So it has been a couple of days into my fast from social media, and just as I expected, God is using a highlighter, bold print and italics everywhere to make a statement to me.
Clarity is the nature of fasting. If you have never before fasted, I challenge you to consider it. There is nothing like removing the things we rely upon and exchanging those experiences for reliance on the Lord to gain perspective–insight even–into what has been turning our wheels.
Thematic in purpose, the statements I am hearing at a heart-level from God all amount to the same point. For all the striving I have done in the past couple of years through various venues, the outcome is the same…it falls short of God’s best for me and my family. It is not His heart for me.
They are all lots of GOOD things, sure. But in effect, they are just MORE things that amount to NOTHING–nothing that will last.
Down the road, they are like tumbleweeds blowing across the field. Perhaps someone will spray paint it white for a snowman centerpiece on their dining room table. But they will never grasp what its original intent was in my hands nor will it carry on the same story. Not to say that it wasn’t good or beneficial. It was! But in the long run, it was ineffective and a distraction for me from my main purpose.
And what is my main purpose?? Ah now, that is a very good question–the BEST question even! It is a question we all should ask ourselves…and take the time to listen for the answer. My main purpose is to be soft clay in God’s hands, ready to obey Him and willing to let Him shape and mold me for the path on which He has placed me.
The path is the one God has wrought–which I can choose or not choose at any time.
With whom and for whom?
Well first, I am His daughter. He knows me–through and through. He loves me. He is closer than my breath–no need for long distance. He thinks about me all the time. He is constantly setting me up for success–not in the world’s eyes, no–but for the plans He has for me. He makes a way in my desert. He listens for my voice. He loves to hear from me…and I talk with Him all the time. We are close, like that.
Then I am wife and best friend to my Chris. He loves me and makes me better than I am. He causes me to laugh–all the time. I only ever want to dream with him about our future. We are and have always (since we have known one another) been together in this journey with God, living before God. In tandem, we cycle through this race for the goal. We raise the bar for one another. We share words with our eyes all the time. And we laugh at the same things, which no one else would get. We love each other deeply–in good times and in bad. We are close, like that.
Then I am mother to four, wonderfully-made and diverse children. My main focus during these growing years for them is to keep my hand on the pulse of their hearts and to continually spur them on toward following God’s path for them. My Chris and I shape their hearts and hone their minds, so that they walk in the light of God’s best for them. They will walk, as we do–so my job, too, is to keep honest before God and ask for His help in walking out some very difficult and also diverse trails. I share with them unconditional love. I spend myself to teach them to love and serve by how I love and serve them. And I listen to them. I make time to be available to hear their hearts.
Everything and everyone that comes beyond these three points MUST align with the first three…must PROMOTE the first three. With intention and purpose, I have choices to make about what makes up the rest. I cannot assume here that I have no choice. I DO have a choice. I cannot control the circumstances, no. But I can control how and where I build–how and where I focus–how and where I steward every part of myself.
Because lots of good things are going on–opportunities have presented themselves, motives have come to light and goals, which may or may not support my main priority–I must choose among them. So I have to ask myself, are these just MORE things or are they purposed for promoting my main agenda (those first three points)?
Along the same lines, I do believe we are to walk with God and do the next thing He brings. The hardest part is determining if THIS is the next thing He has for me OR is this a distraction, which will diffuse my passion for the main things. How do we know? Well, trial and error is not the best method here. What I believe IS the best method can be found in James 1:5-8. Ask God believingly for wisdom…
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Because rather than tumbleweeds, I want to forge some deep roots into the soil, which will develop a strong family tree that continually retrieves nutrients and bears not only MUCH fruit, but GOOD fruit–the lasting kind that will not blow away and be repurposed.
That, my friends, is enough to keep me looking, walking and thriving — for it really does matter what I do and how I think and what I will be (not leaving those I love and care for in the hands of Que Sera Sera–what will be will be). It matters for all eternity.