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Finding your path when it is hidden in the brush confronts all of us at some time or another. It’s a snowy, dreary day in Michigan, and I’m having trouble finding my own path.
The problem that confronts us when finding our path
It’s 10:00 in the morning and I’m already feeling overwhelmed. There is a lot I need to accomplish today.
And that’s with having no children to worry about, an amazing supportive husband, a lovely home, friends ….
And, most important, God, why do I fell this way?
But then reality sets in. A disturbing phone call. Tasks to get completed. Decisions to make about what or who gets the most attention today.
The list keeps growing.
And it doesn’t matter what season we are in. When we are responding to our God-given mission it’s bound to get a little complicated. I don’t recall any scripture that says otherwise.
But what scripture does say, is that if we remained focused, God will provide the way even if some days it’s hard to get around all the detours, physical, mental, and emotional.
And if a lot really is going on, it’s probably somewhat normal to feel that way.
You noticed I said “somewhat”. A little tension is what keeps us on our toes. But there is a fine line, isn’t there, between the feeling of tension and the feeling of being totally overwhelmed? And if there a number of them, it might require some very intensive days of thinking, planning, and preparing, rather than doing.
There is a fine line between a little tension and feeling overwhelmed.
So how do we make sure we don’t cross that fine-line?
First, turn it over to God.
If you already know your plans are his plans, then ask him to part the seas for you. Ask him to help you navigate the circular path that seems to take you right back to where you started.
A few months ago, I began a new spiritual practice. In addition to my morning time with God when I read scripture and pray, I have initiated what I call my “rising prayer”.
Accordingly, before I ever get out of bed, I pray. It’s fairly short and I end with, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14). (I might start to add, “Lord, help me to see interruptions as part of your plan and give me the grace to handle them just like you do with me when I interrupt your plans.”)
Secondly, “take-five” with your thoughts.
Identify how you’ve been thinking.
What’s really going on? We need to ask ourselves that because quite often what we think is the problem, really isn’t. We need to ask, what else is going on? How am I feeling, physically? Am I getting enough sleep?
In my case, this particular day I wasn’t in tip-top shape. An on-going foot problem was flaring up and I had to miss a day walking with my husband. Not a big deal when you consider I only miss one or two days a month! However, I worried whether this was the beginning of the end of that record.
Silly, huh? But real for me.
Third, just stop
Then we we need to just stop.
I do mean physically, STOP!
Sometimes, in order to find our way, we have to quit looking.Tweet
Sit down. Reflect for a few minutes on those thoughts you identified in step two.
Therefore, let yourself sink into the situation instead of trying to fight it. Sometimes fighting against something only makes what we’re fighting against appear bigger and more frightening than it really is.
While most times, fighting is exactly what we should do, it’s now always what we should do. That’s because we don’t always know who or what we are fighting, so we need to stop and identify our tormentor.
However, sometimes, no, many times, that tormentor is us!
When we stop, we allow God to speak to us in our quiet. I think most of us would do so much better if we planned for fifteen minutes of reflection time every day. Quiet your mind and thoughts and instead of talking to God, let God talk to you. Prayer is as much about listening asTweet
Fourth, make a list.
Yep. On days when we feel overwhelmed, we need to get to the end of the day and feel like we’ve accomplished something. So we make a list and we keep adding to it throughout the day. Lists are never static.
In my opinion, list-making can be a spiritual tool as the Bible is full of instruction about planning, taking stock, and preparing for the journey.Lists are never static. One of the best ways to fight anxiety, depression, discouragement, and so on, is to keep a running list of things you want to accomplish. It's far more therapeutic than you might think with lots of benefits that… Click To Tweet
Lists should grow with us throughout the day. I highly recommend “Eat That Frog”, by Brian Tracey. You can find it here.
Finally, move forward.
We’ve turned it over to God.
- We’ve taken our time-out.
- We’ve “taken-five” to identify our thoughts.
- We’ve stopped to reflect on our thoughts.
- We’ve made a list.
- Now, we get moving.
There is a time for sitting-back and stopping and there’s a time for moving. Some people get stuck at the stopping. Don’t let that be you.
And remember, tomorrow morning, connect with God before your feet hit the floor, even if it’s only, “Good morning, God. Guide me today.”
God bless and have a good day.
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