to escape.   But the reality is that sometimes we JUST HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD.    As much as we’d like to just sit down and pretend the world around us is not happening.     But how do we do that?

What do I do when I really just don’t want to face it?

When I left for the gym that day after a whirlwind sort of morning dropped some things in my lap that I honestly just didn’t want to face, I had an overwhelming sense that I just needed to hear the voice of God.  It was a craving for His voice to comfort me and tell me everything was going to be ok.    I can remember when I was a young teenager, home on summer break.  My mom, who worked at Carnegie Mellon University, set the expectation that we were to call her every morning when we woke up (because, of course, she left before I woke up).   I remember that the sound of hearing her voice answer the phone was comforting.   Years later, after I was married, I recall feeling that sense of comfort when I called mom and just heard her voice.  Somehow on that morning, I craved the comfort that only my Heavenly father could give.      I have a Bible app on my phone that I use regularly to read scripture… but I just wanted to HEAR scripture today.    I’m not sure why I hadn’t done this before, but I downloaded the BIBLE onto Audible (an app I have for listening to books that I’ve been experimenting with for several months now).    I really wanted to listen to Psalms, but the app downloaded the Bible in many “parts” (not by book or chapter), so I couldn’t necessarily tell which “part” was psalm, and they were still in process of downloading all 83 hours and 13 minutes of the complete New International Version of the Audio Bible.  So Joshua 19 it was.   The good news is that the narrator has an English accent, so it’s kind of cool hearing him read scripture.  J   Somehow I think God orchestrates far more in our lives than we ever realize, and I believe this event was no exception.  Although the specific text of Joshua I was hearing was actually pretty dry (it was on the division of the land to the Israelites), my mind began to wander to the verse in Jeremiah (29:11) that is my life-verse.  This is a verse that I heard explicitly in my early 20’s from Pastor Chris Livermore (who is still a very close friend of our family).  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future”   It goes on to say, “then you will call on me and come to pray to me, and I will listen to you”.  It was a reassurance to me that, even though I may face obstacles I don’t necessary want to, God has an ultimate plan for my life.

That evening, I dug out a few verses that I thought were appropriate for when we are facing unpleasant things. As I thought about it, and started searching for scripture that might give me an answer, I realized this was exactly what Jesus felt like when preparing to go to the cross.  In the garden of Gethsemane, when He said (Luke 22:42-44, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. An angel from Heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground”.  I bolded a sentence above – one that I had never even noticed before today.    Even Jesus needed support – and the angel was there to strengthen him.    And the angel was right there to support Him!  The interesting this about this passage is that Jesus felt exactly like I did today – He had to face something he really didn’t want to have to do – and He even asked God to take it on so that He didn’t have to do it.  We all know how that ended, right?  He DID have to go through that which he didn’t want to…    and so do we sometimes.

Our mountains are different – it could be a physical mountain; or an emotional mountain; an educational mountain like a test or something; but we all have them.  I relish in the fact that I know I have a God that has a plan for my life – and know that He will strengthen me just when I need it.   I am so thankful for the encouragement that you all have given to me along my journey – and I pray that I can be encouragement back to you to keep going when you don’t feel like it.
mountainveiw
If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.

You can climb it and cross to the other side.

You can go around it.

You can dig under it.

You can fly over it.

You can blow it up.

You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.

You can turn around and go back the way you came.

Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Blessings,

SB

If you’ve ordered my book, Masquerade, thank you so much!  If you haven’t yet, you can order it HERE!

 

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life – All Rights Reserved.

 

What ultimately matters?

A missionary’s journey…  all about perspective – a few years ago at our church, we had an amazing opportunity to hear from missionaries about what they are doing in their respective corners of the earth.  On Wednesday, a missionary from the country of Georgia spoke.  He and his wife moved to Georgia in 2011 with a, then, 2 year old and 1 year old… to a country sandwiched in the middle east between countries experiencing tremendous turmoil right now.  How much faith does THAT take???    It really makes any obstacle that I am facing seem rather small and insignificant.  He gave us two challenges.    The first can be found in Ephesians 6:19, “pray for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel”.     And the second was this:   “Live your life for what ULTIMATELY matters”.

So the big question is…  What ultimately matters?  Does it matter if our company meets its fiscal goals?  Does it matter if we hit a “delivery” target or a “quality target”?  Does it matter if we’ve provided the best quality product at the best possible price to the best possible customer?   Does it really matter if I ever meet my fitness goal?  Does it matter if I excel in math, or gym?  Does it matter if I have a lot of friends?  a lot of money?  I’m not saying those things don’t matter… but we do those things in vain if we aren’t living a life that ULTIMATELY matters.     What ultimately matters is that we can have an impact on PEOPLE.   That we can show how Christ can love and support us… even when we feel like those around us don’t.

As I reflected those questions this week, I talked with a few of you and decided on a couple of things.  First, it DOES matter that we do a good job in our daily lives – for many reasons.   I believe that it shows people we are willing to work hard.  Second, I believe that we develop skills in doing the things we do every day – not just the skills of doing that thing (whatever it is), but skills of relating to people, building relationships, inspiring others to do their best.  The older I get, the more I realize that it is the relationships we build that make a difference in peoples’ lives.  Through those relationships, we can have a positive impact on people.  Through the positive impact we have on people, we can make a difference in their lives, and they can go on to make a positive difference in other people’s lives… and so on.. and so on…

These are things that ultimately matter.

Blessings,

SB

 

PS.  for those of you who have order my book, Masquerade, I thank you!  If you would, lease leave a review of the book.    IF you haven’t yet gotten a copy, you can order a copy HERE!

 

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life – All rights reserved.