Sunday, September 5, 2010

Straight Roads or In a Ditch?

The past few weeks/months have been rough. I have hit a dry spell- my "wilderness" and I felt like I was like the Israelites just wandering aimlessly. The sad part- just like those desert wanderers from years ago- I was in denial that I wasn't going anywhere (except in circles). Last weekend I hit the breaking point- I "bailed" on all but one commitment and came thisclose to bailing on church last Sunday. I always feel a little guilty when I feel that way so I forced myself out the door and made my way there. Once there- well, we'll just say the Holy Spirit did his job. I diagnosed my problem (over commitment which was on the edges of burn out). I figured this out through conversations in our ABF as well as the sermon (which the topic was actually marriage but had other applications for a single person) and then through much prayer, conversation, and listening- I knew what I needed to do. I gave myself permission to say no, to have an agenda when reading the Word, and to actually figure out my routine so that my Bible was open more than just on Sundays.

Interestingly enough our small group study is on Abram and we looked at the beginning where God called Abram to leave and take that step of faith. One verse that came to mind through discussion was Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Most of the time we focus on v.5 but I really looked at v. 6 and the part that jumped out at me was "he will make straight your paths." I know that there have been times while driving that I have taken my eyes off the road/got distracted and found myself swerving/drifting into the next lane. The drifting is so subtle we don't often notice it until the honk of a horn or the rumble of the warning strips to get our attention. I realized that my burn-out "meltdown" was my warning strip for my current road. I was drifting and it was so subtle I almost didn't notice it until I was almost in the ditch. However, if I keep my eyes on the road in front of me I can navigate through the curves that life's road throws at me with ease and confidence- knowing that my eyes are focused where they should be.

"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure." Proverbs 4:25-26


Bill (cycleguy) said...

Proud of you that you can recognize the need to say "No." It gets more and more important the older you get and the more you feel like you have something to offer others. Keep learning to say no and always pray you will recognize the warning signs. Love you much.

herbhalstead said...

it's hard to say "no"... but easier, when you have an agenda that rises above being useful to someone else.

Tami said...

It is hard- and sometimes I feel as if I am offending or going to offend someone. I find myself going and doing too much and I KNOW that I need to slow down- my focus is on saying yet to the two ministries that I am actively involved in and carefully consider the others.

Melanie said...

Lovely post Tami! Something that stood out to me (one of many things) in my Bible study last year "Lies Women Believe" was in thea chapter on priorities: "The Enemy is just fine with you doing good works all day if it keeps you too busy to spend time with the Lord." Well! It definitely reminds me how important I guard againt being too busy and say no to some things, even good things, so I always have time for Him no matter what.
Have a great week, thank you for visiting me!

Chautona said...

Jesus said no. I always remind myself of that. If JESUS chose to say no to perfectly legitimate (seemingly-needful even) requests, then why do I think I must do more than God among us?